The transition of using more digital platforms to communicate has been happening for years and the pandemic only increased the need for it. Nearly half of surveyed dentists agreed that they have changed the way they’ve been communicating with patients in the last couple of years. Of those dentists, half of them are using text messaging more. This makes sense as most people are keeping up with their texts constantly throughout the day while checking their email inboxes a lot less often.
On an interesting note, half of dentists still believe that the telephone is the most efficient way to communicate with patients. From the dental office side of things, this makes sense. Phone calls are excellent to confirm details with patients in real time and to ensure that the patient understands all of the information provided with the opportunity to ask questions. However, considering things from the patient point of view, calls are no longer as convenient as texts.
Another communication change that was reported is upgrading to an automated communication platform. This is a great, quick way to send appointment reminders and it allows patients to confirm easily and on their own time.
A portion of dentists are also taking advantage of social media to communicate with their patient base on a more general level. While this may not be best for appointment confirmations, it is a great way to help your patients feel connected to your practice and stay in the loop for all practice updates. As things become increasingly more digital, it’s time to update!
As seen in the print issue of Oral Health August 2022
*In October and November 2021, Bramm Research, a third-party independent research house, conducted an online survey of active, practicing non-hospital affiliated dentists and dental specialists on behalf of Oral Health. Using Oral Health’s subscription list, a total of 264 completed surveys were tabulated. With a total sample of 264, the margin of error is plus or minus 6.0 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. If, for example, 50% of the sample indicated that agreed with a statement, then we can be reasonably sure (19 times out of 20) of an accuracy within +/- 6.0%. This means that a total census would reveal an answer of not less than 44.0% and not more than 56.0%.