Dentrix customers that are using eCentral to remind patients of appointments have a powerful new feature for confirming appointments and reducing holes in the schedule. Now when patients receive appointment reminders via text message, they can confirm their appointments with a simple reply.
Integrated appointment confirmation has been a very popular feature in eCentral for several years now, but the functionality was limited to email reminders. The rising popularity of text messaging, coupled with the release of unlimited text messaging pricing in eCentral, heightened the use of text-message reminders and the desire to allow patients to confirm appointments from both reminder types.
With email reminders, patients are able to click a button to confirm the appointment, which automatically updates the status in the Dentrix Appointment Book. The same is true for the new text-message confirmation feature. To confirm an appointment, patients simply reply with a "1."
The electronic confirmation reduces the amount of manual entry performed by the front office. At a glance, the front office can identify which patients have confirmed (including the type of reminder the patient confirmed the appointment from) and – more importantly – those that have not. The front office team can then concentrate on those patients that haven’t confirmed so would-be no-shows can be rescheduled, and the resulting openings filled.
When a patient replies with a non-confirmation text message, such as "need to reschedule," the response is captured in eCentral and can be emailed to the front office so the team can take action.
Another new feature in eCentral is the ability to customize text-message appointment reminders. In addition to selecting prewritten messages with a click of a button, practices can create custom text messages to better represent their unique communication styles.