Online Scheduling and Return on Investment for Dental Practices

Online appointment scheduling is on the rise, with 44% of respondents in a recent survey stating they would choose a healthcare provider that offers online scheduling versus one that does not. It’s no surprise that demand for online scheduling is growing in a society that demands immediacy and does just about everything online - from grocery shopping to buying cars. 

Fortunately, our team has years of experience implementing online scheduling via our FlexSchedule solution, so we have some insight into the trend of booking appointments online and what kind of return you can expect on your investment.

We have worked closely with our FlexSchedule online scheduling users to track the number of appointments being booked and how many new patients utilize online scheduling each month so we can get a clear assessment of ROI. After all, we want to build solutions that not only work great, but also make your practice more profitable.

What You Can Expect to Pay for Online Scheduling

Obviously, FlexSchedule is only one of dozens of providers for online appointment scheduling at a variety of price points, so ROI will vary depending on the cost of the system you choose. While we don’t know what all providers charge for their services, we never shy away from discussing price for any of our solutions, FlexSchedule included. We are always transparent on pricing - it helps build trust in our products and team throughout the customer journey.

That being said, FlexSchedule is offered as a stand-alone service or it can be bundled with Flex through our Flex+ product. FlexSchedule is $199/month with no additional fees or contracts. You can bundle FlexSchedule with our Flex patient communication suite for a total of $398/month (also with no fees or contracts). For the sake of showing the ROI for online scheduling, we’ll be using the individual FlexSchedule rate of $199/month. 

Over 12 months, your investment in online scheduling via FlexSchedule would be in the neighborhood of $2,400. 

New Patients Booked With Online Scheduling

Over the entire year of 2020, FlexSchedule users scheduled an average of 12 new patients per month, or a total average of 144 new patients annually, online. An obvious caveat here is that the COVID-19 pandemic has quite likely skewed these numbers lower than a “normal” year with practices being shut down during the earlier part of 2020. But let’s take these numbers at face value. 

Average New Patient Spend and Annual New Patient Revenue 

The American Dental Association estimates that the average patient spends $653 per year for dental care, so we have a good idea of what your per-patient income could be for appointments scheduled online through FlexSchedule. Now, let’s do a little number crunching.

With 144 new patients spending an average of $653 each over the course of a year, your estimated income from new patients booked solely online would be $94,032.

Your Online Scheduling ROI

You’ve signed up for online scheduling, added 144 new patients to your practice over the course of a year, and now you’re ready to do some ROI analysis on your investment. Let’s take a look!

Your $2,400 investment in online scheduling resulted in an estimated income of over $94,000 in 12 months, or a net profit of $91,600. This equates to over $7,600 per month in new billings for your practice. Sounds like a good investment to me. Would you agree?

Beyond Dollars and Cents

While bringing in a nice profit is definitely the number one goal of any business, let’s not forget some of the less tangible returns that online scheduling can provide. 

First, as mentioned earlier, patients (especially younger ones) are looking for online scheduling as a means to book their healthcare appointments. By providing that option, you’re making your practice more marketable in an increasingly competitive industry.

Second, the majority of online bookings require much less interaction from your staff than a typical patient phone call. Online booking saves your staff time, as patients that book online typically require less interaction with a member of your team. And, they can book appointments 24/7/365, even when your practice is closed or the phone lines are busy. 

Finally, many online scheduling platforms, including FlexSchedule, allow for tracking links to help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For example, you can utilize a specific scheduling URL for Facebook, one for Google, and one for your website, giving you insight into where your online appointments are being scheduled from. You’ll be able to quantify where your best-performing marketing initiatives are, focus your efforts on higher performing campaigns, and optimize marketing spend - further improving the ROI of your practice as a whole.

Final Thoughts

Online scheduling provides several benefits for your practice, beginning with the potential for a very attractive financial return-on-investment and extending to less tangible advantages, including increased marketability, improved efficiency, and optimized marketing spend. It can often be intimidating to take that first step toward investing in new technologies but with a clearer view of the potential ROI for your practice, consider online scheduling as an opportunity for growing your patient base and building a stronger business. 

How To Learn More About FlexSchedule and Flex

FlexSchedule and the entire Flex suite of patient communication tools were designed to work seamlessly in Open Dental. If your Open Dental practice is looking for an online scheduling or patient communication solution, please begin your research by checking out our learning hub and asking for opinions of Flex from other Open Dental practices. We pride ourselves on creating Flex fans for life. The words of our customers are our best reference and we think you’ll like what you find.

Our team members are all what we affectionately call “Flex-perts” and make it a priority to address all requests quickly and knowledgeably. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please click the button below and submit your questions online. A member of our team will connect with you shortly and help you understand the value that Flex can bring to your practice and your patients.

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