Technology allows people to do amazing things. In the dental world it’s almost impossible to keep up with every piece of technology that comes out and actually use it. Are we more efficient because of the technology? Are we taking good advantage of this technology? Is the technology enabling us to provide better service?
I’m a subscriber of the SmileReminder service. It’s a service that handles patient reminders via email and text message. Not only does it handle appointment reminders, but it can also handle birthdays, whenever a patient has a birthday, a note is sent from our office wishing them a happy birthday. It all works in the background, so a few weeks ago a gentleman comes in for an office visit and before we get started, he made a point to thank me for the wonderful birthday greeting from our office via text message, he was thrilled, it was the only birthday greeting he received. I felt grateful that we were able to bring him joy on his birthday, but it also occurred to me that a text message is all we sent?
I can’t blame SmileReminders, in the dashboard of their software they list the upcoming birthdays for the next week, it would be very easy to pick out specific patients that might need an actual card or gift the decision is for each office. The reality is, technology only gets you so far. For this gentleman, the technology was enough, but how cool would it have been to send him an actual card? Technology can do amazing things, but people effectively using technology can do even better things.