4 ways an integrated patient communication tool can make you more efficient

Office manager Kathy Abbett discusses the benefits of having the right patient communications system in place by focusing on four areas where efficiency will increase, giving you more time to provide care for your patients.

Our office, Morgester Dental, recently began using a practice marketing and patient communications software suite with a number of very helpful benefits that increase efficiency. The system, RevenueWell, integrates with our practice management software, Eaglesoft, in a much more seamless way than a similar service we used in the past.

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The four points below help illustrate the kind of efficiency that dental practices can experience with the right patient communications system:

1. Automated appointment reminders/confirmations
Our practice used to subscribe to a service that would email appointment reminders to patients. While this was of some help, the system didn’t alleviate much of the work on the back end. If a patient clicked to confirm an appointment, the result was emailed to us and we would still have to manually enter it into our software. If the patient wanted to cancel or reschedule, it required additional work for the office staff. Our current service makes appointment reminders and confirmations simpler by integrating efficiently with our practice management software. When a patient confirms his or her appointment, it is automatically confirmed in the software and schedule as well.

2. Patient access to appointments
We have all probably received many calls from patients asking, “Do I have an appointment scheduled?” With RevenueWellthe system we use, patients can request appointments online and see their past and future appointment activity. This is not only more convenient for our patients, but it reduces the number of calls coming in to the front desk and allows us to focus on other important tasks.

3. Online bill pay
This system also gives patients the ability to pay their bill online, which has been welcomed enthusiastically. Many times in the past when I would call patients about overdue bills, they would say, “Oh, I always think of it after hours!” Even when patients do call during the day, we try to avoid writing down their credit card number. We ask them to wait on the line while the charge processes through our machine. With encrypted online bill payments made possible through RevenueWellour patient communications suite, patients can pay when it’s convenient for them. We save time in the office and at the same time we don’t risk the security of credit card numbers.

4. Marketing campaigns
Whether your practice sends out birthday cards, holiday greetings, referral thank you notes, or broader marketing campaigns, a patient communications suite can simplify these tasks dramatically. Our system includes a library of prewritten email and direct marketing campaigns that we can edit and personalize, and then send with the click of a button.

It’s very valuable to be able to present a high-tech image to patients, and these tools help us achieve just that. What’s more, we estimate that this system can significantly reduce overhead costs for the practice. With integrated patient communications and practice management systems, simple tasks get taken care of so we can focus on providing great service and care to our patients.

Author bio
Kathy Abbett is the office manager for Morgester Dental, LLC. She has been in the dental profession since 1976. She started with the pegboard and file cabinets. She now works in a high-tech, paperless office. Kathy loves getting to know patients and is passionate about the changes and progress in dentistry. In her free time, she likes to scrapbook and ride with her husband on their Harley.

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