Practice connects with more patients thanks to Solutionreach
Voted the best orthodontist in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics, P.A., takes a lot of pride in creating beautiful smiles. They offer several options for braces and use the latest technology. So, it’s no surprise they also want to offer the best patient experience. One part of that is reaching out to patients using the methods they prefer like text and email. To do that, and to improve no-show rates and confirmations, they chose to switch to Solutionreach in 2015.
Nease & Higginbotham schedule patients in three different locations and the providers see about 70 patients a day. It’s a very busy office. They had a reminder solution in place prior to Solutionreach, but it only did phone calls. “The main reason for the switch was the ability to send patient reminders with text and email because using phone calls was awful,” says Dr. Eric Nease, practice owner and orthodontist. “Our no-show rate wasn’t terrible, but now we have hardly any no-shows at all.”
Scheduling Coordinator, Teena Jarrett, agrees. “We have three or four no-shows on some days but on others, we have none.” Their no-show rate is consistently under five percent. Now they are able to get more confirmations in advance with people responding via text or email and Solutionreach alerting them if someone hasn’t confirmed.
“We get a lot more confirmations than we used to,” she says. “Sometimes we have enough time to fill them and get the person rescheduled. Other times, it’s a blessing in disguise, and we don’t fill them because we are so busy.” The electronic confirmation rate is about 40 percent.
The rescheduling has been much easier since they added SR Conversations, a real-time, two-way text messaging system from Solutionreach. “Now when someone responds that they can’t make it, I can text back and offer times to reschedule,” Jarrett explains. “They respond and we get a new appointment set up. It’s fast and easy.”
The front desk is also using text messaging. “When our staff calls someone and no one answers, they now send a text message,” says Jarrett. “They often get a response right away from the text message even though the person didn’t answer the phone.”
“People are just more likely to read a text,” adds Dr. Nease. “We’ve had a really good response since we started using SR Conversations.” He says some people were hesitant to give their cell phone number at first, but once they understood it wasn’t for spam but to remind them about appointments or let them know about office closures, they were happy to do it. The practice has used group messaging for office closures nearly 20 times to alert patients that they won’t be open. And they’ve tested doing electronic surveys as well, which had a good open rate at over 10 percent.
Dr. Nease is adding a new associate this year in hopes of continuing to grow the practice. To get their scheduling and reminders even more streamlined, they are adding SR Schedule for online scheduling. “We’ll be able to cover more days in each location and offer more appointments,” he says. “Right now we sometimes lose new patients because we don’t have enough days in each location. We know we can do more with a new provider and with more digital options for patients.”
Dr. Nease is eager to continue to add more features like online scheduling because he has been happy with the platform. “I like the stability and predictability of Solutionreach,” he says. “We have had very few problems, and customer service is very responsive when there is an issue. The performance of the software is great, and the price is fair.”