Constant communication from healthcare service providers is quintessential for improving the quality of medical services. Text messages can act as reminders, preventing no-shows. Additionally, timely communications also help your patients feel supported.
If you haven’t been sending SMS for appointments or looking for ideas to update your existing messaging, here are 10 patient appointment scheduling SMS templates to help you get started.
Appointment scheduling SMS templates for first-time consultations
While sending text messages for booking appointments, ensure you use different templates for patients coming in for
- consultations for the first time
- repeat consultation.
Here are five SMS templates you can use for scheduling appointments.
Appointment scheduling SMS template for a new patient
You can use the following template to onboard a patient and assign a medical record number or MRN. A patient can later use this for reference or future appointments.
You: Thank you for contacting [Clinic/Hospital]. To book an appointment, reply with your name, age (YY), and sex (M/F) separated by commas.
Patient: [Name], [Age], [Sex]
You: Hello [Name], please reply with your preferred department. 1. Cardiology, 2. ENT, 3. Orthopedics, 4. Neurology, 5. Gynecology, 6. Obstetrics, 7. Pediatrics, 8. Medicine.
You: Hi, please reply with your preferred doctor. 1. [Doctor’s name], 2. [Doctor’s name], 3. [Doctor’s name], 4. [Doctor’s name], 6. [Doctor’s name], 0. No choice.
You: Your earliest appointment is available at [Date]. To continue with this timing, reply YES, or else indicate your preferred date in DDMMYYYY format.
You: Hi [Name], your appointment at [Department Name] has been confirmed on [Date]. To make any changes, visit [link] or contact [number]. Thank you.
SMS confirmation for appointments booked on phone
Let patients know that you have accepted their request for an appointment. A patient can book an appointment over a phone call, on your website, via instant messaging service, or via any channels you provide.
The following template is for appointments booked over phone calls.
Patients booking an appointment over a phone call may not be technically sound. Hence a simple confirmation text would suffice. It is advisable to ask them to come early to complete all onboarding formalities.
Hi [Name], your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time] has been confirmed. To make any changes, kindly contact [phone]. Please arrive 15 minutes before for onboarding. Thank you.
SMS template to speed up patient onboarding
For patients who book an appointment over the phone, you can ask them to fill out their necessary medical details to speed up the onboarding process. However, you need to understand that this is optional, and not every patient can do this.
Hi [Name], please fill up the form at [link] before your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time] to reduce waiting times. For more information, contact [phone]. Thank you.
SMS confirmation for website appointments
Patients using the website for booking appointments will already be familiar with the process and can refer to the website for any other changes.
However, you can ask for more details during the booking process and even provide a partial MRN via text message.
Hi [Name], your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time] has been confirmed and the last 4 digits of your MRN is [partial MRN number]. To make any changes, visit [link] and log in with your phone number. Thank you.
Please note that the hospital should not send any details over text that can uniquely identify an individual. Hence, it is recommended to send the partial MRN number.
Appointment scheduling SMS templates for repeat consultations
Patients visiting your facility for the second time will be more familiar with the onboarding process. By this time, they will also have a registered number. You can use this to look up the patient details in your healthcare CRM.
You can also use the MRN to ensure there is no duplication. It can help with identification, particularly if multiple members of a family, such as a mother and her child, are registered with the same contact number.
Appointment scheduling SMS template with MRN
Once a patient reaches out to schedule a second appointment, you can simply ask for their MRN number and proceed with the booking formalities as explained before.
You: Thank you for contacting [Clinic/Hospital]. To book an appointment, reply with your MRN.
You: Your last consultation was with [Doctor] at [Department name] on [Date]. To proceed with this, please reply YES, else reply NO.
Here, if the patient chooses YES, you can send the appointment dates, and if they choose NO, then you can ask for their preference of department and doctor. The further conversation can be same as Template #1.
SMS template for scheduling diagnostics tests
After the first visit, the doctor may prescribe diagnostic tests to the patient. If your clinic provides the services, you can ask the patient to get the tests done at your clinic for their convenience. If the patient agrees, you can book an appointment for the diagnostic test for them and send a confirmation text.
Hi [Name], your [Diagnostic test] as prescribed by [Doctor’s name] is scheduled at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time]. Please arrive 15 minutes in advance. To make any changes, please contact [phone]. Thank you.
SMS template for scheduling follow-up consultations
Sometimes, follow-up consultations after a surgery or procedure or a meeting after a diagnostic test are compulsory. For example, for a Holter monitoring EKG, the patient must return to the clinic or the hospital to get the Holter device removed after a day or two. Similarly, a patient undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy must visit the hospital at specific times to get treatment.
In such cases, the hospital can schedule an appointment for the patient. However, the hospital should intimate the patient with a text, providing them with a date and time.
Hello [Name], you are requested to visit [department] at [Clinic/Hospital] for [reason] on [Date, Time]. Please contact [number] with your MRN for more information.
Here is a sample text using the above template.
Hello Jane, you are requested to visit the cardiology department at the Atlanta Clinic for Holter removal on 12/12/2022, 11 AM. Please contact 99-123-45678 with your MRN for more information.
Appointment rescheduling SMS template
There can be instances when you would need to reschedule an appointment. The doctor may be unavailable, or there may be other types of emergencies at the clinic. In such cases, you can reschedule or cancel the appointment. However, you’ll need to inform the patient in advance.
Hi [Name], your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time] has been rescheduled to [New date], [New time]. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact [phone] or visit [link] for any queries.
Appointment cancellation SMS template
If a patient happens to cancel the appointment, the provider should acknowledge the same via SMS.
Hi [Name], your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time] has been canceled. If not done by you, please contact [phone], or book an appointment again at [link]. Thank you.
SMS template to inform patient about a missed appointment / no-show
If a patient misses an appointment or fails to be on schedule, you can send them a text notifying them about the same.
Hi [Name], you missed your appointment at [Clinic/Hospital] on [Date], [Time]. If you want to reschedule, call us at [phone], or visit us a [link]. Thank you.
Best practices for patient appointment scheduling via SMS
Healthcare providers must adhere to HIPAA compliance. This implies that both the SMS messaging and the software you employ to send the SMS should comply with HIPAA. Here are a few ways you can adhere to HIPAA compliance:
- Ensure that your patients have consented to receive text messages.
- Provide the option to opt-out of text notifications.
- Patient anonymity must be maintained in text messages.
- Keep scheduling text messages short. Ensure that all confirmation messages have the time and date.
- Do not send lab test reports via SMS. Instead, send a link to a secure web portal where the patient can sign in and get access to their medical documents.
You can also automate appointment booking via SMS by using a healthcare CRM. In fact, the CRM can also help you send appointment reminders and organize your intake process.
If you’re looking for one such solution, check out LeadSquared’s HIPAA compliant healthcare CRM.
Book a quick demo to understand all its functionalities.