Running a medical practice is not only about providing healthcare to your patients, there are many other tasks related to management, paperwork and scheduling.
However, the main issue you may find yourself having to deal with are scheduling problems, more specifically No-shows. Even though all practices have some form of reminder system for their patients, missed appointments keep happening all the time, and they take quite a blow on your time and your revenue.
There may be many valid reasons for this problem such as traffic, work or family emergencies, but most often than not, the main reason is that the patient either forgot to attend or cancel or they had the wrong time and day.
One could say, everybody is using whether phone calls, emails and even WhatsApp to follow up on patients, why shouldn’t I? Let us save you some missed appointments and check out the risks you’re running when using exclusively these communication channels:
Phone calls They can be intrusive and annoying to people, they demand to stop whatever you are doing to respond.
Emails Most companies rely on emails to communicate with customers: promotions, alerts, newsletters, invitations, you name it! It is highly probable that your mail is ignored along with the rest.
WhatsApp If the calls are intrusive, these messages may be worse! WhatsApp is a space that many people use exclusively to talk with their family and friends, be careful to get out of line!
So, what makes SMS more effective to follow up on patients? We give you a few reasons:
You can’t ignore a text. There’s no spam box and you always receive the notifications on your phone!
You always read your texts! Contrary from those emails from 2017 that are still sitting unread in your patient’s inbox, statistics show that 90% of texts are read within the first ten minutes of receipt.
You’re not interrupting anyone with a text. Unlike a phone call that comes during a meeting, your patients can check your text reminders without having to interrupt what they’re doing by just looking at their phone, and they can easily refer to the appointment information later on by just going to their text inbox.
Texting for your practice has so many possibilities!
Make the most out of text messages and create effective messages to remind appointments to your patients, we show you how:
Important: Mobile phones can be lost or stolen, this could potentially risk your patient's health info to exposure. That's why in our example (above) we suggest to not specify the specialty of the doctor, the treatment the patient is going to receive or simply, or the reason for the appointment.
In the case of promotional messages such as advertising new services, surveys or offering health tips, it is required by law to have previous consent from the recipient.
How can you ensure this consent?
You can have consent from your patients for this type of texts when the opt-in or subscribe to your messages. It can be as easy as texting your keyword to 11111 (eg. JOHNMD) or they can also opt-in on a form on your website.
Who can use SMS?
The cool thing about texting is that every mobile device can receive an SMS. No need to go through the fuzz of downloading an app or hoping your recipients have internet on their phone. You can be sure they’ll receive your text, anytime, anywhere.
So, how can you start texting your patients?
Do you need a custom plan to fit your needs? Let us know here, and we’ll create the best fit for you.
Let’s get started now!