The modern dental practice cannot do without SMS
Let patients know you care about them
Looking forward to a dental visit? It won’t happen often. For many children and adults alike, it’s a bit of a shock each time the day of the appointment approaches. Yet the dentist’s office can also be a place where you go with an easy mind. Not just for a checkup or to get rid of a toothache, but also because as a client you have complete confidence in the knowledge and skills of your practice. As a dental collective or practice, you can strengthen this trust. In many ways. Obviously by providing the best care, but also with the use of modern communication techniques such as SMS.
SMS for dentists, multifunctional
The fact that SMS messaging has brought a lot to the healthcare industry can be seen, among other things, in the huge decrease in the number of ‘no-shows’ in healthcare through the use of automated SMS. As a healthcare provider, you know: the more people who show up for their appointments, the better it is, for everyone. Capacity is used optimally, costs are saved, staff are less stressed and waiting times are kept to a minimum. Moreover, not showing up is also detrimental to patients themselves. They may experience unpleasant consequences of (necessarily) postponing or rescheduling a treatment. Sending an SMS (appointment reminder) to reduce the number of ‘no-shows’ is not only used by hospitals. SMS is also a perfect communication tool for dentists and dental hygienists that can be used effectively at all times. Obviously to remind patients of their appointment. But much more is possible once you use an SMS Gateway. We give a few examples below.
A gift and an SMS
For most children, going to the dentist is an “exciting” experience to say the least. Fortunately, dentists know very well how to put a child at ease. And parents also have an influence on whether or not children develop anxiety. For example, it is smart to take a child to the dentist at an early age. You can find more tips for parents here.
Often dentists give children a small gift or toothbrush afterwards. This certainly helps to make the dental visit more enjoyable. Communicating clearly and kindly also works reassuringly, to both parents and children. Sending an SMS from the dental office is a quick and simple way to do this. For example, an SMS prior to the visit, to welcome the child. Or after the visit. An SMS to the parent(s), with a compliment for the child, makes the child feel proud and happy. This makes the threshold for the next visit to the dentist a little smaller.
“This message is for (the parents of) Joris: Thanks for visiting Joris! We loved having you here. Will you come again in six months?”
An SMS appointment confirmation
Confirming a dentist appointment by means of an SMS message is a small effort for the practice and a great pleasure for sender and receiver. Because with one simple SMS, everyone knows exactly what and how and the chance of a ‘no-show’ is immediately a lot smaller. Moreover, you can also send an SMS message from the practice if there is a change in the appointment, time or date. Handy and effective!
“Good afternoon, we have scheduled an appointment for you on Tuesday, March 29 at 16.20 hours. Looking forward to seeing you then! Dental Practice Big Smile.”
Appointment reminder by SMS
Even more than an appointment confirmation, an appointment reminder by SMS ensures that the number of ‘no-shows’ in your practice drops significantly. More and more health care institutions are using the SMS service for this purpose, and with good reason. Unfortunately, even dentists regularly have people show up late for their appointments. Or they don’t show up at all. This involves high costs and it is a waste of your employees’ valuable time. They have to call the patient back, schedule a new appointment and so on. While the dentist’s chair remains empty. Sending an automatic appointment reminder by SMS from your orthodontic or dental practice is therefore effective, cheap and friendly. And easy to schedule, for example a day in advance, with your own chosen text.
“We would like to remind you that you have an appointment on November 17 at 10:00 am dentist Koning. With kind regards, Ypenburg Health Center.”
SMS message after treatment
Not only children, but also adults sometimes go to the dentist or dental hygienist with a sore head. Reassuring your patients and giving them confidence helps. Not only before and during treatment, but also afterwards. So if your patients receive a friendly SMS message from your practice after the treatment or check-up, this strengthens the commitment and relationship in the long term. The power of just 160 characters (or less)!
“Thank you for visiting the Voorhof dental office. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to hear from you. Have a nice day!”
Paying on time with SMS
The many applications of the SMS Gateway make SMS a popular tool for organizations to communicate with their clients quickly, safely and friendly. It is also a lot cheaper than typing an email or posting a letter every time! So even if someone forgot to pay an invoice, an SMS is the way to communicate this in an accessible way. If you first send an SMS after the due date of the invoice, there is a good chance that you will no longer need to send an official payment reminder by email or post. That doesn’t just save time and money. It also comes across as a lot friendlier!
“Did you overlook our invoice? Please pay € 72.80 on IBAN ABC00NL12345678 in the name of Praktijk Bosman with ref. 345/202106. Questions? Call 0465 123456.”
Sharing experiences via SMS
As a healthcare provider, you do your utmost to provide optimal care to your patients or clients. Getting feedback is important in this respect. What goes well or even excellently in your dental practice? Where is there room for improvement? With an SMS message you can offer top service. Very simply, by asking people who have visited your practice about their experiences. In the SMS message, share a link to a survey or a review site, for example. Of course, you can make the questionnaire as extensive or concise as you want.
“Good morning, how did you experience your visit to Praktijk voor Mondzorg Ommen? We are curious to hear your opinion [link]. Thank you in advance for your response.”
Secure data traffic with 2FA and OTP
Image calling with the family doctor or specialist has been possible for some time. But in 2020, the number of e-consults really took off. Due to the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, many people no longer wanted to or could leave their homes. Visual calling from home became the solution for many patients with mild complaints and questions. Meanwhile, e-consults are becoming more and more common. Image calling may not be as appropriate for dentists as it is for general practitioners. But even here, there are situations where video calling is easier, safer or more convenient than a personal visit to your practice. Consider, for example, a problem-oriented consultation, a braces consultation or instructions and information on dental care. To establish a reliable digital connection between doctor and patient, SMS is indispensable, because with Two Factor Authentication (2FA) or a One Time Password (OTP) you guarantee a secure connection. And these can be sent very quickly (and securely!) via SMS! That saves time and a lot of digital worries.
“Good morning, your one-time password to log in to Dentist Practice The Viersprong is 653022.”
The power of SMS
An automated SMS at the right time, to the right person with the right message. This is easier to realize than you might think, because with one simple SMS API you can already get started. The SMS API is easily implemented in the existing software of your practice. From that moment you can send an appointment confirmation and/or reminder, a compliment or an OTP, among other things. By using SMS you communicate with your patients in a friendly, safe and fast way. And you keep them informed and satisfied.
ISO and NEN certificates
Finally, we would like to point out the certification that guarantees safe data traffic. Spryng is the only SMS provider in the Netherlands that works with the ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 certificate. These two certificates together guarantee optimal information security, with emphasis on the healthcare sector, because safe data traffic is particularly important in the healthcare sector (where people work with EPDs, among other things). By working according to these strict standards, you know that Spryng will handle your confidential data and the data of your patients in a responsible way. Working according to ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 is proof to you that we have our information security in order.
SMS in theory and (your) practice
SMS is in theory and practice (your practice!) an asset to your organization. It provides a more efficient workflow, extra service to your patients and lower costs by reducing the number of ‘no-shows’. So chances are you want to know more about what SMS can do for you. Feel free to contact us for more information. Or try how easy our SMS API is to use in healthcare with a free test account. Would you rather receive a free quote right away? Click here.