Like many dentists in the dental industry, you may find yourself overwhelmed with operational and administrative tasks while trying to provide your patients with superior oral health care. Getting caught up is only half the battle, though. Staying ahead takes more than an organization; it needs automation of those same tasks that can fall behind.
One day-to-day responsibility that takes up a significant amount of your team's time is scheduling. If you haven't already invested in a full-service practice management platform or are just beginning to weigh the value an automated scheduling solution could bring your practice, below are the top 20 benefits you can expect with your investment.
You may have considered outsourcing your dental scheduling tasks to an outside company or thought about creating a dedicated position to cover it all. Both options will be considerably expensive, especially if you decide to hire additional staff. Then you have the added costs of onboarding, benefits, training, and more.
Dental scheduling software becomes your digital secretary, automating everything from appointment reminders to follow-up requests, all with a few button clicks by your team. This means your front desk can work more efficiently.
While a scheduling platform won't call and ask your patients how they are doing and if they remembered to floss, it does act as a bridge for communicating with them on your behalf. For instance, your staff probably just gets a name and call back number when patients call. With online appointment setting, patients will submit additional details, such as:
As a dentist, the overbooking and underbooking of appointments can ruin your productivity. If you're too busy, you don't have time to focus on patient care because you're in a hurry to meet your other booked visits that have arrived. When underbooked, productivity is hurt because empty chairs mean no business. Scheduling software allows dentists to even out their workflows to maximize the quality of care and team productivity. This not only helps you manage your work-life balance better but improves your revenue through better patient experiences. Many scheduling solutions can synchronize with your in-house booking application and automatically distribute your workload to your specifications.
Traditional scheduling methods require frequent phone calls and emails. Because your patients have busy lives, this approach to appointment reminders is ineffective. Instead, automated scheduling communicates through an avenue that patients rely on the most: SMS messaging. While one may not be able to answer a call coming in, texts are always convenient for pretty much any hectic lifestyle.
Even better? With software solutions provided by Adit, you create multiple automated reminders across several different mediums of communication, including email and pre-recorded voice calls.
If your staff currently relies on manually managing your appointment schedule, there have probably been mistakes made along the way, like double-booking patients for the same time. Perhaps you have multiple branch offices but only one dedicated hygienist who works on different days in each location. What happens when they are accidentally booked at one of these offices on a wrong day? You get a frustrated patient.
Dental scheduling software eliminates this issue. By creating custom appointment availability for each staff member, your and your patients will always know exactly what days are open for booking their favorite dental professional.
Wading through a zillion voicemails, emails, and text messages from patients can lead to last-minute cancellation notifications. When your patients need to reschedule, cancel, or set up a dental appointment, automated scheduling takes care of it instantly. Ease the process of appointment management by empowering your staff and patients with 24/7 access to your schedule.
With online scheduling software, your patients need only login and change, cancel, or create their appointments from their patient portal. Then, your staff will receive a notification immediately when updated.
Real-time scheduling software integrations have quickly risen in popularity to help fill empty appointments faster. While this isn't a standard feature for every automated solution yet, companies like Adit have taken this innovative step in their application services. When patients cancel a few hours or even the day before their planned visit, your dental staff may not be able to find someone to fill that spot. With real-time appointment calendars, patients visiting your site will immediately see these newly opened spots and book them. This approach works faster than your team calling back patients already scheduled to come in sooner.
Dental patients want the best possible care and the latest products and technology available for their oral healthcare. With an automated scheduler, you will demonstrate the modernity of your dental practice by taking an ordinarily tedious process and making it convenient by handling it online. Having the option to set up, cancel, or reschedule without making a phone call or sending an email is something many patients need because of their busy schedules.
Providing accessibility through text messaging and smart devices is an expectation your office needs to meet.
Any dental practice's biggest productivity and revenue killers are no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Many times, it's just a matter of providing a courteous reminder and/or confirmation of their upcoming appointment. But, doing so by phone means out of sight, out of mind. Where automated SMS texts from your scheduling software are always there for them to reference and respond to directly.
Communication is crucial to maximizing your patient retention and recall rates. Leveraging automation to help you meet this demand can streamline the entire process and leave your patients feeling more valued.
