Solutionreach (formerly Smile Reminder) is one of the major players in the automated patient communication space, and has its roots in dentistry, though it's also popular in other medical professions such as optometry and chiropractic. Users are largely satisfied with Solutionreach's functionality. However, for dentistry, it's one of the pricier options available. Customers also report having a difficult time getting out of long-term contracts, especially since the contract auto-renews at the end of each contract period, unless you specifically terminate it.
- $399 setup fee.
- Long-term contract required. Monthly fee is often negotiable, and the setup fee is often waived.
- Free demo.
Solutionreach Full Review
Founded in 2000, Solutionreach (formerly known as SmileReminder), has a long-standing reputation as a leader in the dental patient communication software space. Today, it's still one of the most robust patient communication systems on the market, and is not only used in dentistry, but other medical fields as well, including optometry.
Like many other communication systems, Solutionreach helps your practice reduce appointment no-shows, reactivate patients, and solicit reviews. Users we've spoken with are generally happy with the system, and with the value that it adds to their practice. However, at $379/month, the system is one of the pricier options on the market (especially for dentists). For example, two other systems that charge a lower monthly fee for similar services include Lighthouse 360 ($329/month without any long-term contract), and Demandforce ($299/month with a long-term contract).
That said, many Solutionreach users report that they were successfully able to negotiate lower monthly fees and get the $399 one-time setup fee waived. Therefore, prior to committing to a long-term contract, it's worth having a discussion with your sales representative. Many users also report experiencing difficulties with exiting their contract, especially since the contract auto-renews unless you say otherwise. If you are in a current contract and wish to exit it, you'll need to remember to terminate it prior to the contract auto-renewing.
Below, we'll discuss Solutionreach's key features, and how they can benefit your practice.
One of Solutionreach's most important features is robust, automated messaging, which helps remind patients about upcoming appointments, and also helps reactivate inactive patients. The system integrates with your practice management software, so that it can automatically identify patients who need appointment reminders, as well as patients who are overdue for appointments.
You can also customize the timing of the messages that get sent to patients, as well as the type of message that gets sent. For example, you can specify if a certain patient prefers to receive text messages, emails, or phone calls, and the system will then reach out to them using their preferred method of communication.
Using appointment reminders to reduce no-shows can have a dramatic impact on your practice's production. Solutionreach claims that the average practice has a no-show rate of 5-10%, which equates to roughly $50k of lost revenue per year. They also claim that their automatic appointment reminders can reduce your no-shows by 30-40%.
Reactivating patients can also significantly impact your practice's production. To learn more, you can experiment with our Dental Simulator to see how changes to your recall rate will impact the number of patients that your practice will see over time.
Another nice benefit of using Solutionreach for automated messaging is that you can send other types of automated messages beyond appointment reminders and recare messages. For example, you can send automated messages when a patients bills are overdue. This can be a great tool to help increase your practice's collections, and reduce your A/R days. Optometrists also like that they're able to send automated messages to patients when their glasses or contact lenses are ready to be picked up, which can be a great timesaver for staff.
Conversations: Two-way Messaging (Additional Fee)
Launched in December 2016, Conversations is one of Solutionreach's newest additions. Conversations is a powerful module that helps facilitate communication between patients and your practice. It enables practices to send text messages from a desktop computer, and manage conversations with multiple patients simultaneously.
Patients can also text your practice, and send messages directly to your desktop, along with their message history from previous conversations. This makes it very convenient for patients to communicate with your practice, and removes the overhead of phone calls, which is important since 76% of patients prefer texts over phone calls.
Since Conversations syncs with your practice management system, whenever a patient sends you a message, the system will immediately identify the patient based on their phone number. If the phone number is unrecognized, the system will notify you that this message is coming from a new patient, and you can prioritize it accordingly.
This module comes with an additional fee, but Solutionreach is currently offering a free 30-day trial to test it out.
Limelight: Online Appointment Scheduling (Additional Fee)
Limelight is Solutionreach's online appointment scheduling module. If you purchase this module, you'll be provided with an ID number, and a URL that leads to an online booking portal. You can then use this URL anywhere you wish (on your website, social media, etc.), and it will lead patients to the portal, where patients can view your available appointment times and book appointments.
To illustrate how this works, we can look at how Burba Dental Partners, a private dental practice in Salem, MA, uses Limelight to enable patients to book appointments online. This practice has an excellent web presence and online reputation, so it makes sense that they have invested in Limelight in order to help patients book online. After all, if potential patients are discovering your practice online, it makes sense to help them book appointments as seamlessly as possible.
When you visit Burba Dental Partners' site, you'll notice various buttons that enable you to book appointments online. For example, here's a screenshot from their homepage:
In the screenshot above, you can see that the page includes a "Request an Appointment" button, which links to their Limelight page. When you arrive at their Limelight page, you'll be asked to select which provider you want to see, and what type of appointment you'd like to book.
Once you've selected a provider and the type of appointment you'd like to schedule, you can then view availability, and request an open slot.
