New Best Friends: Text Messaging Brings Patients and Doctors Closer Together

October 31, 2007

Mr. Wallstreet is walking at a pace so strong he makes taxis look stationary. Busy calculating statistics, going over a speech and contemplating sushi or salad, his mind is a seasoned juggler.

Mr. Wallstreet is walking at a pace so strong he makes taxis look stationary. Busy calculating statistics, going over a speech and contemplating sushi or salad, his mind is a seasoned juggler. Just as he opens his office doors, he receives a text message from his dentist confirming a filling that afternoon and with his schedule he was too busy to feel the pain, let alone remember. He does a U-turn and heads to his dentist appointment that was nearly missed.

This story is an example of the impact Smile Reminder is having on people. The first reminder system to incorporate text messaging capability into a communication for all medical offices, Smile is turning the tables with software that texts and e-mails patients with reminders the day of their appointment.

Founded in 2000 by CEO Jim Higgins, Smile incorporates mobile phone and Internet technology to keep patients reminded of upcoming appointments, directly to their cell phone or e-mail accounts.

Smile increases profitability by eliminating many no-show patients with reminders and easy cancellation options, so that filling in cancellations is possible. The capabilities of the company’s software allow doctors, dentists, medical spas and others to send out personalized eNewsletters and birthday/holiday greetings, forming a friendly, personal relationship with clients. Another very important feature offered is ePatient surveys; doctors can send out the surveys immediately after patients visit, receiving fast feedback on their services.

One of Smile’s most coveted features is its recall/recare reminders. This service enables offices to send out reminders to clients that have not been into the office in months, or any customizable timeframe, reminding them how important it is that they follow up on their healthcare.

“It is like having a new staff member that sends e-mails and text messages to all my patients all day long and only wants about $1.50 an hour,” says Tony Soileau, MD.

Providing an increase in dental care by $84 million in recare/recall services, Smile is not only increasing profits, but also providing practices with much valued patient relations.

Nancy Trent is the founder and president of Trent & Company, Inc., one of the leading public relations and marketing communications firms specializing in the spa, healthcare, beauty and fitness industries for nearly 20 years. She is a recognized expert in corporate and marketing public relations with more than 20 years of experience creating and managing a wide variety of highly successful, high visibility campaigns for clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, jewelry and accessories, and incentive fields.

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