Managing patient appointments is a huge headache for any medical practice.
You want to avoid no shows and make sure that patients don’t miss their appointments, but phone calls can take up too much precious time and playing constant phone tag with patients makes no one happy.
Fortunately, text reminder messages can provide an easy way for medical practices to manage their patient appointments and can dramatically decrease missed appointments and no shows.
There are two common types of reminder messages: Appointment “confirmation request” messages and simple “reminder” messages.
Appointment Confirmation Request Messages
A sample appointment confirmation message can look like this template:
Hi [patient-first-name]. This is [office-staff-first-name] from ABC Family Practice. You have an appointment with us on [appointment-date-time]. I need to confirm if you will be coming, so please click this link to confirm/decline 0 or just reply C to confirm. You can also text us back if you have any questions. Thanks!
Confirmation request messages ask patients to respond either by replying to the text or clicking a link.
These messages should be sent 3 to 5 days in advance of a patient's appointment date. You don't want to send this confirmation requests too early, for instance 2-3 weeks ahead of time, because patients may still be unsure of their schedule that far out and are less likely to respond.
But you do want to send this message far enough in advance that you have time to fill the slot if a patient has to cancel.
To avoid your confirmation request from going unanswered, you can also try these tricks:
- Send your reminder confirmation from a full 2-way texting platform like Curogram, that provides you a local business text number. When patients see the text is coming from a local phone number, they are more likely to read and respond to the message.
- Include the patient's name to personalize the message. Patients are more likely to trust, read and respond to messages addressed directly to them.
- Include a name from the front desk of your practice. If your patients feel like a real person is sending the message, they are more likely to respond as it feels rude to not respond to a real person.
Appointment Reminder Messages
A sample reminder message can look like this template:
Hi [patient-first-name]. This is [office-staff-first-name] from [practice-name]. Just a friendly reminder you have an appointment tomorrow at [appointment-date-time]. For driving directions, please click here: 929 S. Bedford St, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Reminder messages are simply that - a reminder.
By sending a reminder the day before their appointment you can gently remind patients of the appointment and by including something of value, like a clickable address for driving directions or pre-visit instructions, you avoid annoying patients who already know about their appointment.
Since the reminder will be at the top of their SMS text history, the patient will have a convenient way to find your office on the appointment day.
Using text reminder messages allows your practice to reclaim time lost on endless phone calls and to communicate with patients in a more efficient and effective way. Patients love it because that is how they want to communicate today.
How Curogram Can Help
Curogram is an all-in-one, HIPAA-compliant texting platform that offers fully customizable and personalizable confirmation and reminder messages.
While other systems may limit you to 70 characters or less, Curogram has no character limits on the messages you send.
Curogram also allows you to create a separate message for each appointment type, so you can send customized messages for new patient visits versus follow-up visits or an X-ray versus a CT scan.
Get started with Curogram today by booking a no-obligation demo.