How Virtual Consultations Can Help When You’re Booked Out
We get it. Dental teams have a lot on their plates every single day. While being booked is a blessing, it can cause chaos if managed poorly. Virtual consultations help both doctors and patients give and access quality healthcare when appointments are booked solid. Additionally, virtual consultations free up valuable chair time so that dentists can directly work with more patients.
Continue reading for six ways that SmileSnap virtual consultations can support dentists and patients when there are fewer in-person appointments available:
1. Get Patients Started Instantly
Time and space in the dentist’s office are more precious than ever. Without SmileSnap technology, patients are generally encouraged to:
- Visit the dentist’s office 15-30 minutes before their appointment to fill out paperwork
- Participate in consultation, cleanings, and treatments (the average length of a dental appointment is about 50 minutes)
Some current social distancing laws reduce the number of patients allowed in a medical office at one time. As a result, basic procedures and new rules can be hard to juggle for both patients and dentists without proper time management tools.
Virtual consultations allow patients to start on their new patient journey instantly. Patients upload their health histories, selfies of their teeth, and other documents directly to the app before their in-office appointments. Virtual consultations dramatically cut down on in-office time, so the dentist and the patient can budget their time mainly on the parts of treatment that can’t be accomplished virtually.
2. Less Likely to Shop Around
Patients who complete the groundwork at one dental office are less likely to look for options at a different dental office. Right after a patient goes through the simple steps of a SmileSnap virtual consultation, they’ll be able to schedule the next available appointment that fits both of your schedules.
As part of a medical outcomes study, 30% of patients were less likely to leave the care of their doctor if they had a “participatory decision-making style.” Finding common ground and giving patients multiple, flexible options for engagement (such as both in-person and virtual consultations) encourages and facilitates return visits.
3. Build Rapport
According to an article published by the Oxford Academic, adults who expressed a general lack of trust and confidence in their dentist were more likely to experience poor oral health and avoid the dentist altogether. This study reinforces the importance of the dental patient experience to increase wellness in the population. Patients value positive, sincere relationships with medical providers.
Often, being overbooked and feeling overwhelmed causes patients to perceive their dentist as rushed, short, or condescending. Being overbooked can negatively impact dentist-patient relationships before dental professionals realize it. Establishing a positive emotional bond with patients always involves patience, time, and respect.
By recording personal video greetings and two-way patient messaging, dentists have the opportunity to build relationships with patients sooner and with more ease than if they scheduled an in-office consultation. SmileSnap virtual consultations can give dentists more treasured chair time to create genuine, long-lasting connections with patients.
4. Accessibility and Convenience
Despite being the most visited medical professional, a dentist shortage sweeps the nation. There are less than 62 dentists for every 100,000 people on average in the United States, according to the American Dental Association. This ratio varies from state to state. Additionally, dentists are typically even less accessible in rural areas than urban areas. Fewer available dentists mean fewer available appointments. Virtual consultations are more than a convenient option in areas of low access: they are actual access.
Virtual consultations empower patients with the convenience of allowing them to get started from their own homes and communities. Telehealth companies, like SmileSnap, bring virtual health to rural communities and patients that have difficulty accessing the physical clinic. Virtual consultations allow patients to connect with providers to receive excellent, personalized patient care from a distance.
Life happens after hours. Most patients work or go to school during typical weekday office hours, which means time away is selective, precise, and often limited. Doctors and patients who use SmileSnap can communicate 24/7 through two-way patient-doctor messaging. Doctors can also facilitate live video visits that are HIPAA compliant. Virtual consultations are quick, easy, and efficient, which meet the demands of modern life.
5. Receive Patient Information On Time
The sheer quantity and complexity of paperwork patients face before dental appointments can seem overwhelming to many people. Patients who may already experience difficulty arriving on time must also fill out forms and provide essential paperwork before they are allowed in the dentist’s chair. SmileSnap dramatically increases the confidence and time management of patients and providers.
If patients are unorganized or short on time, these preliminary steps can feel daunting. Patients can provide information (including insurance information, identification, payment method, and the list goes on and on) that they need to get started and pictures about the current state of their teeth before even walking through the door through SmileSnap.
Additionally, parents with demanding schedules can fill out forms and provide information for multiple children ahead of time instead of in the waiting room. Prolonged time in the waiting room can breed restless children and distract parents from filling out paperwork. Giving patients and caretakers the freedom to fill out forms independently in a comfortable environment and on their own time provides flexibility for the patient.
6. Time Management and Patient Satisfaction
Being a dental service provider is a busy job. Managing a business, treating and educating patients, and other time-consuming workplace responsibilities fall in the hands of the dentist.
SmileSnap technology allows dentists to manage their time effectively. Previewing photos of patients’ teeth, health history, and other necessary information before meeting in person prepares medical staff for the new patient’s arrival. Preparing in advance with virtual consultations reduces in-office time because dentists don’t have to discuss every detail at the appointment. Patients and providers can ask critical questions beforehand.
Your time management and preparation directly benefit the patient. The patient should have less time to waste in the office and more time to receive treatments by preparing in advance. Time spent wisely means happier patients and more return visits.
Let SmileSnap Help Manage Your Time
Time is precious, especially when you’re booked to the brim with new appointments. Allow SmileSnap technology to consolidate some of your daily tasks and consultations so that you can spend more time and energy elsewhere.
Our evidence-based dental software helps dentists:
- Capture 2-3x more website leads
- Maximize case-acceptance rates to over 80%
- Enhance websites by adding a fully customizable widget to match your brand
- Introduce themselves with a personalized video
- Review and respond to patients on a personal level, anytime and anywhere
- Respond to patients with video clips and messaging
- Seamlessly facilitate live video visits
- Respond with efficiency through a customizable library of message and email templates
- Give patients access to a HIPAA compliant service for patients to submit their information before entering the office
- Raise confidence in both patients and dentists by preparing with information
- Support multiple offices by creating a uniform, unlimited messaging system
- Access and respond to notifications directly from their iPhone or Android Phone App
SmileSnap can help your responsibilities feel less overwhelming. Contact our team today by calling 1-720-738-8080 or schedule a quick demo.