How much revenue have you lost because of missed calls or no-shows? Missing potential new patient phone calls or having high patient no-shows can ruin any practice. Medical practices have reported losing as much as 1 million dollars in revenue because of no-shows. For this reason, improved patient management and scheduling and appointment bookings, as well as appointment reminders are the lifeline for many dental practices.
What if you could increase revenue and lower costs with one service? Dentists are turning to dental scheduling services to do exactly that. But with so many options, how do you choose the best company for your dental appointment scheduling?
Dentist appointments are easier to handle when you have access to dental scheduling software and a team that knows how to make the most of it. And to get access to both trained administrative staff that can handle dental appointment scheduling tasks and dentist appointment software, you need to hire a team that provides appointment scheduling services. In our case, a dental answering service specializing in managing calls for dental practices.
Scheduling and appointment setting for dental clinics is part of their suite of services. However, it is important to know that not all services are the same and some do not deliver the quality of service you, your private practice, and your patients deserve. For example, medical clinics, including dental practices, must comply with HIPAA laws. Thus, dental answering services must follow the same laws as they are interacting with patient information.
When looking at a company that provides appointment scheduling software and answering services for dental offices, confirm they are HIPAA compliant. Before hiring a service, do your homework by talking to references, asking questions, and doing research online for reviews and any bad press. Your patient satisfaction starts with their appointment requests!
There are two main forms of billing you can choose from. The first type of payment is by call. You will be billed each time a live agent answers your call. A flat rate for each call will be given to you based on your call volume. The more calls you get, the better rate you can receive. The main drawback to this model is that many services that provide appointment schedulers will charge you even if the call does not connect or it is a wrong number. Imagine having 10 people call in a day with the wrong number!
The other model, which most businesses prefer, is to pay for live agent talk time. Instead of paying per call, you only pay for the time an agent is on the phone with your potential patient. When choosing this model, be sure to verify that the service will not round the talk time to the nearest quarter, half, or full minute. You should only pay for the time you use.
Very few companies work to optimize call time. At Unicom Teleservices, we are constantly looking to improve call time for our customers. This is done by analyzing your processes, constantly training our office staff on your account, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
There is a vast number of appointment platforms available to support dental care clinics. Many answering services that provide dental scheduling software solutions would want you to switch to their preferred platform as it makes things easier for them. But anyone who knows a thing or two about switching a technology platform in an organization will tell you how arduous of a task it can be. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important to find a company that can use your technology. All that is needed is a user login with the appropriate permissions to manage your patient appointment and appointment scheduling processes.
There are a variety of factors to consider when determining your level of service, including call volume and length, schedule, and processes.
Knowing your call volume and length is not always easy to do. If you have used a previous service, review your statements to obtain the necessary information. If hiring a dental scheduling service for the first time, there are several things you can do to get an estimate of volume and call time. The following questions will help you get a better idea:
A quality dental answering service will work with you for the first 60 to 90 days to determine your call volume and length if needed. This is important because it protects you from being overbilled or paying a rate that doesn’t match your practice’s needs.
Running a practice is not an easy task. You need to be able to count on your dental answering service to schedule appointments when it matters most to you. No matter if you need call filtering, overflow call management, after-hours support, or 24-hour support, a top dental scheduling service will provide you with the flexibility to have your calls managed whenever you like. You shouldn’t be stuck in a contract that limits when your calls can be managed.
It is recommended you plan your processes from the beginning. At a minimum, have the broad strokes in place so you can clearly communicate your practice’s needs. Work with the dental scheduling service from the beginning to discover and implement the appropriate processes and features. You should also be given the flexibility to modify your processes and communication based on your practice’s needs. An efficient process today doesn’t mean it will be efficient tomorrow.
If you’re you require a top dental scheduling service, consider Unicom Teleservices to be your provider. We have been supporting the medical industry for over 20 years. Most of our medical customers are referrals from doctors, practices, and medical centers. Our success stems from the ability to customize solutions to meet each customer’s needs.
Request a free quote with no obligations today. Learn how Unicom Teleservices can lower costs and increase revenue for your dental practice.
Post Update: The article was updated on July 15th, 2023, originally published on April 18th, 2017. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.