Medical Appointment Reminders for Doctors & Their Patients

Doctor & Patient SMS

Doctor appointment reminder texts help your patients attend appointments they would otherwise forget. Medical offices lose on average $210 for each no show. Sending doctor SMS messages with Textedly reduces missed appointments and keeps patients on track for upcoming appointments and promotions.
With effective and easy-to-implement appointment reminder texts for doctors, there's no reason for any medical office to lose out on revenue because of a missed appointment. With an easy-to-use client dashboard, Textedly offers a convenient way to send medical appointment reminder text messages for doctors around the country looking to improve their practice.

How Can You Prevent No Show Patients?

Sending automated appointment reminders are a great method to reduce the number of no show appointments at your medical or dental practice, especially since 21% of patients noted that the initial reminder type was the most important attribute as to whether or not they remembered their appointment. Technology in the digital age has helped Doctors communicate with their patients and has aided them in easily bringing in new methods for decreasing no-show patients.
How to Reduce No Show Appointments:
  1. Send automated appointment reminders
  2. Implement a double booking process
  3. Utilize multiple communication methods
  4. Implement a missed-appointment policy
  5. Minimize your office wait room time
  6. Reduce wait period between appointment booking and appointment date

And, with studies concluding that about 37.6% appointments are missed due to simple forgetfulness or not receiving a reminder, it's crucial that these appointment reminders are being sent in a timely manner. 

 Mobile devices are such an integral part of our day, and every year more medical offices adopt doctor and dental text messages to patients.

Reasons for missed appointments

  • Forgot/Did not know/No reminder call
  • Personal/Work/Unrelated issue
  • Problems with transportation
  • Too sick to come
  • Problems with Insurance
  • Not satisfied/negative emotions regarding PCP or Practice
  • Patient expired
  • Used another source of care/ER/Hospital
  • Thought the appointment was not essential
  • Other Reasons
Source: Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention
With the use of cell phones, communication between doctor and patient has become a more seamless process. There are very few occasions when doctors have changes in their schedules, but when this happens, it is important to communicate information accurately and quickly. A phone call is good, but a follow up medical SMS message ensures patients are getting pertinent reminders.

Doctors who love using Textedly for their patients

Using Multiple Methods for Communicating With Patients

The solution to preventing no show patients isn't necessarily relying on one single magical method; it's offering your patients a variety of communication methods. One study found that while 30% of doctor offices only used a phone call as an appointment reminder, 52% actually utilize multiple communication methods proving that medical practices can't afford to depend on a solo form of communication with their patients if they want to stay ahead of the curve.
And, with a survey reporting that 88% of healthcare leaders responded that they were already using automated appointment reminders in 2019 - it's clear that mobile solutions are paving the way as one of the more preferred methods for communicating with patients.
Does your organization use automated appointment reminders?
Another convenient method of communication available to medical offices is a patient/online portal which provides many benefits to the patient including the ability to fill out paperwork, view personal health records, communicate with staff, and more. This online form of communication is becoming so popular, that in 2017, 52% of respondents answered that they had been offered online access to their medical records by a health care provider or insurer.

How Often Should You Send Patient Text Messages?

If you do utilize multiple methods for patient communication, it's a good idea to stagger the reminder messages amongst the different platforms. Doctors should determine when to send patient messages. MGMA recommends sending an email reminder five days prior to an appointment, followed by a phone call three days in advance, and finally a text message a day before or the morning of an appointment.
As for mobile solution patient reminders specifically, one analysis found a 34% increase in patient attendance when a reminder was sent by phone, SMS or automated phone calls, within 1 week of the appointment.

Benefits of Using a Patient Reminder Service

Missed appointments can reduce revenue for your office, making text marketing platforms like Textedly vital for allowing doctors to send mass group messages or more customized communications to patients. Using the built-in calendar feature allows doctors and dentists to schedule single messages to be sent to patients on a future date for appointment reminder texts or other upcoming events.

As your medical practice grows, you are able to add as many subscribers as needed. You are able to add customized data fields for patients based on any special needs for doctors and patients. 

