Your patients want to book appointments online, it’s that simple.
To give a bit of context about the modern-day patient, let’s briefly discuss how technology has currently shaped our shopping culture.
According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans now have a smartphone, and roughly 74% own a desktop or laptop computer. Think about it this way, as of 2019, there are roughly 329 million people in the United States and a lot of them run very busy lives, to the point where there is now an expectation to being able to solve simple tasks online.
The keyword being “online.” Keep in mind that in order for real-time online booking to reach its maximum efficiency for your patients, your practice needs a modern website, social presence, and traffic . After all, your “book appointment” button will be on the homepage where everyone can see it. While implementing SEO best practices, your sleek website will gain the search traffic needed for patients to find you and schedule an appointment.
The why factor
We’re currently living in a digital age. Instant gratification and on-demand service have become the norm when it comes to your patient’s needs. Similar to how we purchase clothes online or how we order Chinese takeout. We want it fast and easy. When decisions are made in real-time with no delay, the process automatically runs smoother on both ends.
Since many of your patients run busy lives, it’s difficult for them to take the time out of their day to make a phone call and schedule an appointment, only to be on hold due to lack of staff. Most people do not enjoy talking over the phone and prefer using their technology devices to communicate. This is why you want to fit in their schedule so that they can fit in yours. Patients get frustrated when necessary actions take too long and look for the next best solution, which is typically another doctor.
Online forms are another method many practices are utilizing, but in reality, it only works so well. The flaw with forms is that there is a delay in the time it takes for patients to fill out, let alone waiting for your staff to receive the proper information, only to call back to confirm the appointment. This is a waste of time for both the patient and the practice because the “instant-gratification” factor is not fulfilled, going back-and-forth a minimum of three times. When in reality, your patient could have scheduled instantly through your practice’s availability and move on with their day.
What to expect when using real-time online booking
When a patient can schedule an appointment on their terms, you have a recipe for success in more ways than one. For starters, you gain a competitive edge. Nearing the end of 2019, roughly 64% of patients will book appointments digitally.
Benefits from real-time online booking:
- Patient trust
- No language barrier
- Competitive edge
- Increase in booked appointments
- Decrease in missed appointments
- Reduction in errors
- Positive reviews
- Increase in patient satisfaction
- Data-driven reports
77% of patients said that it is important for them to be able to book, change, or cancel appointments online with their healthcare provider. When a patient wants to book an appointment, they are more than likely to book it on the day or the next, helping fill empty gaps in your dental calendar.
As a practice, there is a very clear need to accommodate the growing number of patients that prefer using technology than traditional means to schedule an appointment. When appointments are unfulfilled, that means loss of revenue for your practice. Over time, that revenue adds up to be a pretty penny.
The bottom line
To avoid revenue loss and increase the number of booked appointments online, practices have been taking advantage of patient experience management platforms like NexHealth. By integrating with their current system, practices are utilizing the latest NexHealth technology and giving themselves the upper hand in the competitive marketplace.
Your patients want the best experience and as a practice, you should be able to provide it.