There are many reasons why your office’s appointments might be running behind schedule. Sometimes there are unpredictable problems, like broken equipment or patient emergencies. However, most of the time, delays are preventable with a simple tool like doctor patient SMS reminders.
Doctor patient SMS messages are sent through a business text messaging platform. This kind of cloud-based software empowers office staff to send, receive, and organize masses of patient texts without increasing their workloads.
Although they’re easy to implement into your office’s communication strategy, doctor patient SMS reminders are critical for keeping your office on schedule. Read on to learn how.
Doctor Patient SMS Reminders Prevent Late Arrivals
The Medical Group Management Association discovered that 52.4% of patients miss appointments because they forget to attend or cancel, 28.6% because they write down the wrong time or date, and 23.8% because of other issues like traffic or work. These are often the same reasons patients give for arriving late.
Most doctors’ offices try to prevent missed or late appointments with phone call reminders. Unfortunately, people just don’t like to answer their phones anymore. Email reminders often end up in junk folders or aren’t read in time.
Doctor patient SMS reminders reach patients immediately, no matter where they are. Texts have a 98% open rate, and 90% are read within the first three seconds of receipt. Even if a patient receives their SMS reminder three hours before their appointment, it’s likely that they’ll read their text immediately and make arrangements so they can arrive to their appointment on time.
Plus, because patient SMS messages are so easy for staff to send (which we’ll discuss in the next section), staff can easily send reminders both a day before and the day of the appointment, further reducing the chances of a missed or late appointment.
Doctor Patient SMS Reminders Streamline Staff Workflows
Many office staff members offer phone call appointment reminders. However, calling each individual patient and leaving a message consumes a lot of time.
Business text messaging is far more efficient for office staff. Team members can send (or schedule) templated text messages to large patient lists. The business text messaging platform fills in each outgoing message with personalized patient information drawn from custom fields.
While staff members could leave around 48 voicemails during an 8-hour day, they can send 48 doctor patient SMS reminders in 10 minutes.
This process drastically reduces the amount of time staff spends on the phone. Instead, staff can turn their attention to patients already in the office, focusing on in-office tasks instead of making phone calls.
Doctor Patient SMS Reminders Decrease Paperwork Backlog
Paperwork is a frequent culprit of delayed office schedules. New and established patients come into offices on time to face piles of paperwork, and have to sit down to fill it out. If they aren’t sure about certain information, they have to search for it on their phones or called loved ones.
With doctor patient SMS, staff can let patients know about paperwork ahead of time. If an office has an online paperwork system, staff can ask patients to follow a link to fill it out before the appointment. If an office doesn’t have an online paperwork system, they can ask patients to come in early.
A business SMS platform makes sending paperwork requests easy. Staff members can create a template for both new and established patients, specifically mentioning items like paperwork requirements and links to relevant websites.
Paperwork links and reminders sent via patient SMS messages will help streamline the in-office process, so that patients can receive care as quickly as possible.
Doctor Patient SMS Reminders Help Staff Coordinate
Doctor patient SMS isn’t just for sending patients reminders; it works well for internal purposes, too.
Because nurses and doctors are constantly on the move, they can’t check email or phone calls often. Administrative teams have to either connect with them in person or assume that their coworkers will read their messages later.
With business text messaging, staff members can send one another texts if needed. These work particularly well for relaying questions or scheduling reminders.
Quick staff communications allow teams to speed up their entire office workflow, ensuring your office stays on schedule.
Doctor Patient SMS Reminders Expedite Feedback Requests
Most doctors’ offices spend a lot of energy trying to get feedback from their patients. Feedback is one of the best ways to determine how to best communicate with, satisfy patients’ needs, and keep your office running smoothly. But sending surveys for feedback via email is rarely fruitful.
Patients often ignore their emails, rarely clicking on survey links. But doctor patient SMS encourages patients to both read and click on your feedback requests. In fact, around 1 in 5 people will click a link in a text compared to just 4.2% for email.
Whether your team wants to send a general CSAT survey or a specific NPS survey about the speed of office visits, doctor patient SMS is one of the best ways to secure feedback. With more responses to your surveys, you’ll have a better idea of what improvements patients want to see—and how they can make your office run more efficiently than ever.
Ready to keep your office on schedule with doctor patient SMS? Try our platform for free today.