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Staying Connected: Using Technology To Keep Your Practice Relevant in the New Economy

Oct. 29, 2010
Maintaining relevancy in the new economy is now more crucial than ever when communicating with your patients.

by Mark Olson

Maintaining relevancy in the new economy is more crucial than ever. Too many dental offices fall behind in practice management, overlooking the vast technologies and services now available. One service that has remained a pioneer in patient communications is Smile Reminder, the first comprehensive platform to offer text-messaging in the health-care industry. In the fast-paced modern world, people desire immediacy, and integrating a service such as Smile Reminder can provide them with just that.

As a leader in practice-to-patient communication, Smile Reminder ensures that dental practices stay current, connected, and organized. Over the years, our suite of services has provided practices with an increase in revenue and impeccable organizational means through patient retention, reactivation, and acquisition.

Dental practices lose thousands of dollars in income annually as a result of missed appointments and out-of-contact patients. Unfortunately, calling to remind each patient of their appointment is time consuming and often ineffective. Smile Reminder can automatically contact patients days and/or hours before their scheduled appointments. Furthermore, the patients can respond to the e-mail or text to confirm, cancel, or reschedule. Missed appointments are a huge expense to the practice. Smile Reminder turns that expense into a profit by significantly reducing missed appointments.

Usually, a dental practice must manually pull dormant patients from the computer’s database and spend countless hours contacting each one individually to inquire about scheduling a recare appointment. Smile Reminder saves practices valuable time by automatically contacting those patients with an e-mail or text message reminder. The patient can then reply to schedule an appointment. Practices are seeing a huge revival of patients due to the success of this tool.

Acquiring new patients is also important in today’s economy. The referral feature provided in Smile Reminder makes it easy for patients to refer a friend to the practice. Smile Reminder’s Refer-A-Friend program provides a convenient link in the messages sent to current patients, allowing them to easily refer their friends and family. Case studies have revealed that after implementing this service, practices found a notable influx of new patients who had been referred through the feature.

Dental practices are gaining thousands of dollars in additional income because of the technology afforded by Smile Reminder. Wasting time and money on mailers and unanswered phone calls is outdated. Smile Reminder integrates with existing office software and, most importantly, patients love it.

The times are changing, and being that dentistry is one of the most quickly evolving medical fields, it is incredibly important that practices have the office technology to match. Maintaining relevancy in the new economy is now more crucial than ever when communicating with your patients.

Mark Olson is vice president of marketing and business development for Smile Reminder. A graduate of the Marriott School of Business Management at Brigham Young University, Olson has over 20 years of business experience ranging from small start-ups to billion-dollar companies. With particular focus on consumer marketing, his professional experience includes Marriott Corporation, Sundance Resort, Park City Reservations, Simmons Media Group, Ticketmaster/CitySearch, Iomega Corporation, and Communitect Inc. — parent company of patient communication service Smile Reminder.