Maximising chair-time utilisation is the key driver of business success for any dental practice. The more time you have booked to treat patients, the higher your revenue and the healthier your profits. The efficient use of chair-time can increase revenue by 10% and profits by as much as 30%.
The biggest enemies of optimal chair-time are Failure-To-Attends (FTAs), short notice cancellations and unbooked chair-time. So it makes sense to use industry-leading dental practice management software and technology where possible to eliminate these from your business.
This is an approach that Dr Selina Leow and Dr Darren Calleia have taken to heart in their practice, Stanhope Dental Centre, situated 41km North West of Sydney in Kellyville Ridge, NSW. The husband and wife team have been using the EXACT dental practice management software for a combined total of 33 years and say it’s an integral part of their business success. “The fact that we’ve been using EXACT for so long speaks volumes for our confidence in the system,” says Selina.
They find the Automated Recall Manager with SMS reminders particularly valuable for their busy practice. “This feature is fantastic,” says Selina. “It’s great that the EXACT system takes care of recalls automatically. It not only sends out reminder text messages, but also filters replies so the system automatically updates appointments with confirmation notices.”
“There has been a big reduction in the time our team has to spend on the phone ringing clients to remind them about appointments. With the automated recall feature, there may be only one or two clients that haven’t confirmed the day before. We used to have to ring every patient, so this is a huge time saving and means less wasted chair time.”
Selina explains that this frees up staff to spend more time helping patients, dealing with phone enquiries or processing payments at the front desk. “We often had to use a second staff member to help call clients, when they were finished in the surgery. EXACT now takes care of the mundane tasks, so that the second person can concentrate on essential work, such as the clinical aspects of their role. Stress levels are also a lot lower,” she adds.
Darren adds that the FTA rate has also dropped with the use of EXACT’s Automated Recalls. “As part of the reminder process, we let our patients know there is a failure to attend fee if they don’t turn up without letting us know. As a result, we have a very low percentage of patients failing to attend.”
Darren and Selina estimate their FTA rate is up to 70% lower since implementing EXACT’s Automated Recall Manager with SMS feature. They add that patients are grateful for the reminders. “They say, ‘If it wasn’t for the text I wouldn’t have remembered’,” says Selina. “We have certainly received positive feedback about this feature.” Their practice also makes use of EXACT’s Short Notice Cancellation List, to rebook last minute cancellations and keep the appointment book full.
They are very happy with the training and support that the Software of Excellence team provides. “One of our staff members received complimentary recall automation training recently,” says Selina. “And we’re busy arranging a time for training on the marketing module of the EXACT system too.”
“Support is great,” says Darren. “We haven’t had to call too often, as we can generally resolve most issues by the support team accessing our system remotely. So any issues get sorted quickly and easily. The team is very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.”
Their practice is currently using the latest software release of EXACT – V12. Darren says the updates are regular and easily downloaded on the Customer Portal. He adds: “SOE shows genuine interest in our feedback as a customer and tries to incorporate that into future updates. This is particularly true of Dean Alderman who is one of the leads in software development.
“He and the team are always looking for ways to improve our day-to-day experience with the system. It makes a big difference to have face-to-face contact with the team, aside from any feedback we might send via email, or on the phone.”
Darren says his main focus is on maximising chair-time and anything that can improve this performance measure. The EXACT system drives results through its features and ease of use. “We have easy access to full patient records. It has fantastic integration with the radiographic software and the ability to access Specialist reports and any other related documents. Everything comes together very, very well within EXACT.
“The prescription capabilities of the system are excellent too,” he adds. “It allows very easy prescription issuing and the ability to capture this in the patient records. That’s something that we love.“