Delivering an experience that your patients demand, has become more complex with the added safety measures needed for social distancing for the prevention of the transmission of COVID-19 to protect both patients and staff.
Patients still expect a smooth focused journey from start to finish, and the pressure is on to ensure dental practitioners have the right tools to deliver this safe and seamless experience to retain patient loyalty and prevent the risk of cancellation or unfinished treatment plans.
Many practices have seen the benefit of online medical history, patient self-check-in and payment links and how these features have transformed the way patients attend a practice setting but as lockdown eases, how can other tools assist this process to keep your appointment book full?
There is no question that dental practices have had to adapt to huge changes in the last year, and many are seeing the benefits of Dentally’s agile cloud-enabled practice management software. As the world adapts again and restrictions change and ease, our solution will continue to tailor and enhance the experience patients receive based on their needs.
This article examines three patient-centric tools from Dentally that can save your team valuable time and help you meet changing patients demands to deliver an effortless patient journey now and in the future, giving you flexibility in the way you deliver care:
- Online appointment booking
- Patient Portal
- iPad app
The benefits of these products have proved invaluable to dental practitioners using Dentally’s cloud-enabled practice management dental software and they continue to do so for all patients whatever their age and background - whether you operate a private, NHS or mixed dental practice.
Patient demand is likely to be greater than ever in the coming months, as the vaccine rollout accelerates and people become more confident in seeking dental care following lockdown and shielding. New NHS targets will also come in from 1st April, and so practices will need to look at ways to increase their capacity safely.
It is essential to take a moment to review your patient’s journey through your practice now and how you might adapt it in the future to cater for all needs. Questions should be asked such as...how does my patient journey work now? Could it work differently? Do I provide the same effortless experience for all patients? Do I help my patients understand the process clearly, and offer a service that is meeting their demands? How can I increase capacity but retain safety protocols?
Online appointment booking
Online appointment booking will continue to be a useful tool and can be configured to your practice settings based on practitioners and opening hours. We know that patients wish to book their appointments at a time to suit them - often during the evening after work or at weekends as they take care of their ‘personal life admin’ rather in the surgery’s opening hours.
Online appointment booking from Dentally allows patients to view, book, reschedule, manage and cancel their appointments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Importantly it also works with automatic recalls within Dentally and the correspondence can be easily sent with a link for the patient to make their appointment booking. As you look to deal with the increased demand for dental care, and you fill and optimise your appointment books - providing a simple way for patients to book is essential.
Dentally’s Patient Portal allows you to manage the patient’s journey with your dental practice, starting before they arrive at the practice and helping to develop and importantly retain strong loyal patient relationships. Patients can manage their admin with you in their own time and it is not dependent on your opening hours - our figures show that 47% of all practice forms on the Patient Portal are completed outside of usual surgery hours and very often during the weekend.
It can be fully customised with your own branding and can be reached by a link sent by email or SMS or by easily adding a login section to your website. It provides patients with a completely contactless experience as they can easily and securely log in to manage their medical history, review and sign treatment plans and consent forms, update contact details, complete their FP17 PR forms and pay outstanding balances.
Empowering patients to manage their admin before they arrive on-site, also reduces the time spent with non-clinical staff and reduces waiting times either outside the building or in a socially distanced waiting area. It helps the practice team to optimise the number of patients your practitioners can see, and maintain good chair utilisation.
Although we have seen a huge uplift in the adoption and use of different technology to stay connected and entertained during the pandemic, we appreciate you may still have patients that may not be comfortable or don’t have a device that will allow them to check online or fill a medical history form out - especially those that may not have a support network to assist them.
The Dentally iPad app allows patients to continue to have a safe experience, as when the patient arrives at the practice for their examination or treatment your practice team can be on hand to help and guide the patient to complete their admin using the iPad app.
Patients can also simply and securely complete their NHS forms, sign treatment and consent forms and all the information is instantly updated in Dentally on the relevant patient’s file without the need for manual input, saving your reception staff time.
The iPad app can also be used in surgery to talk to patients about upcoming complex treatments or new treatment plans, gaining their consent and signature. It ensures that the patient has a good understanding as to what to expect and to get their immediate sign-off.
It also reduces the risk of cross-infection through paperwork and pens, and each time the iPad app is used - the reception team can use anti-bacterial wipes to clean the iPad over ready for the next patient.
At Dentally we appreciate that you need tools that will support you in delivering care safely to patients with varying needs and demands. As we begin to return to a sense of normality, now more than ever dental practitioners need practice management software that can save time, optimise dental practice processes and provide a seamless patient journey - plus; importantly offer a flexible approach so you can continue to adapt and grow your business.
If you would like to learn more about how Dentally’s cloud-enabled practice management software can work for your dental practice to deliver an effortless patient experience then talk to our team today: firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are already using Dentally but would like to know how these tools can complement your existing workflow then please do get in touch with our Support team.
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