Online Booking from the Patient’s Perspective

What Online Booking looks like to your patients and prospective patients.

Updated 7/30/20

What’s good for the patient is often good for the practice. This post presents the experience of a hypothetical patient enjoying the benefits of scheduling their own appointment online—just one of many great features included with Dentrix Online Booking.

I love smartphones. I use mine to talk or text with family and friends. With my smartphone I order pizza and find my way around an unfamiliar city. I use it to find out how late the hardware store stays open. And like your other patients, I use my phone to find a dentist, visit their website, look at reviews, and find out how to schedule an appointment.

Usually, I think about scheduling an appointment late in the evening when I’m brushing my teeth and the unopened floss container stares back at me from my bathroom counter. In fact, I schedule most of my appointments – hairdresser, car care, doctor – late in the evening when I finally have time to think about what I’m going to do this week. All other things being equal, I prefer to schedule appointments with a practice that lets me book online with my trusty smartphone.

What does it look like from this side of the phone? Let me walk you through it. (And if you want an overview of how it all works, watch the video.)

Booking an Appointment Online

In this example, I found Smiles Dental and clicked on the Book Now! link on their Facebook page. Immediately, I see a standard cookies message, which I acknowledge by tapping Got it!

The page is simple and easy to navigate. I can choose my reason for wanting an appointment from a menu. I don’t have to think about how to word my reason for an appointment – I just tap the description.

Next, I choose a provider. If I were an established patient, I might have a favorite doctor or hygienist that I really like. As a new patient, one of the reasons I’ve chosen this practice is because I was impressed with the reviews of Dr. Simpson. So, I tap his picture.

Now, I choose an appointment time. I like to minimize the impact to my workday, so I’m thrilled to see that this doctor has extended hours. I tap on a day and time that are convenient for me, and then I tap Enter Patient Information.

I enter my personal information. It’s pretty much just the usual contact information that everybody wants, but I like how the green check marks guide my progress.

At the bottom of the form I tap a Verify button. After a few seconds, my phone receives a text message with a code number. I enter the 4-digit code to verify my information and then I see a confirmation that my appointment is scheduled! I even get an invitation to add it to my calendar. I love this dentist!

Why make a patient wait a minute longer than necessary when they’re ready to book an appointment? A convenient and easy scheduling process can be just the beginning of an excellent patient experience.

Additional Information

You define the list of appointment reasons presented to the patient, which providers can be booked online, and the times and operatories available for booking online. Read more about setting up Online Booking.

Patient name and birth date are the minimum required data to create a new patient record in Dentrix Online Booking. The app also collects the mobile number and email address, so you can reach out to the patient with automated reminders and reduce no-shows.

Appointments booked online automatically appear in the Dentrix Appointment Book and can be identified by a blue cloud icon on the right corner of the appointment.

You can get a report of appointments booked online on the Online Booking Report page (which can be accessed from the Dentrix eCentral Appointments > Online Booking menu). Read more about working with appointments booked online.

Learn More

To see an overview of how Online Booking works, watch the video. For a deeper dive, watch the recorded webinar.

Watch the videos to see a demonstration of Online Booking Setup and Finalizing Online Bookings.

To learn how to work with appointments that have been booked online, read “Working with Online Bookings in the Appointment Book” and “Setting Up Online Booking Options” in Dentrix Magazine.

By Ryan Beardall, Contributing Editor

Certain components of the products or services described above are provided by third parties. Henry Schein One, LLC and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.