With all this talk of cancellations and rescheduling, what about follow-ups? Dental scheduling software is geared for every type of visit communication. So whether you need to remind fifty patients in January about their need for an annual exam or you have several denture wearers that are due to come back in for new fittings, this digital tool is your best friend. Not only will it remind patients to schedule a follow-up, but it can remind them why they need to do so!
From the type of care they will receive to simply just checking in to find out how their oral care regimen is going after their last visit. Scheduling software can handle it all.
If your front desk team handles all your rescheduling needs manually, they will be thrilled with scheduling software. Instead of individually reaching out to patients needing to rebook, scheduling software can send them a text or email with a link to your online schedule. From there, they can choose the time and date desired according to their availability.
Even better, it can do all of this automatically by sending messages to appointments noted as canceled or missed. Thus, improving your recall and retention rates.
Your patients are the backbone of your dental company; without them, you won't achieve sustainability. This makes their experience with your oral healthcare services a top priority, including appointment setting. When prospective and existing patients encounter challenges when scheduling a visit with a dental office, most will immediately seek out a different provider.
Avoid making it a hassle to book a date with your clinic and use online scheduling software to simplify the entire process. With online calendars and real-time availability updates, it's never been easier! Plus, the scheduler will automatically set up confirmations and reminders for your patient once booked.
Scheduling software seeks to centralize and automate most of your daily appointment management responsibilities. This is especially beneficial to you and your dental team because everyone is on the same page about patient visits, changes, cancellations and no-shows. In addition, your staff won't need to figure out who knows what about who because it is all in one easily accessible location and synched with your current calendar.
One benefit that doesn't get enough attention is how it benefits the work-life balance of your office. Using dental scheduling software means you can audit your time, streamline it and discover availability for life commitments that arise. In addition, having the ability to lengthen time away from the front desk on breaks or rescheduling office hours to accommodate patient demand and eliminating wasted productivity can ease stress in a typical workday.
Another helpful feature of scheduling software is sharing the location of your dental office in reminders. You could even include a link to a google map with directions where they need only input their own address to plan the route. Assisting patients with their commute to your practice can reduce the stress they might already be feeling about their visit in the first place.
Providing payment options as part of your scheduler messaging to patients is a massive advantage for your accounts team. With the advent of mobile web access, it makes sense that patients expect your office to provide online payment options. In addition, dental software integrations like Adit Pay help increase your chances of collecting payments and outstanding balances by giving your patients more convenient ways to pay for their treatments.
In any business industry, time is money, so if your front desk team is using the same amount of time for each appointment, you're hurting your revenue! Instead, rely on dental scheduling software to create treatment profiles that patients can choose when making their appointments. This profile will have a predetermined visit length for the type of procedure or oral care they are coming in to receive, which means less wasted time in the waiting room and more availability.
Through scheduling software, dentists can link patient records with their calendars. This includes important details like treatment plans, current prescriptions, and even previous referrals from other clinics. All of this can be reviewed by your staff when an appointment gets booked, saving time determining the care request and even evaluating if compliance is an issue.
For many dental offices, deciding to incorporate scheduling software is intimidating. You and your team are familiar with your current calendar format and look, and a newer option may be difficult to navigate. Fortunately, many developers understand this issue and make it possible to keep your online schedule exactly as you see it in your practice management software.
Busy dental practices that aren't leveraging state-of-the-art scheduling software probably have a few team members stressed with day-to-day operational demands. So between patient intake, reminders, scheduling, payment processing, phone calls, walk-in emergencies, and more, isn't it about time you streamlined their workflow?
Save time on the phone and email by creating a more efficient scheduling process with software designed specifically for these tasks. Your staff will be grateful for the reduced workload and be able to focus more of their attention on patients and marketing new products and services your dental clinic offers.
As a dental company owner, you must discover and leverage every opportunity and advantage you can to ensure your business thrives. Standing out from the competition requires more than effective advertising but solid patient experiences and outcomes. Using scheduling software to make your office more accessible is a must and quickly becoming a standard that prospective and current dental patients expect from their providers.
Reach out to Adit today and learn more about our online scheduling solutions that can boost your business and help it grow.
Josh has made a career working with large DSO organizations and leveraging his extensive sales experience to build partnerships with influential doctors and organizations within the dental industry. He travels the US as an expert guest speaker in medical seminars teaching doctors how to streamline their practices with the latest technology.