Coast Dental recently celebrated 30 years in business serving patients in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. A lot has changed in dentistry in the last 30 years, nothing more so than technology. Coast Dental wanted to deliver an end-to-end digital patient experience and selected NexHealth for its 106 locations.
Coast Dental knew that patients were expecting a digital experience when seeing its dentists. For example, not having to talk to a receptionist when booking an appointment. They risked losing patients to competitors unless they delivered the best possible patient experience.
“Real-time, and fully integrated online booking was a feature we knew we had to have,” said Debbie Nicholson, Vice President at Coast Dental. “If we didn’t have a digital experience that was seamless for patients, we knew we’d fall behind the competition.”
Coast Dental was using SolutionReach, but needed a platform that could bidirectionally integrate with its practice management system. The lack of integration with its practice management systems was a nightmare for office staff, who would spend hours a day doing manual data entry.
The practice management system Coast Dental is using is Eaglesoft, installed on on-prem servers in 106 different locations. The ideal solution would read and write data into Eaglesoft in real-time, and make it available in a single platform to unify the patient experience – booking, forms, messaging, reviews, recalls, and more.
Coast Dental selected NexHealth to be that single platform that can digitize its patient experience. NexHealth could integrate with 106 on-prem Eaglesoft servers across 3 different states.
The partnership came with a catch: they needed to be live with the new platform by the end of December 2021, giving NexHealth just 5 weeks to onboard all 106 locations. NexHealth worked hand-in-hand with the Coast Dental team, getting all the locations live and trained under the deadline.
Coast Dental saw immediate value in offering a digital patient experience.
“Patients can now complete online forms before an appointment, an experience they love, ” Nicholson said. “But the real value came in having all the data auto-updated into Eaglesoft, saving hours every day for the office team, reducing errors in data entry, and minimizing storage costs.”
Coast Dental saw a fast impact on how patients perceived the quality of service. Before NexHealth, they had 229 reviews in December 2021, and by February 2022, those numbers had spiked to 1,087 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 / 5.0, way ahead of the competition. Patients loved the new digital experience from Coast Dental.
It was not only happy patients; the office team was getting hours back every day. Each Coast Dental location sees between 10-20 new patients a day, with each new patient requiring ~30 minutes of paperwork manually entered into Eaglesoft. With HIPAA-compliant NexHealth Forms, patients filled in medical information online. That data was auto-updated into Eaglesoft, saving the office team an estimated 5-10 hours every day–time that can be used on connecting with patients in real life.
Paper records also need to be stored for seven years per regulations, and the fee to store them was “astronomical,” according to Nicholson. Moving to digital forms saved tremendous costs on storage.
Online Booking has benefited both operations and the patients. Coast Dental has a call center that receives upwards of 2,000 daily calls. Since offering online booking, there’s been a massive drop in the number of calls, allowing them to decrease staffing and spending on the call center.
“Patients obviously love online booking, but so do the dentists and hygienists, as they come in during the morning and their schedule is always full,” Nicholson said. “Since implementing NexHealth’s Online Booking, we’ve seen record highs of new patients.”
And any last minute cancellations are also filled, thanks to the flexibility of NexHealth’s Recalls and Waitlists.
“With Recalls, patients get auto-reminders if they are overdue for cleanings, and they can 1-Click Book a new appointment with the hygienist. And if there is ever a cancellation, Waitlists triggers an auto-message to patients to fill that chair,” Nicholson said.
“It’s all about improving that patient experience,” added Nicholson. “You’ve got to have that edge over the competition.”