According to the American Dental Association, one of the general leading factors to why adults avoid the dentist office is because of cost, fear of the dentist, and the inability to find a location and time. To go in a little deeper, roughly 59% of adults forgo dental care due to cost, about 22% say that they are afraid of the dentist, and about 19% mentioned that they have trouble finding a location or time that fits into their schedule.
These statistics can teach you a lot about how your current or future patients think before arriving at your practice. Patient experience is one of the leading factors to a successful dental practice, period. Although there are a lot of other factors that overlap, positive patient experience is a must-have for any dentist to become successful and grow. After all, due to the rise of disposable income and lower unemployment rates, patients are now paying more out-of-pocket than in recent years. Unfortunately, when patients have to pay out-of-pocket, their attitudes change as well. So, how can we turn our patients frowns, upside down?
There are two main factors to implement when attempting to create a happy culture among your patients. The first is customer service.
Customer service in 2019 is bigger than ever and it’s not going to stop. Stemming from our previous statistic on how people can be fearful of a dentist, this creates a natural hesitation among your patients when it’s time to come in. Aside from the amazing performance of your work, patients need to feel welcomed. It all starts with your staff. When your patient walks through the door, their first experience is with your receptionist. Make the time to work with your staff and implement a few best-practices when dealing with patients. It might take a little time out of your day, but these small changes will go a long way.
Set up a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with your staff to go over situations that can promote a positive culture. As a dentist, you want a “wow” factor with your patients. You want them to feel safe and happy when arriving at your practice, not the other way around.
UTILIZING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY
In this day and age, technology is rapidly evolving and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. Thanks to technology, healthcare patients are now paying online, with paperless billing, for example. If your practice is currently using a legacy system, it may be time for a change.
A few questions to consider before utilizing the latest technology:
- How are my patients booking their appointments?
- How are my patients currently paying?
- How am I managing my patient’s medical records?
- How am I able to retain my patients?
- Can I attain data-driven reports?
- How am I currently communicating with my patients?
- Is my practice receiving positive reviews?
In the past, practices would have one dedicated piece of technology for one specific job. This approach is super costly and doesn’t really give the patient a positive experience. After all, they are the ones paying the bill. So how can we make it easier for ourselves and our patients? With a centralized patient experience management platform such as NexHealth! By utilizing a dedicated platform such as NexHealth, you are able to provide a plethora of options that make both lives easier and your overall patient experience to be positive.
With a dedicated platform like NexHealth, you are able to provide paperless billing, allowing your patients to pay whenever and wherever they are, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Dental technology is a huge win for practices because roughly 88% of dentists are concerned about the patient's ability to pay. Thanks to the latest technology, this worry is alleviated. Patients should be able to book an online appointment with ease, and if they struggle, then you are more than likely to lose out on that current or new patient. Booking an appointment should be in real-time, with no delays. Since the majority of people within the United States carry a smartphone and have an email address, it only makes sense to provide digital reminders and to allow two-way messaging between your office and the patient as well.
The more communication and interaction between the patient and practice, the happier the patient and overall success of the practice. By utilizing an all-in-one patient experience management platform like NexHealth, your practice will have full transparency with patient engagement, like friendly reminders so that your patients can always be up-to-date. Data-driven reports are also accessible so your practice can make better decisions for the future. On top of everything, your practice is gaining a competitive advantage against other practices that are behind with "the times."
If you want to succeed and scale your practice, you need to set up a foundation with technology and strengthen your patient’s overall experience. When your patients are happy, they will refer their friends, they will talk about you, and they will write positive reviews about your practice. These are amazing benefits of simply implementing a patient experience management platform. NexHealth is the only platform that helps dentists acquire, retain, and delight their patients for long-lasting relationships. You will see an increase in revenue, a decrease in customer dissatisfaction, and secure the foundation for a successful practice for years to come.
If you would like to raise your practice’s revenue, increase patient engagement, and overall experience, schedule a 1-on-1 demo with NexHealth today!