Dental Practice:Mobile Site or App?

Many dentists and dental practices for that matter are trying to answer this question either alone or with the help of a technology solution provider like a webmaster.

The issue with that approach to finding a suitable solution to this perplexing problem is that either of the two solutions are being looked at in isolation, rather the starting point for discussion should be what is overall patient experience that we want for our patients?

Once the overall patient experience has been identified which could be done asking questions like the ones below?

      What’s is the present first point of contact or touchpoint of a patient with your office or practice?


      Is that patient a new or existing one?


      If that patient was new one how did they find you?


      Was the new patient referred by an existing patient or through in-the-mail coupon, adverts etc.?


      What’s your present patient on-boarding process like?


      Are there any post dental office visit(s) surveys in place to capture data and help evaluate how you are doing with the services that you render?


      Are these post dental office visit(s) surveys for only new or existing patients or both?


      Are you still giving out paper forms on clip boards for either new patients to fill in or existing ones to update their information?


      Do you have a system in place for rewarding existing patients who refer new patients to you?


      Can your dental office be easily found online?


    How do patients contact your office? By phone, email contact form, walk-in etc.

Answers to the above-mentioned questions would provide the basis for your overall patient experience and how it should be designed to meet that expectation.

The question now is do I need a mobile-friendly website, a native mobile app or both?

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A mobile-friendly website can provide general and basic information to existing or new patients and allow them do task like the following:

Schedule an office visit

Request refill for any medications

Make payments online.

However, a mobile-friendly website still rely on browsers which are not only clunky but also don’t provide smooth interface and require more user involvement or more effort on the part on of the user.

On other hand a native mobile app has a smooth interface and one that’s HIPAA-compliant takes things further by allowing you to provide answers to all 11 questions posed above for logged in patients.

Hence not only does a native mobile app offer your patients a personalized experience which is not possible with a mobile-friendly website. But also allows you to do those listed below as well:

Make it easier for both your new and existing patients to make a reservation. Patients can book appointment(s) from within the app, see your availability, and you both receive a confirm email of the appointment.

Patients can leave testimonials in the app, which means great referrals for you and an easy way to market your dental practice.

Click to Call – an easy way for your patients to call when they need to contact you immediately.

List what treatments and services you provide in your app (and edit this at any point in time!). This is an easy way for people to know what they can get done by your dental practice. Show pictures of the smiles you have perfected over time in the app, a great way showcase your work in a seamless manner.

In the final analysis, you need both a mobile-friendly website and a native mobile app, the two even though may overlap a little they serve two different functions a mobile-friendly website helps attract new patients but the native mobile gives a personalized experience not possible with a website.

A native mobile app helps build patient loyalty and thereby keeps patients because through the personalized experience they become in invested in your dental practice.

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The next blog post shall cover other aspects of marketing and how it relates to dental offices or dental practices.

Gordon Fletcher is the Principal Consultant (Engineering and Mobile Technology) at Compumagick Associates and can be reached at 877-826-4506 or, @compumagick