Andrew Forcier is the Practice Administrator for Brewer Dental Center, which operates three major clinics and several specialty clinics in Billings, Montana. With 16 dental practices in a three-mile radius and one of the lowest population densities of any city in America, acquiring and retaining patients requires leveraging every possible advantage over the competition.
The COVID-19 pandemic further complicates serving a population now wanting to limit in-person contact as much as possible. Andrew understood the necessity of implementing an online scheduling system that allowed patients to book appointments and submit forms, and one that needed to integrate smoothly with Eaglesoft, its practice management software.
Andrew tried various solutions, but every software failed to deliver its promises. They did not integrate properly with Eaglesoft, recorded appointments did not register in the system, there were problems transferring data to the website, systems were slowed, and resources drained. While using SolutionReach, Andrew found the software wasn’t actually converting patients into appointments. What he needed was a real-time online booking solution.
With the risk of losing patients (and patience), Brewer Dental turned to NexHealth. To start, Brewer tested NexHealth in one of its three locations. It was quickly impressed with its ease of use, functionality, and ability to integrate. As a result, it decided only six months later to adopt the NexHealth system across all three practices. With NexHealth, Brewer was able to maintain its position as the biggest dental provider in Montana.
A commitment to find the best
Andrew knew that giving people the ability to book appointments online was essential to converting patients and becoming a successful practice. But beyond the patient experience, the software had to integrate properly with its EHR and practice management systems and be easy for the staff to use. Discovering the absolute best solution took some effort.
Originally, Andrew used LocalMed, which promised full integration, but it found it queried its PMS too frequently. With 1,000 active patients, the PMS couldn’t handle the load, and it slowed down its software. When your receptionist is trying to access a patient’s insurance info, the last thing you want is a spinning pinwheel on their monitor.
When Brewer Dental contacted the PMS support team, it was pushed toward Solutionreach with assurances it would handle online scheduling. “It took us less than a week to figure out they couldn’t do it,” Andrew says. Solutionreach wasn’t communicating properly with the PMS, and scheduled appointments weren’t being recorded in the system. “Solutionreach doesn’t understand our customer problem. They just push solutions they think will work, which doesn’t help us at all.”
It was then that Brewer Dental’s staff conducted more product research and discovered NexHealth. After demoing the software, it immediately saw a clear difference in its ability to integrate and deliver a patient experience that increases appointments.
Finding the answer
With NexHealth, Andrew benefited from seamless integration with its PMS. “It worked right off the bat,” he says. Patients could book their appointments online, see availability, select a particular procedure, submit paperwork, and pay for the visit—and it would register in the PMS without any issues or slowing down the system. On the back-end, the practice admins at Brewer Dental found the software intuitive and easy to manage. “With so many different software platforms, you can tell the ones that are user-friendly on both sides,” Andrew says. “Easy for patients and practice admins.”
Within six months of using NexHealth, Brewer Dental replaced SolutionReach across all three practices, as it allowed for patients to book appointments with their preferred provider, even if they practiced at multiple locations.
An essential need becomes a powerful solution
Brewer Dental began with an urgent need to implement an online scheduling tool that integrated well with its PMS. It understood the importance of offering patients a means to book appointments after the office has closed. Practices using NexHealth report that 73% of their patients book after hours. If patients can’t book online with you, they’ll do so with someone else.
But although it was the need for a functional system that drove Brewer Dental to NexHealth, it ended up with far more than an online scheduling tool that worked properly. NexHealth offers a range of features that greatly improve the patient experience and saves practices money and man-hours.
The reliability of online booking functionality makes NexHealth a lifesaver, but its ability to do so using any device and from a variety of sources makes it so much more powerful. Surfing the web on an iPad, scrolling through Facebook on an Android phone, researching Google My Business profiles on a laptop—NexHealth gives practices the ability to insert the scheduling tool in all of these places and be confident it will render beautifully and function perfectly for every device. This converts patients wherever and whenever they find you, regardless of how they’re doing it. And the features don’t end with a click on the calendar.
When the patient does book an appointment, they’re able to use the NexHealth system to submit all the required paperwork, saving time for them and work for admins. In addition, in the era of COVID-19, when people want to limit their time in waiting rooms, giving patients the ability to move through quickly can make patients feel good about coming back for that follow-up visit.
Once the patient is seen out the door, NexHealth can send out an after-care survey to ensure their needs are being fully met.
And NexHealth also has a robust reminder tool that can send notifications to both the patient and the practice via various messaging platforms.
The biggest smile in Montana
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