Case Study: Charleston Pediatric Dentistry
Utilizing Modento to streamline dental office systems and patient communication in a rural, high-volume pediatric office
Executive Summary: Charleston Pediatric Dentistry partnered with Modento to improve and enhance patient communication using our simplified, all-in-one dental software platform. The team experienced dramatically improved patient booking rates, reduced paperwork, and was more easily able to reach customers who did not have internet access in rural West Virginia.
About Charleston Pediatric Dentistry
Charleston Pediatric Dentistry is located in Charleston, WV, and is owned and operated by pediatric dentist Dr. Ashley Patnoe. She has operated her office since 2003 and developed a population of diverse patients from throughout Charleston, the surrounding suburbs, and nearby rural areas.
Over her years in dentistry in the area, Dr. Patnoe became frustrated with the difficulties of adequately coordinating patient care and scheduling regular appointments. These issues compound when treating children and working in rural areas where many patients struggle with internet access, much less advanced digital tools.
To help her overcome these challenges, Dr. Patnoe turned to Modento to improve office communication and overall patient satisfaction and retention.
Challenges and Objectives
The team at Charleston Pediatric Dentistry wanted to coordinate with patients more effectively and reduce unnecessary, time-consuming phone calls and other scheduling challenges at their office.
- High Communication Volume: A pediatric office requires clear, consistent correspondence between patients, their parents, and the office. Considering you’re communicating with more than just the patient themselves, this predicament can present challenges with ensuring each family feels they have all the information they need about their children’s care.
- Frustrating phone calls: According to Dr. Patnoe, their #1 issue was “Really just confirming patient appointments….” The team would often spend up to 2-3 days calling patients and getting appointments confirmed with initial calls and follow-up calls.
- Overcoming technological limitations: Many of Dr. Patnoe’s rural patients lack access to reliable internet, making web-based communication more difficult. She wanted a tool that would allow more straightforward communications for parents and ensure they can easily schedule and reschedule appointments when needed.
- Too much paperwork: Dr. Patnoe “didn't want [office staff] to spend their time on inefficient, fruitless tasks.” She needed a system that would integrate modern technology to reduce paper processes and inefficiency.
Dr. Patnoe first ran across Modento on a dental Facebook group near the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. She watched a Facebook Live event explaining the benefits and features of the platform. She said to herself, "Okay, we need this now. We need to be able to have staff work from home and make that jump."
Soon afterward, Dr. Patnoe began working with Modento to implement the software suite at Charleston Pediatric Dentistry – primarily focusing on patient engagement features that allow streamlined and simplified communication with patients.
Using Modento, Dr. Patnoe and the office team could implement text-based and email notifications for treatment reminders and patient scheduling. According to Dr. Patnoe, “We have a challenging population because we don't have internet access in parts of West Virginia. So, it has been challenging from that aspect to try to adopt new technologies and software programs over the years.
With Modento, Dr. Patnoe, and Kourtney Patrick, the Treatment Coordinator at Charleston Pediatric Dentistry, dramatically simplified patient bookings and appointments using SMS messaging via Modento. The team can quickly follow up via text, confirm appointments, and offer options for re-booking without wasting time on phone calls and voicemails.
“Even if they don't have internet access, they have a cell phone, they have a mobile phone,” said Dr. Patnoe. “Okay, we've got something that we may be able to reach some of these people.”
“I loved when I could send the parents a message after I finished examining the patient if they weren't here in the office. I love that!” -Dr. Patnoe
According to Dr. Patnoe, the implementation of Modento has been highly successful. Charleston Pediatric Dentistry has gotten all of the support and assistance needed throughout the initial adoption and implementation. “It’s changed so much of how we practice,” she said. “It's pretty much changed our whole flow and dynamic.”
Treatment Coordinator Kourtney agreed with her assessment. “So, the parents that were hesitant at first changed course quickly to, 'Oh, I love this. I can text you guys to say I need to reschedule my appointment, or I can talk to the doctor if I have a question.'" She further added, “If I could say anything about Modento, it's allowed us to be in more places at once and more easily speak with our patients and our parents.”
Modento’s suite of flexible communication vehicles has driven concrete results for Charleston Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Patnoe noted that since the office began using Modento, they’re “seeing that six-month CTs and recalls are coming back” more frequently. Patients who lack internet access or may not be accessible via phone call can communicate using SMS, dramatically improving overall communication for patient scheduling.
And, not only has patient communication improved but so has intra-office communication – leading to better overall treatment coordination between Dr. Patnoe and her staff, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Says Kourtney, “We were able to interact as if I was sitting in my office while sitting at home.” Dr. Patnoe agreed and further noted that due to COVID-19, “There were a few times when people had to be quarantined and work from home. It was fantastic.”
Charleston Pediatric Dentistry's Future Plans
Charleston Pediatric Dentistry has seen excellent results using Modento for patient coordination and communication. They are continuing to refine its implementation and usage of the Modento platform – and both Dr. Patnoe and Kourtney have become prominent advocates of the platform.
“Make the jump. Make it,” said Kourtney. “You won’t regret it,” added Dr. Patnoe. “A little bit more work up-front, but it's something that can just totally change your day, your life.”