Your dermatology practice is in demand. Are you taking advantage of this growing need for quality care?
There are 5,391 dermatology practices and about 19,000 dermatologists in the United States. While that’s a huge increase from 50 years ago, when there were just 4,004 dermatology professionals to choose from, it’s still not enough to meet the needs of our current population. It’s only 3.4 dermatologists for every 100,000 people in the country.
If you don’t have patients lining up to get an appointment at your dermatology practice, you’re not tapping into a vast base of individuals who need this type of expert care. If you want to fill your schedule and bring in some of the revenue that’s out there for the taking, read on to learn how your practice can benefit from online scheduling.
Why do I need online scheduling?
All the way back to 2017, long before a global pandemic was ever a thought in anyone’s mind, studies indicated that online booking was “an emerging trend in scheduling physician appointments.” Research also notes that four years ago, 83 percent of all consumers were already familiar with online scheduling through their experiences booking travel arrangements and dinner reservations. But, healthcare providers lagged behind this digital trend.
If your team is still answering the phone to book appointments with the dermatologist, consider how you’re missing out on filling your schedule:
- Online scheduling is the most efficient way to book appointments.
Your staff spends an average of eight minutes per phone call helping new and existing patients find an appointment time that works with their schedule. If just 20 patients call the office each day, that’s nearly three hours of time your team members spend on the phone instead of giving their attention to patients who are already in the office. Think of all the other things they could accomplish with an extra three hours each day!
- Online scheduling appeals to the largest population of patients.
In case you haven’t heard, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as America’s largest population. Why does that matter? Because Millennials use their phones for everything, which means they also want to use their phones to book dermatology appointments. They don’t like to wait for anything. They don’t like to talk on the phone. And, there’s a high probability that if they can’t book an appointment online at your office, they’ll just find another practice where they can.
Beyond Millennials, nearly 80 percent of patients of all ages think the ability to request, change, and cancel appointments online is important when selecting a provider. If you don’t meet this desire, you’ll probably never get to show new patients how great your dermatology practice is, or how essential it is to their overall health, because they’ll never give you the chance.
- Online scheduling makes your office stand out.
Based on the fact that the majority of new and existing patients want the option of scheduling online, giving them what they want lets you stand apart from other dermatology offices in your area who don’t yet offer these conveniences. It also helps you appear as the most forward-thinking, tech-savvy practice on the block.
- Online scheduling improves patient experience.
Patient experience starts before a patient ever sets foot in your office. When they find booking an appointment a breeze, they already have a good feeling about their upcoming visit. And, since your team is spending less time on the phones, they can devote their attention to patients in the office, building relationships, educating them about services, and generally providing a welcoming atmosphere. Hint: these patients will tell their friends and family about you and even more patients will book.
- Online scheduling boosts practice revenue.
This is obvious, right? The easier it is to get an appointment, the more patients will book, the fuller your schedule will be, and the more revenue you’ll have coming in. It’s really that simple. You can read about a practice who scheduled 30 appointments in the first hour of implementing SR Schedule, Solutionreach’s online scheduling software! That same practice booked 60 exams in just two days!
- Online scheduling fills gaps in your schedule faster than you can imagine.
(See Number 5.) If you don’t have every spot in your schedule full each day, you can make those appointments available online. This lets prospective patients looking for a dermatologist and existing patients with a more urgent need, book an appointment instantly. This keeps your schedule full and often provides the option of same-day scheduling for patients. (Imagine how happy all the Millennials who don’t like waiting will be!)
One last thing: If you’re concerned about losing control of your schedule once you make it available online, have no fear. With SR Schedule, you have control over which appointment times are available and how long different types of appointments take. You can let patients request appointments online and confirm those requests, so you still have control. And, peace of mind as you watch your practice grow.
Want to learn more about setting up online scheduling and increasing revenue at your dermatology practice?