Many people feel anxious about visiting the dentist, and many feel anxious about talking on the phone. So if you want people to face their fear of the dentist’s chair, you need to make scheduling an appointment as stress-free as possible. 77% of patients say they prefer to book appointments online, and if you fail to provide this option, you can miss out on patients.
Beyond just scheduling appointments, software can make your entire practice more efficient and profitable. By implementing an automated receptionist with the ability to book online, send out reminders, communicate with patients easily and securely, and offer virtual waiting lists, you will convert curious clicks into scheduled visits.
Put Patients in the Chair with Online Booking
Consumers expect a fully online experience, whether they’re ordering a pizza or filing taxes. 72% of consumers book their travel online. 60% order meals online at least once a week. And 51% percent prefer to shop retail online.
The lack of ability to book an appointment online will likely be met with annoyance and frustration. But when you implement an easy, functional online booking tool, it not only results in more patients scheduling appointments, it begins the patient relationship with a positive experience.
Scale your booking capabilities to meet demand
The case of Bethany Medical Clinic in New York City neatly demonstrates the power of an automated receptionist. Surging COVID-19 cases in the early days of the pandemic meant the clinic needed to scale its booking capabilities dramatically. And with six practices across the city, they needed a system that could be implemented quickly and worked perfectly.
NexHealth gave them everything they needed. Now patients can see real-time availability for every clinic and book their own appointments from their computer, tablet, or phone. The system also allows them to submit all the required paperwork, reducing time spent in the waiting room, which is a crucial concern for patients during the pandemic. The result for Bethany Medical Clinic has been a 300% increase in bookings.
Provide a smooth experience to your busiest patients
Parents caring for sick children are especially in need of the convenience of online booking. This is why the Pediatric Group of Southern California switched from Solutionreach to NexHealth. With the NexHealth system, parents can be taking their child’s temperature with one hand while booking an appointment with the other. After implementing NexHealth, the Pediatric Group saw an average of 71 additional weekly appointments.
Make sure no slot goes unfilled with virtual waitlists
It’s not merely giving patients the ability to book an appointment that makes an online scheduling tool so essential—it’s also giving them the opportunity to grab a booked time slot the moment it becomes available with a virtual waitlist. This functionality means when a patient cancels an appointment, the admin does not have to spend an hour on the phone offering that slot to other patients—it’s automatically offered to the next available patient in the queue. This type of administrative efficiency offered by NexHealth enabled the Pediatric Group to save $500/month on billing and supplies.
Keep Them Coming with Automated Appointment Reminders
Getting a new patient to schedule an appointment isn’t the ultimate goal—it’s getting them to actually show up. A study by SCI Solutions found that missed appointments cost practices $150 billion annually. Sending out appointment reminders is crucial to preventing missed appointments, but doing so manually is time-consuming for administrative staff. A powerful online scheduling tool automates reminders so your admin can spend more time intaking patients and doing other important work.
Allow your admins to focus on the patient
Rated “Best Dentist Practice” in Richmond, Virginia, River Run Dental used to spend hours on the phone reminding patients about their upcoming appointments. This greatly inhibited the admins’ ability to support patients with billing, insurance, and other needs.
Every patient experience begins in the waiting room, and if their intake is impeded because of an overloaded admin, their first visit might be their last. Automating the patient reminder process with NexHealth saved River Run Dental hundreds of manual hours each year, allowing their admins to devote more attention to the patients coming through the door.
Make certain patients get critical care
In 2021, there was perhaps no reminder more important than the one for your second coronavirus vaccination shot. According to the Center for Disease Control, 15 million people in the U.S. missed their second dose of the vaccine. A major reason was that people mistakenly believed only one shot was necessary. This was one instance where a simple appointment reminder could dramatically impact public health.
Northeast-based Tops Friendly Markets used NexHealth to send auto-reminders to their pharmacy customers scheduled to receive their second vaccine dose to ensure everyone had maximum protection from a deadly virus. The result was more visits to the pharmacy and a better-protected community.
Engage Your Patients with Secure Patient Messaging
The full patient experience extends well beyond the examination room. And, of course, maintaining HIPAA compliance is sacrosanct. That’s why the NexHealth communication system is an essential tool for all practitioners. It allows you to quickly respond to patient feedback, answer questions, send out important notifications about test results or other time-sensitive materials while maintaining HIPAA security standards. The NexHealth messaging system also enables you to inform your patients of promotions and events, making it a powerful marketing tool.
Standardize operations across locations
Apex Dental had 24 locations spread across Texas and Oklahoma, making their communications especially complex. They had patched together a communication system using Solutionreach and Lighthouse 360, but the systems weren’t integrating well. The situation created operational inconsistencies, a lack of visibility, and added costs.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, efficient and secure communications with patients became an overnight priority in order to keep up with rapidly-changing conditions. At one point, Apex’s team spent nearly a full day updating and standardizing patient reminders for all their 24 locations. That’s when they turned to NexHealth for total unification of communication and scheduling. Now Apex Dental is able to reliably and securely manage messages and reminders for two dozen locations from a single source.
Conduct targeted campaigns
Sending appointment reminders will ensure your patients show up, but it won’t grow a practice. Dentists also need to promote services they offer beyond everyday care, and target campaigns are a great way to do that. Dallas-based brush365 needed a way to conduct targeted marketing campaigns, such as informing specified patients of Invisalign specials. Email marketing remains remarkably effective, generating $38 for every dollar invested.
By using the NexHealth communication system, brush365 was able to send personalized email and text campaigns to their patients and track metrics within the system. The patients responded—brush365 achieved a 45% open rate on promotional emails.
Combine marketing and booking
Marketing campaigns convert best when they seamlessly integrate with booking. NexHealth compels those clicks by embedding the booking tool directly into the text or email. This was the kind of capability Dr. Dental needed for their 40 offices in the Northeast—and it needed to be managed from a single platform. NexHealth gave them that and more.
Now that Dr. Dental has adopted NexHealth for all their practices, they’re able to embed real-time schedules within emails, allowing patients to book the moment they receive a promotional. Since implementing NexHealth, bookings have increased by 147%, and their average online rating has increased from 4.0 to 4.7.
An Automated Receptionist Increases Bookings and Saves Money
When practice admins are bogged down with repetitive tasks, it takes them away from the important work of managing patients, and it wastes money. And depending on a receptionist to manage bookings can cost you patients who have come to expect greater convenience.
Across the country, medical practices have turned to NexHealth to give patients the power to book whenever they wish, automate appointment reminders, communicate securely, and centralize marketing initiatives. The results have been dramatic increases in bookings, higher practice ratings, and reduced costs.