Many dental offices were already in the midst of transitioning to a paperless office before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Paperless patient registration has always been a great way to save time for your practice and save trees for the planet. But now, paperless registration has critical added benefits: It can keep your office safer from COVID-19 and offer your patients greater peace of mind when they visit for an appointment.
Make paperless registration part of your Virtual Waiting Room
The coronavirus pandemic has upended normal life and many patients are looking for new dentists as a result of these changes. Young adults who’ve moved back with their parents might need a dentist closer to home. Employees who have lost their jobs and their dental insurance may need a new dentist they can afford. Working parents may want a dental practice that offers the flexible hours needed to fit their chaotic home-schooling schedules.
New patients are precious, with a lifetime value that’s been estimated as high as $36,000. Data from the ADA shows that new patients tend to wait longer than existing patients to be seen. Do you really want that to be a patient’s first impression?
If your website includes registration forms for new patients to print and fill out before their appointment, you undoubtedly know the shortcomings of this approach. Patients forget to complete the forms or, if they complete them, they may leave the forms at home instead of bringing them in.
It doesn’t have to be that way when you use Lighthouse 360’s Patient FastTrack feature as part of your Virtual Waiting Room experience. Patient FastTrack enables paperless patient registration by letting patients register directly on their smartphones.
When your staff schedules a new patient for an appointment, you can immediately send them a friendly reminder to complete the registration process on their phones. If they forget to do this before the appointment, no problem: Patients can complete the registration process, and even sign digitally, right in their cars while waiting for their appointments. Once they’re done, they can text you, and you can use Lighthouse 360’s two-way texting feature to reply and alert them when their treatment chair is ready.
More efficient front office operation
Patient FastTrack does more than facilitate contactless patient registration. It also makes your front office staff more efficient—especially since it’s been updated with new features that dental practices have asked for.
For example, Patient FastTrack sends patient registration information directly to the practice's Lighthouse portal in advance. For select software, it can even write the information directly into your PMS.
You can also customize the Patient FastTrack form to cover the patient information that matters most to your practice, such as insurance, medical history or emergency contact information. Patient FastTrack is HIPAA compliant so you don’t have to worry about the security of any of this data.
You can choose to use the standard Privacy and Financial agreements built into Patient FastTrack, edit them, or add your own custom agreements. Whichever option you choose, patients can sign the documents digitally, directly on their phones.
Patient FastTrack also eliminates worry about human errors that can occur when busy front desk staff are inputting data. You can feel confident your information is accurate, which makes for better patient care and reduces delays in insurance reimbursement. All of this helps to reduce stress in your dental practice and will add value long after COVID-19 is under control.
Making the new patient registration process safer, faster and easier for both your staff and your patients is definitely a win-win. If you need more help convincing your front desk staff to use paperless patient registration, check out this post on how to get your staff to embrace new technologies. Then find out about all the other aspects of your practice that Lighthouse 360 can help with, such as sending appointment reminders, reducing last-minute cancellations and managing your marketing.