In today’s ever-increasing technological age, the process used to undertake many everyday tasks has changed dramatically. Booking appointments with your dentist (and many other health professionals) is just one example of these many tasks.
Traditionally, scheduling an appointment requires calling your local dentist practice and arranging a time with someone over the phone. However, online appointment booking is the way of the future. Online scheduling systems are a convenient and contemporary solution, not only for dentists and their reception staff, but also for you as the patient.
Online booking systems are web-based applications that allow you to conveniently and securely book your appointments. Appointments can be made through any connected device, typically through a ‘book now’ button found on the practices’ website home page. Once a date and time are selected, the system can automatically confirm the booking and record it. This process removes the middle-man, requiring no staff to complete the transaction.
A recent study conducted by the Australian Government (The Authoritative Information and Statistics to Promote Better Health and Wellbeing) indicated the vast number of people who annually visit the dentist.
In 2013, 79% of children aged between five and 14 had visited a dentist in the preceding year, and a whopping 91% of kids had been for a dental check-up within two years. Similarly, for adults aged between 25 and 44, 75% had paid a visit to the dentist in the last two years.
Three years later, these numbers have continued to increase—there is a significant proportion of the population that flood dentist waiting rooms around the country. While there are many benefits to increasing patient loads, it can also create challenges for dentists, their facilities and their administrative staff. Previously adequate processes and procedures may not be equipped to handle the rapidly increasingly amount of new patients. This is where new, technologically advanced processes can improve upon the existing, traditional methods.
In a world where you can bank online, shop online and even date online – doesn’t it make sense to book your appointments online?
Customers and practices alike can benefit from this advance in technology, for a number of various reasons.
An online booking system allows patients to book their appointments out of office hours. If you find yourself with a blinding toothache at 11pm, traditional measures won’t allow you book an appointment until business hours the next morning. Not only does this inconvenience stretch to out of office hours, but also if you work in a job that doesn’t allow personal phone calls to be made. The 24-hour online booking system allows a discreetness and convenience that just cannot be rivalled by the traditional phone system.
Speed and Efficiency
When going to any dentistry practice for the first time, everyone knows the protocols of a waiting room. You take a seat and fill out a medical history form, followed by a pre-treatment questionnaire of sorts. With an online booking system, these menial forms can be filled out before you even leave your home. When you are scheduling your appointment, you can quickly type in the need-to-know information. This increases patient turnover time for the practice (which means there will be more appointments available for you), while saving you time in the waiting room.
In addition to scheduling, online booking systems also come equipped with other beneficial features. Automated email and text message services can be enabled to ensuring you will never miss an appointment. Alerts can be sent to you individually prior to your scheduled appointment, giving you vital information that may have been forgotten through a traditional phone conversation. Not only that, you can receive timely reminders when your 6-monthly dental check-up is required.
Improved Customer Service
How many times have you been waiting at the reception desk in your dental surgery, only to be asked to wait while the receptionist takes a phone call? With an online booking system in place, the volume of phone calls reduces dramatically. This means that dental surgery staff can spend more time talking to you—the patient in the waiting room—and less time fielding phone calls.
Through online booking systems, the appointment-making process becomes completely automated for a patient. No longer will you have to wait on the phone, put on hold by a busy receptionist with a million other things to do. You can make your appointment on whenever you like, and even choose the best possible time for your appointment.
dhealth Dentistry is excited to announce that it has just launched its very own online booking system. This can be accessed via our Book A Dental Appointment Online page. Rest assured though, our friendly team is always available via phone, should you have any questions or concerns that an online form cannot hope to answer.