For any dentist, bookings are business. Without easy access to your services, your patients will go elsewhere to get their needs met. In today’s world easy access means online and automated - without the need to try and get through on a busy phone line and scribble times and dates on a piece of paper, hoping that they have remembered them properly.
There are a range of online products and services available for appointment bookings, offering different levels of functionality, cost and integration - so here at Aerona we have put together a few useful pointers as to what you should be looking for from your online appointment management solution in this short and useful guide.
Online offers a lot more than just access of course, but access is still key. You need a solution that allows your patients to check appointment availability, and then book and confirm, easily and seamlessly from your website or social channels. An embedded link on your site to a booking tool that then delivers your patient directly back to you and allows them to access other services and information from your domain is essential.
Trust lies at the heart of any clinical relationship and your patients must have confidence that your online appointment booking system is safe and secure for them to use. Your users will be placing confidential patient and financial information under your care and you are ultimately responsible in their eyes for its security. The online booking solution that you use must conform to the highest data security standards, promote safe online behaviours, and deliver clear peace of mind to both you and your patients.
This is the key factor to be aware of when looking at online appointment booking software. You will need a system that has full access to your diaries & calendars across your practice, your patient database, your treatment options and your financial management. It is a huge challenge for an external or third-party piece of software to deliver this securely and accurately.
The safest & most effective solutions are natively developed as an integrated element of your wider practice management solution, not an add on that relies on externally accessing this data. The best quality practice management solutions offer fully integrated online appointment booking as a key feature, and these are the solutions that you should be looking for.
Ease of use
It should go without saying that your online booking system has to be easy, unobtrusive and intuitive for both you and your patients to use. A system that requires multiple logins, additional approvals at your end to confirm an appointment, or won't allow a deposit to be paid on an appointment booking is not going to deliver for anyone.
Your appointment booking system should just be another part of your practice management system - ensuring that your team are happy and comfortable setting it up and using it, and that your patients love using it. It has to be better than your existing telephone bookings system, or it will not be driving your business forward.
Online appointment booking is a simple and necessary feature for your practice to offer. With some good basic knowledge you can really equip your practice to take a small but significant step down the path to full digital transformation. A solution should not be expensive and should be as straightforward to implement as our guide suggests. Bookings really are business, and online is a powerful tool to grow your business and develop rich & profitable patient relationships. For further advice on this, and all other elements of digital transformation please contact Aerona’s Success Team.