How to Use Text Messaging to Improve Patient Communications: Highlighting the Endless Benefits of Texting

Appointment Reminders

Struggling to Reach Your Patients? Discover the Power of Texting. 

Are you tired of playing phone tag with patients? Sick of seeing appointment reminders that are sent out only to go unnoticed? We have the solution for you; text messaging! 

In this blog post, we’ll gently guide you through the numerous advantages of using text messaging in your patient communications. We’ll also share some handy tips to help you use this tool effectively.

Let’s explore how you can make the most of this easy-to-use and highly-convenient communication method. From appointment reminders to patient surveys and social review requests, text messaging can truly transform your patient communications.

 

The Benefits of Text Messaging for Patient Communications

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Texting has become one of the most common ways people communicate with each other. It has even caught up to email in terms of how widespread it is. Texting has even become much more common among the older generation, a demographic that is normally stereotyped as being tech-illiterate. 

As a dental practice, texting is the next big communication solution you should be implementing. Texting your patients instead of emailing or calling them is a great way to improve patient engagement and appointment confirmation. Patients are increasingly preferring texting for communication about their health care needs.

 

Tips for Effective Implementation of Text Messaging

Getting started with text messaging at your practice can seem daunting at first. 

Here are a few tips to help you when you are looking to implement text messaging as a patient communications solution for your practice;

Choose the right patient engagement software

A patient engagement software will allow you to easily manage your text conversations from your computer rather than having to keep track of them all in your phone. The right software can really revolutionize your operations. Our recommendation is Intiveo, of course, but you should use whatever software is right for your needs. 

You should look for something that is user-friendly but also comprehensive. Customizable messaging is a very useful tool that goes hand-in-hand with text messaging. 

Create clear and concise messages 

Keeping your messages clear and concise means your patients are going to understand them better. Text messaging is a format of communication that works better when the texts are kept brief. 

We recommend you develop a standard for your messaging that allows you to get across relevant info in a simple and easy-to-understand form. 

Personalize your messages

Personalizing your messaging is a really easy way to engage your patients with texting. Sending out a simple one-size-fits-all message is easy but ends up feeling cold and distant. 

That makes a patient communication software that allows you to customize your messaging is a useful tool. Your patients will notice the difference and appreciate it.

Make sure you obtain consent and follow regulations

Getting consent from your patients is important. No one wants to suddenly start getting texts from their dentist on their phone unexpectedly. 

During your first contact with a patient, make sure to ask them how they would prefer to receive communications. Let them know that texting is a great way to keep in touch, but respect their decision if they prefer email or phone call. 

 

Examples of Text Messaging in Dental Practice

Intiveo two dentists standing at reception

At Intiveo, we have seen many examples of how using texting has helped a dental practice improve their patient communications. 

Mayfair Dental Centre started using Intiveo’s automated text messaging feature to confirm appointments and immediately saw results. They saw a massive increase in appointment confirmations, plus notable time savings. 

Elsewhere, Blue Water Dental & Lighthouse Dental Centre, a practice that is over 40 years old at this point, found the transition to text messaging to be very easy for them and their patients. Their patients much appreciated the new efforts to stay in touch through text rather than more traditional methods. 

Central Valley Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Institute started sending text messages to patients 2 hours after their appointments with customized care instructions and saw a 10% increase in patients following their post-care routines.  

Many other dental practices have started using text messages to revolutionize their patient communications. You could be reaping the same benefits, all you need to do is make the leap.

 

Overcoming Common Challenges

As with anything, there are challenges that come with text messaging. While we believe it is the solution for your practice, there are some drawbacks.

Technology Limitations

As useful as texting is, it does come with limitations. Texting does not really allow for longer messages. Any message that requires more detail should be saved for email. You could also consider using the text to link to a longer message. 

The brevity of the message also means it can be easy to misinterpret things. This is why we recommend finding the best way to communicate clearly and concisely. 

Texting does also require the patient to have a phone capable of receiving texts. While most people will have one, there are still a few that do not for one reason or another. These people deserve the same level of care as every other, so you will need to find other ways to communicate with them.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Texting is a great solution to health care, but it comes with privacy and security concerns. When you implement texting as a part of your patient communications, you will need to consider a few things. Maintaining patient confidentiality while supporting clear communication is key. And you may need to be proactive in preventing negative perceptions of texting and privacy.

Opt-Out and Spam

Spam has always been a concern when it comes to communications. Email spam and spam phone calls have been a part of life for a long time, and now it is starting to come to texting as well. Patients may ignore your text messages under the assumption that they are spam.

This is where clear communication comes into play. You need to make sure your patients know you will be texting them and that they are okay with it. Having your patients be able to opt-in to texting is going to make it much more effective as a communication method. 

 

Conclusion

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It’s clear that texting is the way to go for dental practices in the digital age. It’s quick and easy, and patients often prefer it over other methods.

Adopting a good text messaging software for your patient communications is absolutely in your best interests. If you take the time to implement it, it will absolutely enhance the overall patient experience of your practice.

Intiveo is one of the top choices in the industry for text messaging and patient communication. Our software allows you to create custom automated text messaging for your patients. Interested in learning more? Book a free demo today