For many customers who actively use YAPI to communicate with patients, you may have noticed that your messages are coming from a dedicated 5 digit number. This is referred to by Telecommunication Providers as ShortCode SMS.
Originally when YAPI was sending out messages we were able to attach your office number to outgoing messages to allow for easy recognition and contact between the Practice and the patient. However, a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation change gave permission to Telecommunication Providers (ie. Verizon, TMobile, Sprint, AT&T, et al.) to crack down on robocalls and spam texts who use regular phone numbers, appropriately named LongCode, to maliciously target phone users.
As a result of this, LongCode phone numbers are no longer approved by phone carriers for broadcast text messaging (SMS/MMS), with carriers able to detect when an application or platform (A2P) is sending multiple messages at once. Once detected, the messages will automatically be marked as spam and can potentially be filtered from distribution.
In order for companies such as YAPI to continue supporting dental offices with reliable contact with patients, a change was needed to go from LongCode to the ShortCode phone number as seen in the picture above. ShortCode is an approved and regulated number by phone carriers that may be shared by multiple companies to offset the service costs.
What Are We Doing?
YAPI has partnered with the company Twilio to serve as the distributor for all communications (e.g. text messages, reminders, and recalls) and they've have outlined an Acceptable Use Policy that ensures all communication doesn't fall into "(a) any illegal, fraudulent, or abusive activities or (b) materially interfering with the business or activities of Twilio or harms other Twilio customers."
How It Affects You
Before the transition to ShortCode, phone numbers that had been registered to dental offices were showing an alarming decline in message delivery to the point many offices were failing to confirm their appointments with only a partial amount of patients responding. On January 2nd, 2019, YAPI's deliverability shot back up to 99% with the dedicated, registered ShortCode number. Any potential decline in appointment confirmations due to the ShortCode implementation is very unlikely and can possibly be related to unforeseen circumstances from other sources.
For many customers, this change may seem to be an inconvenience with contact recognition by multiple patients and we understand the difficulty in trying to reach as many patients as possible for upcoming appointments. Major phone providers continue to work on a process of building a Long Code A2P (Application to Person) that can eventually replace ShortCode, but there has yet to be an ETA of the release for this.
Here at YAPI, we want to do our best to make sure your Practice continues to function optimally even with the growing changes that may occur, such as the FCC regulation change. Our goal is to give you the best service by establishing patient retention, reliable communication, and the best technical and customer support. As we continue to grow, our tools will also improve, and we will begin to better your office's production exponentially as your Practice continues to succeed with our product.
If there are any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to your Account Manager or Customer Success representative and we will gladly assist.