Best Practices for Text Appointment Reminders
No one likes it when a patient accidentally forgets their appointment or cancels so last minute that it leaves a gaping hole in your schedule. Cue: patient text appointment reminders. They’re quick, fast, and rapidly becoming the most preferred method that patients are reminded of upcoming appointments at their dentist or doctor’s office.
Before you start texting every single patient in your practice management system, here are a few best practices for text appointment reminders that you should keep in mind:
1. Time of day. Don’t text a patient too early or too late. Be mindful of their schedules and avoid texting them too late or early in the day. Something around mid-morning through mid-afternoon is safe.
2. Frequency. Appointment text reminders are very useful but can quickly become annoying if a patient must keep re-confirming their appointment weeks out. A good rule of thumb is to send a confirmation once the appointment is made, and one a week and the day before their appointment.
3. Make the message clear. Your reminder should include the time of the appointment with instructions on how the patient can confirm. If a patient needs to reschedule, tell them to call your office and provide the phone number. Sending the address as a reminder is an added convenience to the patient as well.
4. Family messaging. If you have multiple people from a single family with appointments on the same day, consider using a family messaging feature to ensure a mom of 3 doesn’t get 4 separate appointment reminders.
5. Two-way messaging. If someone responds outside of the normal reminder directions (e.g. “reply 2 to confirm”) have an auto-responder set up that either instructs them that someone will get back to them soon, or if it’s a mailbox that won’t be monitored, instruct them to call your practice. Either way, closing the loop with patients ensures no one falls through the cracks or feels ignored.
6. Allow to opt-in and out. Don’t force patients to text. If they want to receive a reminder via email or phone instead, make it easy for them to opt out of their text message appointment reminders.
Want to learn more about automated text messaging reminders for patients? Call PracticeMojo at (800) 556-2580.