Director of DentiMax Practice Management Alicia Dieujuste writes about how you can make your practice more efficient by saving lots of time with the online kiosk feature.
Think about when you go to a dental practice for the first time. You must arrive from 15 to 20 minutes early to the appointment, walk in the door and be handed a clipboard full of paperwork that asks for your name, date of birth, address, and all your basic details 50 times by the time you are done.
Do you want to fill in all that information even though you have given the front desk a copy of your driver license and insurance card already? Does your hand cramp up half way through completing those forms?
You eventually finish and notice your appointment was supposed to begin eight minutes ago, but you weren’t ready yet. When you hand off your forms, the staff must type all that information into the computer before you make it past the front desk.
You get seated late, the dentist is in a rush to get your exam done because she/he’s on limited time now, and you feel hurried through the whole exam without a chance to ask questions or be educated.
When your appointment is over, the front office may or may not have had time to verify your insurance benefits, so your correct treatment estimate will require a phone call to you later.
Rewind now and think about being asked to show up early for your dental appointment and being handed a tablet or being seated at a computer where you must only enter your name and date of birth once.
You click through each page and fill in only what is relevant to you with easy radio buttons to select from. You don’t have to fumble with a clip board full of pages and consents or write your name 50 times!
The staff can just import the data into the practice management software once it’s completed, which means they don’t have to try and read chicken scratch to translate it, all while wasting precious time.
You get seen much closer to on time and have more time with the dentist to ask questions and be educated on what your needs are.
However, when your appointment is over, the front office may or may not have had time to verify your insurance benefits, so once again, your correct treatment estimate may require a phone call to you later.
Now reset your brain and think about making a new patient appointment with a dental office and being sent a text with a link to do your paperwork online from your smart phone, or an email with a link to a website for patient registration ahead of time. You click the link, go to the registration website, and start entering your information –only once.
When you are finished, you hit submit, and you’re done! No early appointment arrival necessary. When you get to the office for the appointment, they already have all your information in their system and they greet you –now you can actually take advantage of the coffee and cookies sitting out!
You are seen promptly for your appointment because they didn’t have to wait for your paperwork to get entered. The office verified your insurance ahead of time, since you did your registration online, and they already know what your insurance does and doesn’t cover, so you get your treatment estimate before you leave and you can book your next appointment aware of the cost. Talk about streamlined!
Of these three scenarios, which do you think conveys the right message to your patients about your practice? Do you want your staff to look prepared and efficient? Do you want to have a chance to verify insurance before the patient walks in the door to make sure you’re able to give them all their financial options? Do you want to wait for patients’ paperwork to be done before you are able to begin their treatment?
Your options here are as follows:
Good (well, sort of): Keep handing out the stacks of papers on the clipboard.
Better: Get the in-office patient kiosk software to integrate into your practice management system.
Best: Get the online kiosk to integrate with your practice management system and let your patients do their registration from the comfort of their… wherever –car, bus, home, school, while ordering food, etc.
The bottom line is that being prepared for each patient sends the right message to your patients about your practice. You care about their time. You care about their comfort. You care to be informed about their benefits. You care to be on time for them and expect them to give you no more time than you need to do the work for them.
People expect convenience and time saving efforts these days. You are sending patients the wrong message about your office if you don’t have tools in place to do so.
Give us a call and we will be happy to consult with you on what tools can make you and your staff more efficient, but more importantly, what tools your patients will appreciate using as well.