Patient Engagement & the Dental Industry
Patient engagement is crucial for the success of any healthcare practice. With the rising expectations of patients, practices need to evolve and meet their demands to attract new patients and retain existing ones. In the dental industry, high levels of patient engagement are the key to achieving this goal. Engaging patients boosts their loyalty, encourages them to share their positive experiences with others, and ensures that they do not switch to other practices.
To find a patient engagement strategy that suits your practice, we’ve offered these six steps to help you get there.
Step 1: Patient Engagement Means Communicating Consistently
Patients have come to expect consistent, seamless, and personalized communication throughout their entire patient journey. One of the key parts of a patient engagement strategy is to tailor your communication to your patient base. This can look like:
- Communicating by the method that your patient prefers, i.e., text, email, or phone
- Using different language options, if possible, in order to communicate with patients in their first language
- Contacting patients between appointments, for example, reminders about dental cleanings, holiday messages, etc.
- And more
Step 2: Never Shortchange the Appointment Reminder Process
Appointment reminders are a huge component of patient engagement. If leveraged well, appointment reminders can help your patients arrive prepared and stress-free to your practice. This helps reduce the number of no-shows and canceled appointments. And that, of course, reduces frustration for staff and patients alike!
Some tips to keep in mind for appointment reminders are:
- Finding an appropriate messaging cadence. Send enough that the patient is prepared (i.e., five days beforehand and 24 hours beforehand), but not so much that it becomes irritating, and they become less likely to take in information
- Communicate the essentials: appointment type, time of the appointment, and your practice name
- Always be sure to send pre-appointment instructions with your reminders
Step 3: Patient Engagement is Improved by Virtual Wait Rooms
In the post-Covid world, practices must use different ways to communicate with their patients. Implementing a virtual waiting room has been an important innovation!
Often, virtual waiting rooms use two-way texting. This allows patients and staff to stay engaged right up to appointment time. It facilitates staff informing patients if the dentist is running behind, or if there is some other delay in the appointment. This creates a stronger communication relationship between your practice and your patients – and reduces stress on both sides.
Step 4: Send Post-Appointment Follow-Up Messaging
Sending post-appointment follow-up messaging is a very important step in ensuring that patients engage in their oral health. Patients appreciate receiving post-op instructions or post-appointment surveys to ensure optimal outcomes in their oral health. Personalizing follow-up messages based on procedure type is a great way to tailor communication to their specific needs.
Step 5: Solicit Patient Feedback and Get Positive Online Reviews
After creating a safe and exceptional patient experience, practices must solicit patient feedback and encourage their happiest patients to leave a positive online review. Online reviews are the new patient referral, and it is important to have a positive online reputation to attract new patients. Leverage online feedback to:
- Get insights on areas of improvement
- Send a request for a review to patients who were happy with their experience
- Then, you can embed review results on your website
The Intiveo Difference
At Intiveo, we specialize in creating the patient experience you want with patient engagement software. We help 14,000 providers improve the outcomes for millions of patients, using:
- Customizable procedure based messaging
- Easy to update reminders
- Automated recall messaging
- 2-way chat
- Post-appointment surveys and reviews requests
- And more
Curious to learn more? Book a meeting today!