How to Leverage Online Bookings to Grow Your Practice

Dental4Windows online bookings service, eAppointments with the Patient Discovery network, has opened dental practices up to 1.6 million potential new patients.  Now with the addition of HealthEngine integration with eAppointments, new patient acquisition is set grow.

In July, dental practices who have activated Patient Discovery as part of their eAppointments service have seen a 250% increase in new patient online bookings compared to January of this year.

With over 1,000 dental practices using HealthEngine and thousands of patients booking their dental appointments on the platform each week, leading to an additional opportunity for practices to grow their business and maintain their existing patient book.

Here are some pro tips from Silke Goette, joint owner of Jindalee Family Dental practice, on making online bookings work for you.

How does it all work?

Patients needing a dental appointment can search for their preferred practice, a practice near them or for certain appointment times.  Patient Discovery partners and HealthEngine networks allow easy viewing of available appointments slots and times, which patients can easily book online with a click of their mouse.

Patients love having the option of a 24/7 booking convenience, which correlates nicely with practice growth

Silke says that when she joined, she knew patients would be busy during the day and would prefer to book their appointments online, and after hours at a time that suited them.

Using the D4W Integration

With the integration, practices can publish their available appointments straight to partner booking directories without any manual handling.

Practices control what times are available for publishing online through D4W and they are then made available online through all partner directories through eAppointments.

Silke says the best way to use online bookings depends on how you manage your books. “On Thursdays I only want to be open for certain procedures so I don’t publish appointments for that day. I manage the flow of my check ups and scale and cleans to the afternoon, keeping the more involved dental work to the mornings when my dentist is freshest.”

Integrating D4W with HealthEngine is a one on one call with an Implementation Manager. They’ll take you through setting up your profile, your appointment types and any other questions you have. Once you’re comfortable with the system, you can run with the processes that best suit your practice.

Pro tips

It’s no surprise practices that do well with online bookings are the ones consistently publishing all their booking availability.

Silke says the negative stigma around publishing too many appointments doesn’t exist from a patient’s point of view – they want to book when it best suits them. She stated this strategy is proving very effective as her practice is usually booked out a month in advance, just leaving openings for emergencies.

You’ll have access to our Customer Success team who will be on hand to suggest ways to optimise your profile for more bookings or review your performance reports and identify opportunities for you.

Silke likes to review her practice performance reports each month, including their spend and booking data to help calculate ROI and optimise the patient experience.

Our final pro tip is consistency. Committing to HealthEngine as a marketing channel and publishing regularly will help you achieve your goals. On average, dental practices on our platform receive 6 new patients per month.

Find out more

To find out more or to book a free demo, visit the HealthEngine for Practices website here.

How to Maximise Your Online Presence & Attract New Patients to your Practice Webinar

Join special guest hosts  Jake Howard and Renee Newton from HealthEngine, on 20 October for the How to Maximise Your Online Presence and Attract New Patients to Your Practice Webinar.

We’ll run you through the key steps to take your digital marketing to the next level. You’ll get access to key patient insights from the HealthEngine network – where millions of patients visit every month to book their healthcare appointments. Plus we’ll also run you through how the HealthEngine integration with Dental4Windows works.

Register Now

Dental4Web – Q&A with Dr Frank Papadopoulos

Dental4Windows is taking its biggest software leap in 27 years with the
release of Dental4Web. Dr Frank Papadopoulos answers our questions on
the web-based software and what it means for its users.

Dentistry appears to be headed in the same direction as a lot of other industries and developing web-based products – in your opinion why do you think that has been happening?

Dentistry has historically taken a longer time to adopt software in business. Most of the dental profession in the 1990’s was like cottage industry, small independent businesses of 1 or 2 dentists with a few thousand patients. So, “computerising” dentistry was a slow process and relatively expensive. The initial software adoption phase took place in the mid to late 1990’s and at that point, the public Internet and the Web was at its infancy.

Software was installed locally on the desktop’s early generation of PCs, mostly on the Windows OS platform.

Fast forward to 2020, and dentistry as a profession and business has evolved, as has the internet, computer hardware, and software capabilities.

As computerisation in dentistry showed its business value, it became almost a standard tool to help run a dental business. However, this comes at a cost of time and money. With the advancements today, Web based software offer advantages.

a. No more software updating headaches – businesses spend a ridiculous amount of time on necessary updates. That’s expensive.
b. More power, less money – Users want more automation, power and capabilities, this means more computing power, this necessitates local computer hardware to be replaced every 3-4 yrs. That’s expensive. With Web based software, the user works in an Internet Browser, and the computing power comes from a remote server, which cuts down on local hardware requirements.
c. Internet Flexibility – No need to be chained at work to do work. Work from anywhere there is internet.
d. Data Backup taken care of – A shocking number of business don’t do daily data backups and if they do, do not regularly verify that these backups can be restored in an emergency. Web systems usually take care of data backup.
e. Operating System (OS) Independent – Web based systems can generally operate on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux and Android, PCs or Tablets even. Not all features will be available 100% on every OS, and digital imaging hardware can be an issue as most have drivers only for Windows OS.
f. Faster development cycles – Generally web based coding languages like HTML, Javascript etc are easier to code for.
g. Improved security – Over 50% of businesses with computers neglect to run updates to their local PC OS, and these updates contain many security patches.

What difference will current users of Dental4Windows Desktop and Mediasuite Desktop see with the release of Dental4Web and Mediasuite Web?

Starting up dental4web will be via an internet browser like Firefox or Chrome etc. Once you log in, then you will see a fresh look and feel that will pleasantly surprise you.

You will quickly work out, that the layout, screens, workflows and behaviours are almost identical to each other. There is almost no re-training necessary!

What’s involved is migrating to a web-based practice management platform? Is there much downtime or impact upon a practice? 

It’s a straightforward process that we have refined over the last 4 years. There is preparation, internet speed/reliability evaluation, basics training and planning phases, our team will work with the customer step by step.

Once everyone is clear and comfortable, a GO LIVE date is set, and typically overnight, existing data is copied securely from the local PCs, to the cloud, in the Web Application, ready for use next morning.

As a fallback, the local PC data is still there, and one can revert. Very safe overall.

Are web-based products a good fit for all dental practices? Are there any implications for those that don’t adopt this new technology?

Success depends on a key factor, the internet quality and speed.

In dentistry today we are doing more digital photos, 2D and 3D x-ray imaging, Intraoral Scanning and in the quest for being “paper free”, there are many paper documents that are getting scanned in. All these digital items have a certain size and getting them stored in the “cloud” swiftly, is dependent on the business internet quality. Internet quality is the main hurdle.

So, web-based may not be for every clinic in every location in Australia, and that’s why we go to lengths to evaluate the clinic suitability for web-based software. We want the clinic to have a good experience.

Another matter is a personal preference of the dental clinic owner regarding their data and where it is. Some people do not like to distance themselves from their data and want to be in complete control and responsibility.

As for those that don’t adopt this new technology, I don’t see any issues for some years to come. It’s not a MUST have today. We will continue to develop and support our proven and reliable D4W Desktop and Mediasuite desktop for those that want and need it.

Are web-based products having any impact upon the patient experience?

Web-based products are opening the world of direct interactions between clinic and patients. Take for instance eAppointments (patient DIY online booking system) and eForms (patient DIY online forms). With D4W, these services were created some years ago and are web-based communicating with the D4W system, wherever it is, via the internet. Such systems will become more feature rich and give the patient more options to do self-service and to communicate with the clinic, improving the patient experience.

Find out more about Dental4Web – Click Here