While I was at ThriveLive talking with a friend about my upcoming presentation, I shared some of the statistical data that I was about to give to my audience about why it is important to integrate eServices into your workflow. His comment was “Numbers don’t care about your feelings.” Wow, that was powerful!
I want to use that statement as the foundation of my next few articles and podcasts. My last couple of articles have been about your continuing care system and planning for upcoming summer months and team vacations. Your continuing care system is the lifeblood of your practice, and you need to start taking better care of it.
One of the statistics I threw out to my audience during my presentation at ThriveLive is, according to a Healthgrades study, more than 60% of patients book appointments after hours. So, let me ask you a question . . . If this statistic is true, why are only 17% of dental practices offering online booking after hours?
Your patients want to book appointments using online tools. In fact, in the same Healthgrades study, more than 80% of patients surveyed would choose a provider with the same qualifications, location proximity, and availability would choose the provider who offers online scheduling.
I get it, you are a control freak when it comes to your schedule. I was the same way when I was in a practice, however, I have learned to change my mindset to adapt to the evolving behavior of my patients. If I was in a dental practice now, I would adopt all the conveniences for my patients and all the efficiency processes for my team. These two go hand in hand when it comes to how patients schedule their next visit.
I am not saying you have to give up control of your Dentrix appointment book. In fact, you will still have full control of how your appointment book is set up. The only difference is that your patients will have the ability to book an appointment instead of just asking for an appointment request. My recommendation is that you offer new patient appointments and recare visits online and leave the restorative and doctor visits to the experts on your team.
During my course at ThriveLive, I had a woman make a comment and explain to me why she would never be implementing online scheduling. She said, “There are patients who have not been in for a long time, and they might need more time. I don’t want patients to schedule a one-hour appointment when we need a hour and a half.” My reply was, “I am not going to put a system in place for the minority of situations. I want to create a process that will apply to the majority of my patients. Also, if a patient books for an hour visit and they need more time, then do what you can in an hour and then schedule them back for a second visit.”
Please don’t get caught up in analyzing it so much. Give your patients what they are asking for and give your team a more efficient workflow. It’s really that simple.