20% Increase in Patient Visits with Doctible's Online Scheduling
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for contactless patient visits. Dave Womble, chief marketing officer at Operation Dental, has implemented Doctible’s Patient Communication Platform to address this concern.
Operation Dental is an eight-location Dental Service Organization (DSO) based in Winter Park, Florida. Their approach is to improve operational efficiency via a care-driven patient philosophy and evidence-based best practices.
People, they have the time to really give that front-facing patient care. That is so important in the practice, right? If they're mired in all the other things, it's hard to do all things effectively.
Dave Womble, Chief Marketing Office
Dave believes that dental practices will not survive if they do not adopt a “continuous change approach.” He called Doctible “a reliable, future-proof solution.”
Operation Dental needed a technical partner that introduced new features and functionalities frequently to ensure their practices are always ahead in the game. Doctible’s culture of innovation and technological advancement made them Operation Dental’s perfect partner.
You’re supporting your existing customers, with great support. But, You also listen to what the people on the frontlines are seeing!
There are always new additions coming out. There are things that you’re tweaking, trying to make it a better experience… That’s worth its weight in gold. That’s why I will always remain loyal.., you’re always improving.
The Strategy: Things are Changing
Traditionally, dentists believe patient acquisition is possible only during office hours, this means that most dental practices limit their patient acquisition efforts to that time.
They do not run ads and marketing campaigns after office hours, they don’t support after-hours patient-initiated engagement either. In reality, however, 60% of Operation Dental’s patient contacts come after office hours, indicating that client acquisition after-hours are more essential and may return better results.
Operation Dental capitalized on this insight by creating ways for people to find and interact with them any time of the day. They started with Doctible’s Reputation Management and Online Scheduling, which helped them build a strong online presence and acquire more patients, most of whom prefer self-reservations.
This is early last year's numbers, only about 20 percent of dentists even saw the importance of having online scheduling. Here’s where it gets fun. Traditionally speaking, dentists believe that we advertise during business hours. Yet, sixty percent of our contacts through these systems are coming after hours.
Now, patients can book an appointment online and visit Operation Dental’s practices without worrying about COVID-19.
The introduction of Doctible to Operation Dental’s practices meant introducing two new patient-centric features - self-reservations and contactless intake forms. Previously, patients had to make a call or wait until the next day to book appointments with other practices, but with Operation Dental, they could book appointments at their convenience, thanks to Doctible’s Online Scheduling. The introduction of Doctible to Operation Dental’s practices meant introducing two new patient-centric features - self-reservations and contactless intake forms. Previously, patients had to make a call or wait until the next day to book appointments with other practices, but with Operation Dental, they could book appointments at their convenience, thanks to Doctible’s Online Scheduling.
When patients visit one of Operation Dental’s practices, they are asked to fill out the intake form through the website instead of using risky paper-based forms. This helps them keep both patients and staff safe.
We’re finding now that almost no one wants to do paper-based forms, and you really can’t blame them.
From our perspective, it keeps them safe, it keeps our staff safe, but it also speeds up our staff’s ability to get you in the system because now it’s digital. We don’t have to interpret handwriting.
Annual savings of over 1000 hours for the front desk staff
Using the Contactless Intake Forms and the Patient Communicator has resulted in increased staff productivity. Most patients prefer filling out the form at their convenience prior to the appointment, and front desk staff save 2-3 hours a week not having to organize, scan, or keyboard forms or “interpret” poor handwriting.
Usually, it takes roughly 15 minutes to fill out the hard-copy version of the intake form. Whenever patients did not arrive early to fill out the form, it made Operation Dental’s schedules run behind. Their practices save 5-7 hours per week on the schedule after implementing Contactless Intake Forms.
The DSO also included a link to the medical information update form in all of their text messages. Now, most patients update their medical information prior to the appointment, saving over 1000 hours annually for the DSO across its eight practices.
Before Doctible, dental staff had to call each patient to remind them of appointments, but now, the Patient Communicator manages the majority of communications. There is no long list of calls to make. Typically this saves practices 1-3 hours a day. It’s the text-first approach that leaves staff able to focus more on patient experience, essential tasks, and those patients who need more attention.
20% hike in new patient visits, a new channel for patient acquisition
The focus on building a strong online presence and increasing engagements has resulted in more patients discovering Operation Dental’s practices. Now, they get 20% more patients than before and have a new channel consistently bringing in new patients - Online Scheduling. In fact, 10-20% of their new patient contacts come through Online Scheduling.
About Operation Dental
Based in Orlando, Florida, Operation Dental is an eight-location Dental Service Organization that began as a support network for exceptional dental professionals. With marketing, consulting, and partnership services, Operation Dental provides essential resources that support dental professionals in reaching their goals and providing the best possible services to patient populations.
Operation Dental is committed to improving dental practices so dentists can improve patient outcomes, providing support services that help dental partners explore entrepreneurship, growing existing practices, and avoiding takeovers by corporate dental chains.