Patient communication can be a fine line to walk: if you don’t communicate enough, patients forget about you — or worse, feel neglected — but if you communicate too often, they’ll get annoyed and ignore your messages. How do you find the right balance? And how can you keep patient messaging from becoming too time-consuming for your team?
Start With the Basics
Consider what patients actually want to know. At the very least, they want to be reminded of upcoming appointments and when they’re due for re-care.
For instance, if your area still is under COVID-19 protocols and restrictions, patients also want to know what your plan is to keep them safe. You can put new patients at ease by welcoming them and letting them know what to expect before their first visit.
If you’ve moved processes online before or during the pandemic, it will give patients the convenience of filling out and submitting forms electronically ahead of their appointments. Nothing makes new patients feel better than demonstrating your competence and consideration before they’ve even walked through the door.
Automate the Process
Sending an individual email or postcard to every patient for every routine reminder is a lot of unnecessary work. First you have to check which patients need reminders, then you need to figure out their relevant information — their address, what they’re due for and when — and then input it for each patient.
If you’re sending re-care reminders via snail mail, you’ll also need to print out labels and perhaps fill out some information by hand (which runs the risk of being illegible). If you’re also calling patients to remind them about appointments, that’s even more time out of your day.
Instead, you can save time and money by using a communication system like Demandforce that automatically sends reminders to patients when they’re due or have an upcoming appointment. No more time wasted on checking a list every day, filling out individual reminders and making calls, and juggling that in addition to helping patients in the office.
Send Targeted Communications
A great way to make sure every patient communication counts is to make sure they’re targeted, so you’re only sending them to the patients who need them. Use your patient communication system to send automated emails and texts to subgroups of patients. Your software should have templates you can customize to fit your practice to make it easy to send reminders, practice updates, birthday wishes and more.
Use Tools That Lighten Your Load
The right tools make it easier to stay in touch with patients in meaningful ways without eating up lots of staff time. Demandforce helps you attract new patients, engage existing patients, and reactivate lost patients with an innovative all-in-one communication tool that drives additional revenue to your practice. Learn more at henryscheinone.com/demandforce, or find out about the Dentrix-integrated version of Demandforce, Dentrix Patient Engage, at dentrix.com/products/eservices/patient-engage.