It’s inevitable that some of your patients will cancel at the last minute. Even the most diligent will sometimes run into unforeseen scheduling conflicts. It’s avoidable. But, how do you deal with these issues when they arise?

Most practices throw manual labor at the problem. Your dental office staff dials down the waitlist, calling patients one by one and hoping to find an available replacement. The resulting game of phone tag is highly inefficient, and can tie up your staff for hours. It’s also inconvenient for patients who take the time to call your office, only to find that the dental appointment has already been given away.

This tedious, manual response might have worked 15 or 20 years ago. But, does it make sense in today’s world of falling reimbursements, tightening schedules, and low patient loyalty?


Make your waitlist outreach effortless

With NexHealth, you can fill gaps in your calendar automatically – no phone calls or manual outreach required. For a patient on your waitlist, it’s as simple as responding to this text:

If the patient replies “Y”, they’re instantly scheduled for the upcoming availability. NexHealth notifies you that the appointment has been booked, and it’s automatically available on your NexHealth dashboard.

If the patient doesn’t respond within a few minutes, NexHealth sends the same text to the next person on your waitlist. We keep going down the list until your appointment slot is filled.

Why this works so well: 3 reasons

Automated waitlist outreach is a win-win approach to booking. It’s easier for your patients, saves time for your staff, and fills more gaps in your schedule. Here’s why it works so well:

  1. It’s fast and discreet. Your patients lead busy lives. Many just don’t have the time or patience to take a phone call from an unknown number in the middle of the workday. Even if they do, they may not have the privacy to have a sensitive conversation. But even your busiest patients can find a few seconds to respond to an SMS – and they can do it discreetly, right from their workplace.
  2. Patients love it. Everybody texts. It’s the gold standard for modern communication, which is why an astonishing 98% of text messages are opened and read. Even if they don’t end up booking, your patients will appreciate that you tried to work them into your schedule – and that you made the conversation as simple as yes or no.
  3. It saves you time. Why would you let your staff spend precious time dialing down a waitlist (and getting caught in the inevitable game of phone tag) when there’s a lightning-fast, completely automated solution available? Throwing manual labor at a problem is inefficient – and it’s not fun for your dental staff, either.


Building a stronger, healthier practice means plugging all kinds of efficiency leaks and accommodating patient needs, big and small. This is just one way NexHealth helps you do that. With automated waitlist follow-up, you get a seamless, digital solution to the age-old problem of patient cancellations. It’s yet another way to give your patients the high-touch experience they deserve!

You may also like

Comments are closed.