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27 doctor appointment text message samples to cut no-shows

Alia Paavola
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Patient no shows affect even the best-run medical practices. These missed appointments not only cost providers revenue and time but also negatively impact patient care.

While there are many reasons patients miss appointments, the most commonly cited is forgetfulness. That’s where medical appointment reminder text messages come into play. Text message reminders are an effective solution to reduce no-show rates. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of SMS reminders, tips for improving text outreach, and share 27 customizable doctor appointment text message samples.

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<h2 id="impact">The impact of no-shows</h2>

Missed patient appointments are a major headache for medical professionals. Not only do no-shows create patient care gaps, but they also result in missed revenue for providers.

Research suggests that no-shows cost the U.S. healthcare industry $150 billion yearly and that even one no-show can result in higher attrition and poorer patient health outcomes.

<h2 id="smshelp">How can SMS help medical practices reduce no-shows</h2>

Text reminders are an effective way to cut no-shows. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why. 

  • High open rate. Text messages are opened and read. In fact, the average open rate is 98 percent. This is almost five times higher than email.

  • Strong response rate. SMS messages have a high response rate of 45 percent. This is nearly eight times higher than email. Plus, fewer people answer phone calls than read and respond to texts.

  • Accessible. 97 percent of Americans own a cellphone capable of receiving and sending text messages. This makes it an accessible means of communicating important updates to patients.

  • Patients want to text. Consumers want text message reminders and two-way communication with healthcare providers. In fact, 73 percent of consumers prefer texting to other modes of communication.

  • Refrenceable. Unless patients delete a text message, it is stored on their phones to reference at any time. This can help them keep appointment information accessible.

  • Immediate delivery. Most text messages are read within five minutes of receipt. This ensures that you’re delivering appointment reminder texts at the optimal time.

  • Convenient. Texting is a convenient tool because it lets people reply wherever they are when they have time.

Need more reasons? Check out these 51 stats that undeniably prove the power of business texting.

<h2 id="templates">27 doctor appointment text message samples</h2>

Here are several doctor appointment reminder text templates to help your medical office get key information to patients, timely and effectively.

Confirming appointment texts

Use one of these text message templates to confirm upcoming appointments with patients. These will help your medical practice know your text reminder was read.

Hi [name]. This is [medical facility]. Your appointment is [date] at [time]. Please confirm within [X] hours, or it will be canceled. 

Hi [name]. Your appointment at [medical facility] is [date] at [time]. Please confirm by responding YES. To reschedule, reply RESCHEDULE.

Hi [name]. You have an appointment scheduled with [doctor name] on [date] at [time]. Reply C to confirm, or call/text us to reschedule.

Hi [name]! You have an appointment with [medical facility] on [date] at [time]. Call [phone number] with questions. Reply C to confirm. 

Hi [name]. Your appointment with [doctor name] is confirmed for [date] at [time]. To cancel or reschedule, please reply to this text.

Get more appointment confirmation text templates 📅

Follow-up appointment confirmation

If patients don’t confirm their appointment, use one of these follow-up text templates to encourage a reply.

Hi [name]. Please confirm your appointment with [doctor name] on [date] at [time]. If you don’t, the appointment will be canceled.

Hi [name]. Please confirm within [X hours] if you can make your appointment with [doctor name]. To reschedule, call us at [phone number].

Schedule appointment reminder

Use a text to remind patients to schedule an appointment. Providers commonly use these for routine medical services or follow-up visits with doctors.

[Medical facility]: Time flies! It’s time for your annual check-up 🩺 Want to schedule yours today? Just reply or head to this link to book online: [link]

[Medical facility]: Our records show you’re due for [procedure]. Schedule an appointment online: [link]

Hi [name]. This is a reminder to schedule your follow-up visit with [doctor name]. Please call us at [phone number] or reply to see openings for this month.

Friendly reminders

Use one of these text templates to remind patients about upcoming appointments gently. Use these for reminders, not for confirmations.

Hi [name]. This is a friendly reminder of your appointment with [doctor name] on [date] at [time]. Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in. 

Hi [name]. Your appointment with [doctor name] is tomorrow at [time]. See you then!

Hi [name]. Don’t forget! Your appointment with [doctor name] is [date] at [time]. See you then!

Day-of appointment reminders

Use one of these medical appointment reminder text message samples to remind patients about the time of their appointments that day.

Hi [name]! Your appointment with Dr. [last name] is today at [time]. See you soon!

Hi [name]. Quickly reminding you that your appointment with [doctor name] is today at [time]. We charge [amount] for missed appointments.

Hi [name]. See you shortly! Your appointment with [doctor name] is at [time] today. 

