COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on dental practices this year. A recent study found that “COVID-19 has resulted in a steep decline in patient visits across all specialties, …[and] many patients are continuing to delay necessary care out of fear of contracting COVID-19.” 1
Providing safer, touchless interactions with patients is crucial to helping them feel safe. And you need patients to feel safe in your office so they will come in for care — and help maintain your cash flow.
Touchless check-in and check-out procedures help patients feel confident in the safety of your practice, with technology playing a big part in facilitating touchless processes. Here are five specific steps you can take–using your practice management software, billing statement and patient communication tools — to help create safe, efficient and touchless check-in and check-out procedures.
1. USE TWO-WAY TEXTING
Send two-way texts to your patients with any specific instructions for check-in, such as waiting in their cars until you message them to come in for their appointments. You’ll reduce the in-person communication needed to effectively guide them to their appointment.
2. PROVIDE A PATIENT PORTAL
With a patient portal, a patient can check in for an appointment, fill out forms and send a secure message from the comfort of their home. In addition to reducing wait time in your lobby, an online patient portal is a touchless payment method for patients — and benefits you with time savings because payments are automatically posted into each patient’s ledger.
3. USE YOUR WEBSITE
When your website allows patients to schedule appointments, fill out forms and make payments online through a secure patient portal, they appreciate both the convenience you offer and the ability to manage these tasks from the safety of their homes.
4. KEEP CREDIT CARDS ON FILE
Keeping credit cards on file enables your office to run a patient’s card automatically for a one-time touchless payment or for recurring charges on a payment plan. You can also offer NFC payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay for another touchless option that’s gaining in popularity.
5. EMAIL BILLING STATEMENTS
Send electronic billing statements directly to your patients’ inboxes and include a link for patients to pay their bills without leaving home. Beyond being convenient for patients, this helps reduce in-person payment interactions to make your office safer.
Your technology tools are the key to creating touchless check-in and check-out procedures that help keep staff and patients safe and provide the reassurance your patients need to return for treatment at your practice. Dentrix offers many robust tools to improve touchless procedures: Dentrix Pay, Dentrix QuickBill Email Statements, Dentrix Patient Engage and Dentrix Website enable touchless check-in and check-out with their payment and communication tools, a patient portal and more.