Boosting Efficiency and Meeting Patients’ Needs
How a Thriving Pediatric Dental Practice Used Everseat to Overcome Problems Caused by Cancellations
Cancellations and unfilled seats
Dr. Blumenthal & Associates, a long-established pediatric dental practice with a high volume of patients, faced what many other practices face: a cascade of problems resulting from patient cancellations and no-shows. When patients called the bustling practice to cancel — or worse yet, just didn’t show up — the team of dentists, hygienists, and support staff had no effective way to fill the seats. Consequently, the team viewed cancellations as a top frustration, both for the loss of revenue that ensued and for the long line of parents in need of an appointment for their child.
“We spent way too much time trying to fill last-minute appointments with phone calls,” explains Lisa Black, the practice administrator at Dr. Blumenthal & Associates. “It was incredibly time-consuming — sometimes taking hours — and ineffective because the seats often went unfilled anyway.”
Meeting the demand of working families
In addition to last-minute cancellations, the practice struggled to meet another demand. Families with dual-working parents, often with multiple children, needed appointments within a tight and narrow timeframe. Juggling incredibly hectic schedules, these families lacked the flexibility to go during the work day, or if they could, it was only on a particular day at a particular time. Dr. Blumenthal & Associates needed a fast solution if they wanted to keep this growing group of patients, and decided to try Everseat.
Everseat’s mobile platform enables practices to post open appointments that both patients and the general public can sign up for with a smartphone or other mobile device. With Everseat’s platform in place, Dr. Blumenthal & Associates can post and fill seats without having to make labor-intensive phone calls. How does it work?
Each time the dental practice receives a cancellation, support staff enter the appointment in Everseat’s app — a process that takes less than two minutes. Meanwhile, parents and caregivers in need of an appointment for their child can activate the app’s “Need It” function, which allows them to receive real-time notifications each time a slot opens. They can then book an appointment through the app, without having to pick up a phone. Parents can also share details of the appointment with another family member, friend, or child care provider — in only a few clicks.
For Dr. Blumenthal & Associates, Everseat enables the practice to save time (previously spent on phone calls) every week. Staff members consider the platform ideal and appreciate how easily it’s become routine:
“It’s a perfect fit for our practice because it’s consistent and not in the least bit complicated: our entire front desk can easily push appointments, and our patients have the ability to grab them,” Black explains. “Everyone is on board and likes using it.”
By spending less time on the phone, Blumenthal’s front desk staff can pay more attention to the patients in front of them, and not have families stand and wait for phone calls to end. Staff can also process paperwork more quickly, which enables the team to avoid delays caused by a backlog of entering patients in the system and updating information.
Better service, happier clientele
When parents call the practice to schedule an appointment on short notice, Blumenthal’s team can offer an actual solution, instead of turning them away or scheduling something months down the road or at an inconvenient time. “Everseat makes our phone conversations with parents so much smoother and easier,” Black says. “By referring parents to the app, we no longer have to say ‘Sorry, no openings.’ We can help families get in when they have the availability and need — and that makes a huge difference.”
Busy parents no longer waste time calling the practice repeatedly, and with the push notification of Everseat, they don’t have to check the app constantly — they just wait for alerts to pop up when an appointment gets posted.
Fewer unfilled seats, growth in revenue
Dr. Blumenthal & Associates’ success rate in filling open appointments has soared with the use of Everseat. On March 4, 2015, for instance, the practice posted a seat at 4:17 p.m., and only 91 seconds later, at 4:19 p.m., a patient booked the seat. “It’s not uncommon for seats to move that quickly on Everseat,” Black says.
Within the first year of using the platform, the practice has booked more than 25 appointments — amounting to a roughly 600 percent return on investment. “Everseat is an innovative, affordable solution with a large payoff,” shares Stuart Blumenthal, founder of the practice and a dentist in the Baltimore area for more than 30 years. “It’s convenient and easy for my staff to use, and has led to a smoother workflow, higher patient satisfaction, and an even more successful year for the practice.”
ABOUT DR. BLUMENTHAL & ASSOCIATES
Located in Lutherville, Maryland, Dr. Blumenthal & Associates is a pediatric dental practice that specializes in infants, children, young adults, and patients with special needs. Visit the practice online at hoppyteeth.com.