 Doctor SMS messages are also an excellent way to offer special promotions to patients. For example, a dentist SMS is an excellent communication tool to remind patients of any specials on teeth whitening services. If the dentist is offering 10% off teeth whitening services, this information could be easily communicated using a dentist text message to all clients. 

 Not only is this an excellent way to remind customers of promotions, it is a good way to boost sales for the office's services. These text reminders for medical offices keep patients engaged in current events in the doctor's office.

Information to Include in Your Text Reminders for Patients

Due to our busy schedules, patients want to receive information that is accurate, informative and succinct. The medical or dental text reminder should include the date and time for the appointments and give the customers the option to reschedule if needed.
With the Textedly platform, you are able to customize the auto-replies in a way that works best for your patients. This allows your team to remain fully engaged throughout the communication process.
Patient schedules an appointment

Dear Jim,  you have an appointment tomorrow at 3PM @ Dr. Jameson's office.

Please confirm that you want to keep the appointment. 

Doctor's Office sends reminder

Dear Jim,  you have an appointment tomorrow at 3PM @ Dr. Jameson's office.

Please confirm that you want to keep the appointment. 

Yes, please keep the appointment
Patient gets it on time

Encouraging Patients to Enroll in Your Appointment Reminders

Text message systems help doctors and dentists remind patients of upcoming appointments. Keeping patients engaged in future appointments helps them prioritize better and decreases the likelihood of a missed appointment. Patients who have more chronic conditions are more likely to stay highly engaged with their doctors. Informing these patients of upcoming events that provide preventive treatments or education on new preventative treatments for their chronic conditions are an excellent way to encourage patient participation in the text messaging systems.

For new patients, you can encourage participation in the messaging system by having them fill out paperwork for their initial consultation visit. This paperwork could explain to them in detail how the text messaging system works and why the doctor's office chooses to use that method for notification. 

 For dentist appointments, the SMS system can be used to inform patients of specials on certain services and procedures. These services can include:

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Book a teeth whitening service by the end of April 2020 to receive 10% off

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Teeth Whitening Services

One of the most popular cosmetic services that dentists offer is teeth whitening and sending a quick text promoting any specials will put your dental office at the top of your patients' mind.

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Ready to part with that Halloween candy?

Will offer 5 cents for every piece of candy you trade in - the child who trades in the most candy will also receive a free electric toothbrush!

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Candy Buy Back Contests

Hosting a unique event like a Candy Buy Back contest that you'd like to spread the word about? Sending out a message promoting the event will not only increase awareness amongst current patients but also travel through word-of-mouth as well.

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Schedule your child's annual check-up before the school year starts!

Back to School Promotions

With all the commotion around the start of the new school year, it's understandable that parents might forget to schedule their children's annual exams. Help them out by sending out a message reminding them that their child's due for an appointment/

Text Message Templates for Doctors

Appointment reminder text message templates for doctors are an excellent way to remind patients about existing appointments.
This is Dr. X reminding you of your appointment for Monday 3/2/20 at 10 a.m. Please remember to be 10 minutes early for your appointment. If you need to reschedule please reply to this message with the phrase RESCHEDULE.
Text messages are not only good for appointment reminders, they are also a unique way to encourage patient participation for wellness events such as flu shot reminders.
The flu season is just around the corner. Don't be unprepared. Join us on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for your flu shot.

Doctor Text Messages: HIPAA Compliance

Using a text messaging system to stay engaged with patients is highly efficient, however, if used incorrectly it is not compliant with HIPAA guidelines. It is important to manage the information that is sent to patients so that you are not revealing any personal information such as test results, prescription medications or any other proprietary information pertaining to a patient's personal records. The automated messages are safe to send as long as there is no personal patient information included within the text messages.

Sending Doctor SMS Messages With Textedly

Textedly offers an automated platform that allows dentists and doctors to stay engaged with their patients. The platform allows you to schedule customized messages that can be sent to patients individually or collectively. If you are ready to start sending appointment reminder texts for your medical or dental patients, sign up for a 14-day free trial with Textedly today.