Since Limelight syncs with your practice management system, the schedule will automatically stay up to date, which helps avoid double bookings and any other scheduling discrepancies. Another nice perk is that the system is able to intelligently book appointments for different durations, depending on what type of appointment was booked.
Like other patient outreach systems, Solutionreach helps you solicit reviews from patients, and puts them on your own Solutionreach review site, which will look like "https://reviews.solutionreach.com/vs/YOURNAME". You can see an example below, again from Burba Dental Partners:
The site is professional-looking, and Burba Dental Partners has an exceptional 5-star rating (averaged over 271 reviews). However, from the patient's perspective, reviews.solutionreach.com is still a less reputable source of reviews than Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Reviews on those sites are typically more valuable. For this reason, we'd still recommend that you try to solicit reviews for other reputable sites, in addition to your Solutionreach reviews site. Burba Dental Partners has also done an exceptional job of getting high-quality reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp, as you can see when we search for "Burba Dental Partners".
That said, there are still several benefits to using Solutionreach to solicit reviews. In particular, these reviews will still surface when someone searches for your practice, and can be a nice additional data point for potential patients who are trying to learn more about you (for example, Burba Dental Partners' Solutionreach reviews are the 4th result when you search for their practice). The other benefit is that because Solutionreach helps you solicit patient reviews at a faster rate, you'll be able to receive constructive feedback that actually helps improve your practice. This can be a valuable, candid source of information that you wouldn't have otherwise received, and can help give you a better idea of how patients perceive your business.
As with other patient communication software, we view reviews as a nice additional perk, but the core value that these systems offer is definitely their appointment reminders and patient recall/reactivation capabilities.
How does Solutionreach compare to its peers?
As mentioned earlier, Solutionreach is one of the higher-priced systems in comparison to other systems that offer similar capabilities. However, it may be a good investment for your practice, depending on your exact preferences and priorities. In this section, we'll help you make the right decision by exploring how Solutionreach compares to two of its popular competitors: Lighthouse 360 and Demandforce.
Solutionreach vs Lighthouse 360
Though both systems offer similar patient communication functionality, Lighthouse 360 is designed specifically for dentists, and comes at a lower price point. The other benefit to Lighthouse is that it doesn't require a long-term contract. In contrast, both Solutionreach and Demandforce require long-term contracts, and this is often a common gripe among their users.
Lighthouse 360 also won the 2016 Dentaltown Townie Choice Award for Patient Communication Systems.
The major advantage Solutionreach has over Lighthouse is that its Limelight module enables patients to book appointments online. However, remember that Limelight is not included in Solutionreach's base monthly fee, so it will come at an additional cost. Lighthouse 360 currently does not offer that functionality -- patients can send e-mails to your practice through your RateABiz site, but this isn't so user-friendly, and it's not clear to the patient that it can be used for appointment booking.
Solutionreach vs Demandforce
Both are popular systems among dentists, as well as in other industries. Solutionreach and Demandforce offer similar functionality, but at slightly different price points -- Demandforce costs roughly $80/month less than Solutionreach. However, this is a fairly minor price difference -- deciding between the two systems will most likely boil down to user preference, how easy it is to learn/use, as well as your relationship with your customer representative.
According to Gordon Christensen's Clinicians Report, which surveyed 735 dental practices in March 2017, Solutionreach was used by more respondents than Demandforce.
Though Demandforce also enables patients to book appointments online, the online booking portal isn't as user friendly. When patients try to book appointments online through Demandforce, in most examples, they aren't able to access your practice's schedule, so can only request certain times, and those times may not be available. In contrast, Limelight stays up to date with your practice's schedule, so that patients are only able to request available appointment times.
Is Solutionreach right for you?
There are many reasons why patient communication software is an excellent investment. However, there are also several excellent solutions on the market offering similar functionality.
Solutionreach is one of the oldest, most reputable systems on the market, and should be viewed as a premium option that's on the higher end of the price spectrum, especially if you are interested in the optional add-ons such as Conversations and Limelight, which require additional fees. However, users may find these add-ons to be worth the investment, since their capabilities really are quite powerful.
For dentists, if you want to use Solutionreach purely for the patient communication capabilities, there may be cheaper options that suit your needs. However, the appointment booking module, Limelight, is the best out of the systems that we've reviewed.
For optometrists, Solutionreach is a great option since you can configure the system to send automated messages when your patients' glasses or contact lenses are ready to be picked up. This can be a substantial timesaver for your staff, and can help improve your patients' experience.
Solutionreach is a premier option in the patient communication space, and has many satisfied customers. It's a worthy option to consider, but you may be able to find other systems that offer the functionality you're looking for at a slightly lower price point. Many users have reported being able to negotiate lower prices than the quoted $379/month fee and $399 setup fee, so prior to signing up for a long-term contract, we'd encourage you to have a conversation with your sales representative regarding their flexibility in price.
To learn more about SolutionReach, you can sign up for a demo here. If you complete a demo, you'll receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.