Patient retention climbs with move to EXACT
The Marsden Park Dental Centre team found their patient retention improved significantly when they switched to Henry Schein One’s EXACT Dental Practice Management software in mid-2017. Practice Manager Sarah Boyle says their practice is pre-booking more patients since the switch from a paper-based system, which is also having a positive effect on business revenues. “I can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things,” she says.
Sarah also highlights the automated reminders and recalls that EXACT provides as part of the core system. “We don’t have to worry about reminders and recalls anymore,” she says, “it’s all done for us. It’s taken a big workload off us – in the past we would have phoned patients or sent letters.” She says the practice would allocate a day or two a month to process manual recalls and follow up on patients who had been missed, which is no longer the case.
She also enjoys the way the reminders are not just once-off – patients are sent notices well ahead of their appointment and then again as the time gets nearer. “The advance notifications prompt patients to call us well ahead of time and reschedule to one that suits them better if the appointment time no longer suits,” she explains.
She says this has had a positive impact on Marsden Dental’s Failure to Attend (FTA) rate and chair-time utilisation.
Practice efficiency has also benefited from using EXACT. Sarah says they are saving on average around 10 minutes per patient with the notes function and templates pre-loaded into the system. “In the past, our dentist would spend about 10 minutes writing up notes, but he does those right after the consultation now, using EXACT’s templates.
“By using the templates, he knows that unless anything different is done, he can just send the consultation details straight through to the front desk and follow up with an instant message to say ‘ready for the next patient’. This has really helped improve patient flow,” she adds. “We can now fit two patients in the time it used to take us to see one, which has helped us leverage our time really well.”
Sarah says their practice is also benefitting from the digital capture of patient details. Instead of the old space-intensive paper-based filing system, patients now just write up their details and they are scanned and digitally stored into EXACT, ready for retrieval. She adds that the clinical tracking of sterilisation has also become more efficient. “We love that we can put our tracking straight into the system,” she says. “It also saves us money as we’re not using as many tracking stickers.”
The switch to EXACT from their paper-based system took about two weeks. Although it was a bit overwhelming at first to have the many options EXACT offers at their disposal, Sarah says the support from the [Henry Schein One] team was “amazing”. “If they couldn’t help over the phone then they would log in remotely and guide us from there. It made us feel a lot more comfortable knowing they were right there – it was a lifesaver and a comfort blanket.”
“It only took us about two weeks to start utilising it properly and it’s now working fully to our advantage. We often find ourselves saying ‘how did we even do that before EXACT’?”
She adds that she’s worked in previous practices where the dental software solutions weren’t being utilised to even 50 percent of their capacity. “I feel like we’re getting a lot more out of EXACT because of the help and support,” she says.
Sarah says she and the team also appreciate the broad functionality that EXACT offers. “There are so many things we are used to now, but which at the beginning were so exciting for us,” she adds. “We like the weekly view, being able to instant message through EXACT and the icons that appear when patients arrive for appointments. These are just some of the little things which make a big difference.”
“I would definitely recommend EXACT,” says Sarah. “Everything is on the computer in a single system and you can easily flick to what you need to see. I love the communication features, which makes us feel like a family. We can keep notes for each patient and follow up, for example, ‘You went on a holiday, how was it?’ It’s a lot more personal – we love it.”