Dental practices, whether they are private or connected to a university, are negatively affected by patient no-shows. However, using dental school software can reduce the number of patients who fail to come for appointments by making it easier to communicate with them.
According to Dental Economics, about 10 percent of dental appointments get canceled, causing significant strain on resources. For example, if offices lost an appointment each day for a year, the practice could have lost up to $70,000.
Appointment reminders have long been the best method for preventing no-shows. However, paper mail may no longer be a sufficient means for patient communication. When practices automate appointment reminders, no-show rates decrease dramatically. A study from Sesame Communications cited by Dental Tribune found that when patient appointment reminders were sent automatically, no-shows were reduced by almost 23 percent.
The survey also found that 97 percent of patients would rather communicate with the dentist through a computer than a phone call. About 80 percent preferred a text message to a call. In this day and age, people communicate differently than they did in the past. In order to maintain strong patient retention rates, offices will have to improve the ways they reach out to individuals. Implementing dental software that has a portal for patient access is an easy way to do this. When users can log in to access their own health information, they are likely to be more engaged in their own care, making them less likely to forget an appointment. These interfaces also enable patients to order and keep track of their own prescriptions.
When oral care facilities reach visitors through the means most comfortable for them, they are more likely to retain current patients. For high performing offices, these individuals may offer the benefit of their recommendation to family and friends.