In a 2014 Software of Excellence survey, 47% of all dental appointments made using an online booking system occurred outside business hours, demonstrating that where the facility exists, almost half of patients prefer to book their dental appointments out of practice hours.
This is compelling evidence of the need for dental practices to embrace the technology that enables out-of-hours appointment booking. For this, practices require a practice management system like EXACT, which has a versatile online booking system which can be integrated with other automated functions to make it possible for patients to book totally independently.
An entirely automated appointment booking process
EXACT V12 can be set up to run a fully automated booking process, sending recall notices via text or email to patients who then follow a link on their phone, tablet or computer straight to an online booking facility. They can then choose their preferred appointment time (from a selection determined by the practice) and once booked, the system sends a confirmation message. This is a convenient and entirely automated process which frees up reception staff from the time-consuming process of manually sending out recalls and booking every appointment.
A front desk team in control
A common fear with automation is that it reduces the control a practice has over their appointment book. However, EXACT still enables practice managers to select the appointments that are visible and available for online booking by specific dates or times of the day.
Many dental practices experience a sudden flurry of phone calls after a manual recall send-out session as patients tend to respond at the same time, resulting in frustration both for patients who are kept waiting in the phone system and for front desk staff who are unable to deal with the sheer volume of calls. With an automated system, recalls are sent as they fall due and many of them are managed via the online booking system with no input required from practice staff.
Give your patients what they want – 24/7 online booking
By adding an online booking function to your practice management system, you can make your patients’ lives easier and your team’s workload lighter, resulting in satisfied patients, happy staff and a healthy appointment book.