Get 70 appointment reminder text templates for more inspiration 🩺

Open appointment time

Use one of these text templates to fill open appointments when you have cancellations or new provider availability.

Hi [name]! This is [employee name] from [medical facility]. We have several open appointments this week and I wanted to see if you wanted to come in sooner.

Hi [name]. [Doctor name] has an open appointment for [date] at [time]. Are you interested in claiming this? Let me know!

Hi [name]. [Medical facility] has an open appointment on [date] at [time]. Let me know if you want to come in earlier!

Hi [name]. This is [medical facility]. We have an opening on [date] at [time]. Reply YES to accept or NO to pass it to the next patient on the waitlist.

Missed appointment follow-up

Use one of these text templates to follow up with patients after they miss an appointment. This can help you reschedule to ensure care continuity. 

Hi [name]. [Medical facility] missed you at your appointment today. Please call or text to reschedule.

We missed you today, [name] 😢 [Doctor name] with [medical facility] has some available appointments next week. Reschedule here [link].

Hi [name]. [Doctor name] missed you at your [time] appointment. Your care is important to us. Please call or text [phone number] to reschedule.

Appointment rescheduling request

Use one of these text message templates to ask patients to reschedule their appointments.

Hi [name]. You canceled your appointment with [doctor name] on [date]. Please reschedule by following this link [link]

Hi [name]. Unfortunately, we must change your appointment with [doctor name] on [date] and [time]. Can you reschedule to [date]? We have [X time] available.

Important appointment preparation reminder

Use a text template to remind patients about key information before their appointment. This could be a reminder to fill out paperwork or remind them about essential appointment instructions.

Hi [name]! Please remember to complete this questionnaire before visiting [doctor name]. [link]

Hi [name.] This is a friendly reminder from [doctor name] — please no eating or drinking for 24 hours before your appointment.

Hi [name]. Please remember to do [X] ahead of your appointment. Thank you, - Care Team from [medical facility]

💡Need additional ideas? Explore
10 ways healthcare facilities can use SMS

<h2 id="tips">9 best practices and tips for helpful medical appointment reminder texts</h2>

Remember these tips and best practices when crafting and sending appointment reminder messages.

  • Obtain consent from patients. To comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, medical providers must get permission from patients to text them. This consent, called an SMS opt-in, must be given before you send a text message.

  • Ensure HIPAA compliance. When communicating any protected health information,  providers must be careful. It’s no different when using SMS. Texting can be HIPAA compliant when using the proper controls. This includes using a HIPAA-compliant SMS platform and having administrative policies in place for the communication channel.

  • Sync SMS with other channels. You want to sync business texting with other communication channels like phone and email. For example, you can text-enable your landline phone number to make it easy for patients to reach out in their preferred method. It’s also helpful to sync it to other channels like email, an online scheduling system, or electronic health record.

  • Ensure the right timing. The timing and frequency of your appointment reminder texts matter. You want to ensure that patients get your reminder text close enough to the appointment date. But you also want to ensure it’s far enough in advance for customers to reschedule before breaking your policy.

  • Ensure the right frequency. The proper cadence for your medical practice may look different from your competitors. A singular reminder may be enough for some, while others may need several reminders. Test out different frequencies to find the best fit.

  • Personalize messages. When texting, it’s important to personalize the message. It will help patients feel more connected and comfortable. Even just adding a patient's name helps personalize appointment reminders.

  • Keep messages concise. When writing effective appointment reminders, keep them short and straight to the point. Indicate key details patients need to know, like the date and time of the appointment. Plus, you’ll want to introduce yourself and clarify who is texting.

  • Automate reminders. Many SMS platforms can help you automate or schedule appointment reminders to send in advance. This can help your practice save time and effort while ensuring texts get sent at the right time.

  • Get a plan in place to handle responses. Chances are, patients will reply to your texts. Make sure you have a plan to address these replies by determining who’s responsible for responding, if you want to set up an automated response, and how quickly you’ll respond.

Curious about using texting in your medical practice? Check out the pros, cons, and additional best practices 👩‍⚕️

Meet Textline, a HIPAA-compliant SMS platform 

Textline is a fully HIPAA-compliant SMS platform that helps healthcare entities take advantage of the ease, efficacy, and convenience of texting. The best part is that your customers don’t need to download a separate app. Instead, they get HIPAA-compliant SMS messages sent to their mobile devices, which helps you reduce no-shows.

Textline, which has earned a patent for its HIPAA-consent process, is packed with security features like encryption, sensitive data redaction, administrative controls, and more. 

Book a demo with our expert team today to see Textline’s HIPAA-compliant platform in action.

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