If your dental practice hasn't yet added online scheduling to your list of patient conveniences, it's time to think about making a change. Understanding the benefits and how online scheduling applications work can help you to determine if online scheduling is right for you and how to begin implementing the change.
Better Online User Experience, Develop Patient Loyalty
Today, people are used to doing business online. And since online interactions with dentist offices and other healthcare providers are becoming such an industry standard, many patients go online first when they're trying to make an appointment.
Fast, easy user experiences can make a good impression on your patients. Those who like your online scheduling tools may develop a better impression of your business both now and in the future as they have more and more positive experiences with it.
Instill Confidence In Your Practice
Updates in technology, streamlined processes, and a clean, modern web presence can help to generate confidence in your practice. Think of your digital presence as being capable of instilling the same kind of confidence that patients have walking into a clean, comfortable and well-maintained office.
Create Convenience for Your Customers
Most people are very busy. Between jobs, family, friends, hobbies, and volunteer activities, people tend to have little time to devote to dental appointments. Allowing your patients to schedule, change and confirm their appointment online helps save them valuable time and the hassle of making a phone call.
Convenient Communication for Your Team
When a patient schedules an appointment online, the information becomes available from all networked computers. When a patient calls, anyone from a computer can see who the patient is, when they're supposed to come in and other helpful details. Having this information makes communicating with patients convenient. Up-to-the-minute information and instant communication may help to improve the overall efficiency of your office.
How Online Scheduling Works
Online scheduling works in different ways, depending on the application. Some applications send an automatic reminder. Some rely on smart technology to interact with patients in a chat function. All of them are designed to interact with your computer scheduling system, so your patients can schedule their own appointments in real time, without help from your staff.
Make a list of features that you want for your practice before shopping around for software applications. Test at least three programs before making your final decision. If you know other dentists or medical professionals, ask them what they use. If they're happy with their software, find out if they would refer it to someone else. Don’t forget to involve and consult with people in your office about the various applications you're sampling. After all, they’re the ones who will rely on and work with this software most.
Choosing the Right Online Software for You
Once you're ready to implement online scheduling, it’s time to consider your options.
Test Different Applications
When you're testing different applications, check first for ease of use. Be wary of purchasing anything you can't use personally. Remember, if you can't figure it out, your patients may not be able to either.
Cost isn't everything, but it’s a good idea to buy within your budget. Look at multiple software applications and get the total price of each one including any applicable fees. Most applications may have a monthly subscription. Find out what that subscription will buy and what it may not include.
The reputation of the application is an important factor to consider when trying to decide what to buy. Prevalence of that application in other offices is also important to consider. If the application is used by many businesses, many of your patients may have experience using that application, making the user experience even better and easier (if they enjoy the software). When in doubt, start asking around in your network for some honest feedback. You may uncover opinions you didn’t find in the most popular online reviews.
Make the Transition Today
When transitioning to new software, alert your patients and place a banner on your website. Let them know the change is occurring. Make your message positive, but tell them what to do if they have trouble using the online system. Keeping your patients informed helps make them aware that you're investing in your business, and committed to continuous improvement for their benefit and convenience.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service.
Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Risk Management are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
Insurance products offered through Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Risk Management.
Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer legal or business consulting advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.