The new patient journey

Modernising the patient journey

With technological growth comes the potential for an enhanced patient experience. Let’s embrace it.

It’s the 21st Century. Not only do most people own a smartphone, but they expect to access everything they need with it – including dental care.

Most of us do everything online nowadays. For many customers, using the internet to book appointments and fill in forms enables them to organise their busy schedules easily and efficiently.

Recent survey results show that 60% of patients chose one practice over another based on their strong online presence, while 45% of those surveyed explicitly preferred to book appointments online.

What does this mean for dental practices? Offering an online patient journey not only improves your patients’ experience, but it allows you to stand out from the rest.

In dentistry, your patients are looking for a positive, seamless digital experience

As a dental practice, your ultimate goal is to encourage better oral health care and achieve positive treatment outcomes.

But, the steps that come before and after your patient has their treatment are just as important for the overall patient journey and treatment outcomes.

Recognising this, and investing in these online interactions either side of treatment, is guaranteed to improve your patient’s experience – so they are more willing and able to attend those crucial check-ups.

A step-by-step patient journey

  • Book online. In this day and age, all practices should have the option to book online. As technology empowers patients, so too should dental practices expand their accessibility to allow for 24/7 online bookings. This is a vital step of the digital patient journey, as your patients no longer have to work within your opening hours to secure valuable appointments.
  • Receive forms pre-appointment. Making forms available online provides your patients with a more accessible and accurate way to send information, but it also maximises the efficiency for your administration team.
  • Scannable check-in pass. More dental practices are improving their patient’s experience by introducing an automated check-in process. Patients are given codes when they book, which they scan upon arrival to minimise waiting room queues.
  • In-practice forms. If your patient forgets to fill in a form, give them the option to complete this on their device while awaiting treatment. This is an effortless alternative to re-printing or hunting for lost forms – and presents a more professional image.
  • Post-treatment satisfaction. Your aim as a dental practice to maximise positive treatment outcomes. By embracing the online patient journey to provide the best treatment experience, your patient is more willing and able to attend regular check-ups.

Positive dental practice management means always looking forward

A seamless online experience is where dentistry is going. Embracing change is going to:

  1. Meet patient expectations and create an effortless journey. In the end, it comes back to this idea that patients are consumers too. Your patients book everything online; from travel to hair cuts to restaurant reservations. Your practice should deliver this, too. Offering a seamless online experience can improve health outcomes in the long-run, because by simplifying the booking process you’re maximising your patient’s ability to book an appointment.
  2. Improve efficiency and accuracy within your practice. Deciphering paper forms and locating patient files takes up valuable time that could be spent providing excellent customer service. An online patient experience minimises the frustration of locating and storing paper forms and files.Offering online bookings and digital forms empowers your staff with more accuracy and more time for meaningful interactions with patients. This will further enhance the experience at your practice.

Want to learn more about the patient journey? Talk to our team

Last Updated on 7 January 2021

Set your dental practice up for success