Patients Prefer e-Reminders

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NO-SHOWS – a classic issue which has plagued dental practices since the time of good ol’ G.V. Black.

No-shows are frustrating and expensive. You can get militant and charge patients if they no-show. That’s a great way to create pleasant Kumbayah relationships.

You can be proactive and call everybody on the schedule a few days in advance. This is great because it keeps the staff busy – not productive – just busy. Many if not most patients never answer the phone and when they do it is a convenient chance for them to cancel.

Technology to the rescue:

Some interesting research from Sesame Communications:

  • The typical missed appointment rate is 18% to 22%.
  • Patients prefer email appointment reminders to telephone calls by a margin of 3 to 1.
  • 77% of practices report automated appointment reminders reduce no-shows.

How much is it worth to reduce or eliminate no-shows? According to Sesame:

A typical practice loses $138,000 to no-shows each year.

Not only are automated reminders more effective than phone calls they are much less costly to the practice. The reason is that e-mails can be automated using an e-service. That means everything is done online by machines for a low monthly fee. You are not paying expensive humans to dial the phone, wait on hold and leave a voice mail.

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Dr. Larry Emmott is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry and he is considered the leading dental high tech authority in the country. He has over thirty years of experience as a practicing general dentist in Phoenix, AZ. He will have you laughing while you are learning. Check out his site at emmottontechnology

Larry Emmott

is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry and he is considered the leading dental high tech authority in the country. He has over thirty years of experience as a practicing general dentist in Phoenix, AZ. He will have you laughing while you are learning. Check out his site at 

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is one of the most entertaining speakers in dentistry and he is considered the leading dental high tech authority in the country. He has over thirty years of experience as a practicing general dentist in Phoenix, AZ. He will have you laughing while you are learning. Check out his site at 

Last modified: February 7, 2012

4 Responses to " Patients Prefer e-Reminders "

  1. We tried out Dentrix system, to the tune of a lot of money and frustration. It just didn’t work right. Multiple text’s sent (almost annoying) emails sporadically and even sent out “scary postcards” for patients who had not been booking their recares, my husband got one. It was very disappointing. Saw this email and just last week spoke with someone who had your service. Please send response and call my office and speak with Kathy or Debbie on this. Sincerely Dr. Anne Filler

    • Kathy Culbreth says:

      If you are interested in Sesame Communications as recommended by Dr. Larry Emmott, please contact them directly at http://www.sesamecommunications.com/contact/

    • Hi Anne. I do not have any experience with eMinder – it may be a great product. However, I have been using Lighthouse 360’s patient communication product for a few years now in my 4 doctor group practice. I simply would not want to practice without it. Not only is the product wonderful but the people running their business are extremely helpful. Without going into much detail key points for me are: wide choice of graphics and messages (none of which have caused an unfavorable response from any patient), lots of customization options, no cost at this time for emails and text messages, only pay for postcards at 57 cents each if patients do not have a valid email address (very nice quality postcards). You can send email blasts to your patient base at no charge (monthly specials, end of year insurance benefits reminders, etc). Lots of other features. Alan Jorgensen, CFO of Lighthouse Practice Management Group, wrote an blog article for Net32 on patient reminders which you can see at http://www.modernpractice.org/?p=12 Lighthouse 360 can be reached directly at http://www.lpmg360.com or call 888-427-5454 x 88. Hope this helps. Pat

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