TeleVox Software Inc, Mobile, Ala, has released a research report summarizing trends of how dentists are currently using online tools to engage with patients. The results are based on findings from a recent survey of 9,000 dentists and orthodontists in the United States. 
According to the report, 75% of practices are using voicemail, e-mail or text messaging to remind patients of their appointments. According to Scott Zimmerman, president of TeleVox, the survey findings indicate there are significant opportunities for practices to market their services via digital technology. More than 80% of practices are not currently marketing new products and services and, while 95% of practices have Web sites, only half have Facebook fan pages.

The report also gave some insight into patient behavior, including these findings:

• More than 50% of respondents confirmed that Mondays are the worst days for missed appointments.

• More than three quarters of missed appointments are by men.

• Nearly half of missed appointments are from patients in the 14-25 age group.

 “This research indicates that advances in communications technology are giving practices the means to engage and activate patients in new ways,” Zimmerman said. “These tools also are helping solve the challenges of getting patients to attend appointments on time, which can lead to increased patient loyalty and business growth opportunities. We are pleased to make this research available to the dental industry.” 

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