2017 is in full swing, and a recent MedData Group survey found that 29% of practices are planning to adopt automated reminder technology in the next 12 months. Is your practice among that group? If you are still undecided about adding automated communication to your practice, here are five indicators that it is time to make a move:

Your patients are asking for it.
Reaching busy, on-the-go patients is an ongoing challenge. Automated communication that allows patients to receive and respond to your message at their convenience is an excellent way to give your practice cutting-edge appeal and improve response rates. Give patients the choice of phone call, text message or email notifications to see your patient satisfaction scores go up and no-show rates go down.

You are not seeing many familiar faces.
If your practice is predominantly focused on attracting new patients, you may be neglecting your existing patient base and putting yourself at risk of losing them. Recalling “lost” patients with automated wellness reminders could uncover a large number of patients that simply forgot to schedule their next appointment. Giving patients an opportunity to give feedback outside of the practice with automated surveys could reveal an underlying service or process problem that may be costing you patients.

Your schedule is booked solid.
Though a full schedule is every practice’s dream, the reality is this makes it harder for patients to be seen often causing them to go elsewhere for faster service. Automated appointment reminders will consistently provide patients with ample time to cancellation or reschedule. If everyone confirms their appointment as scheduled, then great! But when patients need to make an adjustment, you can use advance notice of those cancellations to move other patients waiting to be seen up in your schedule and improve satisfaction.

You are located in an area susceptible to extreme weather.
Unexpected office closings and the resulting rescheduling of appointments can be quite a headache. Automated notifications safeguard patients affected by an unexpected closing from the dissatisfaction, confusion and sometimes risk of coming to the office when you are out. An automated notification system with flexible and customizable messaging allows you to include additional information such as your plans for rescheduling to help reduce an influx of calls once you reopen.

The phone rings too much.
Unexpected increases in call volume or decreases in staffing may mean a longer hold time for those calling your practice. If you use this time wisely, you can reduce the number of unhappy callers who hang up after being on hold too long and provide important information to patients about your practice and their treatment.