Dentists, like many businesses, have experienced hard times in the last few years with the COVID pandemic. The complete closure of dentists offices in early 2020 resulted in not only lost revenue, but loss of staff and patients. Some dentists experienced significant financial hardship. Even after reopening, dentists have been unable to build back up to pre-pandemic patient levels as social distancing, hygiene requirements and staff shortages have meant that fewer patients can be seen in the office over a business day. Dentists are ready for solutions that will help increase their productivity, grow their client base and deliver profits at a healthy ROI.
One solution that dentists are increasingly turning to is teledentistry. The teledentistry market is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 17% from 2020 to 2027, a projected $2.6 billion market worldwide. Like telemedicine, teledentistry provides the dentist and patient a way to continue care during the ongoing pandemic when physical office visits are less available and risker. And with the transition to teleservices like these, both doctors and patients are finding that virtual care is effective, convenient and cost-effective.
Remote Patient Care Saves Time and Money
Virtual appointments are easy. The patient has booked an appointment and checks in on the teledental app. On Goodcheckup, that is fast and easy. The dentist then starts the session. No reception desk, no physical waiting room, no waiting for an exam room to open up. Because they don’t involve bringing a patient into the office, teledental appointments tend to have higher profit margins and their low cost delivers a healthy ROI. Let’s take a look at ways that teledental services lower costs and increase revenues for a dental practice.
Since virtual consultations generally last from 15-30 minutes, with no reception and waiting time needed, more appointments can be scheduled. Some of these patients would have come in, taking up the time and space that can now be allocated to a more lucrative hands-on procedure, or to a new patient. Virtual appointments can also fill gaps in the schedule, including when staff shortages or cleaning time mean that rooms are not available for patient visits. With an easy to use virtual appointment calendar on the app, GoodCheckup®, it’s simple to set up blocks of time available for virtual appointments.
Lower PPE and Other Costs of Office Appointments
Teledental apps like GoodCheckup® allow dentists and patients to interact safely at a distance. Without the need to set up and clean an exam room at the practice, the cost of delivering a teledental consultation is minimized. With fewer office appointments, the dentist saves on the cost of PPE and cleaning supplies. Staff may assist with virtual check in, but are not generally needed for other tasks, saving the payroll costs that an office visit incurs.
Staffing is a key factor in a successful practice. With fewer patients in the office, you and your staff will be less subject to illnesses brought in by patients, resulting in fewer sick days. With more time between appointments, your staff will be less stressed, helping reduce turnover and improving overall performance.
Reduce Emergency Care Disruptions
With virtual care available, dentists see fewer disruptions to daily schedules at the office by patients with emergency dental issues. Desk staff can ask the patient to schedule an online appointment with the dentist who can make a first assessment of the situation. This way, the dentist can determine the best plan of action, provide medication and schedule appropriate follow up if necessary. Teledentistry can help improve patient emergency care and outcomes, and reduce the chaos and extra costs such situations can cause in day-to-day operations.
New Dental Services Opportunities
With teledentistry, your vistas open to new dental services that time and space limitations at the practice would not have allowed in the past. Add second opinions, case consultations, or training and education customized for your patients. Help patients make decisions on cosmetic dentistry solutions and other treatment options. The time put into these consulting sessions will pay off with additional profitable procedures and create more satisfied customers who recommend you to their friends and family.
Low Cost of Adoption
The GoodCheckup® app is available to dentists and patients free of charge. It is easy and quick to set up and activate. It’s up to the dentist how they promote their teledental services to patients, but basic marketing costs can be very low. Letting current patients know about it and marketing it on the dentist’s website and in the lobby are the basic ways to get the word out and get started. App fees on GoodCheckup® are low. The dentist pays a nominal fee for each session which includes communication and records storage.
Return on Investment
At such a low cost, adding teledental appointments to the calendar is an easy way to increase revenues, hold costs down, improve patient care and satisfaction, and provide the practice with new pathways to growth.
You may calculate your own ROI using the formula
Net Profit – Cost
—————————— x 100 = % Return on Investment (ROI)
Net profit is your net income on the virtual transactions, the fee you charge less the cost you incur for a typical appointment (dentist, overhead, etc.), except you can now exclude the costs of setting up and cleaning the exam room, PPE, dental assistant time, reception and so on.
Cost is the amount you pay for the new service. The great news with GoodCheckup® is tat there is no cost to acquire the app, the download is free. The per transaction cost for dentists is a low $4.99 per session. For interested dentists, a premium prescription version will be available soon with added features, such as prescription writing. It’s easy to see the ROI advantage of low cost teledental appointments that save you money by eliminating the extra costs of an office visit.
Offering a teledental option to your patients will also make it possible to complete more appointments during the work day. With no time needed between patients for set up and cleaning, more appointments can be completed in a given timeframe.
Additional revenues may also be generated with growth from new services, new patients from second opinion consultations, extra procedures offered once clients are educated on the benefits, new patients who appreciate the availability of teledental appointments and so on. Teledental is great for kids, seniors and the disabled, as well as busy working people and anyone looking to save time and skip the trip to the dentist office.
Unlike some other apps, there is no integration with your office systems needed with GoodCheckup®, so there’s no investment in set up activities. No training is needed, and there are no monthly fees. With no cost to set up and low transaction fees per session, there’s little risk to giving the GoodCheckup® app a try. Download the GoodCheckup® app for Dentists here and see for yourself..