May 12, 2020

What’s good for the patient is often good for the practice. This post presents the experience of a hypothetical patient enjoying the benefits of online booking—just one of many great features included with Dentrix Ascend.

I love smartphones. I use mine to talk or text with family and friends. With my smartphone, I order pizza and find my way around an unfamiliar city. I use it to find out how late the hardware store stays open. And like your patients, I use my phone to find a dentist, visit their website, look at reviews, and find out how to schedule an appointment.

Often, I want to schedule an appointment late in the evening when I’m brushing my teeth and thinking about my dental care. In fact, I schedule most of my appointments late in the evening when I finally have time to think about what I’m going to do this week. All other things being equal, I prefer to schedule appointments with the practice that lets me book online using my trusty smartphone. What does it look like from this side of the phone? Let me walk you through it.

How to:

In this example, I selected Cottonwood Dental and clicked on the Book Now! link on their website. Immediately, I see a standard cookies message, which I acknowledge by tapping Got it!

The page is simple and easy to navigate. The first thing I need to tell the practice is whether I am a new or an existing patient.

The next action is to select my reason for wanting an appointment. I don’t have to think about how to word it; a dropdown menu lets me choose. I just tap the description1.

Next, I choose a provider2. If I were an established patient, I might have a favorite doctor or hygienist that I really like. As a new patient, one of the reasons I’ve chosen this practice is because I was impressed with the reviews of Dr. McDermott. So, I tap his picture.

Now, I choose an appointment time3. I like to minimize the impact to my workday, so I’m thrilled to see that this doctor has extended hours. I tap on a day and time that are convenient for me, and then I tap Next.

As with anything I do online, there are terms and conditions to accept before I can book the appointment. I tap the acknowledgement. Success! Now to enter my personal information. It’s pretty standard contact information4. I like how the green checkmarks guide my progress.

At the bottom of the form is a Verify button. After I tap it, a few seconds later, my phone receives a text message with a code number. I enter the 4-digit code to verify my information and then see a confirmation that my appointment is scheduled. I even get an invitation to add it to my calendar. I love this dentist!

Why make a patient wait a minute longer than necessary when they’re ready to book an appointment? A convenient and easy scheduling process can be just the beginning of an excellent patient experience.

End Notes

1. You define the reasons presented to the patient.
2. You choose which providers can be booked online.
3. Dentrix Ascend gives you complete control over the times and operatories available for online booking.
4. Patient name and birth date are the minimum required data to create a new patient record in Dentrix Ascend. The app also collects the mobile number and email address, so you can reach out to the patient with automated reminders and reduce no-shows.

Additional Information

  • Appointments booked online automatically appear in the Dentrix Ascend Calendar.
  • See a question mark on your schedule? Watch Validating Appointments Booked Online in the Dentrix Ascend Scheduling Essentials course for workflow instruction.
  • You can get a report of appointments booked online on the Appointments Booked Online page (which can be accessed from the Schedule menu).
  • To learn how to configure online booking at your location, see Online booking overview and workflow.