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Volume 53, Issue 6
How Weave patient communication software has benefited one practice, especially right after Hurricane Michael.
After Hurricane Michael hit Florida last October, it took 14 days for the team at Gerlecz Dentistry to get electricity back, and another two months for internet and phones to return to working order. This was a problem for other practices and businesses in the area as well, and most weren’t able to fully operate until everything was restored. Because this dental office had invested in Weave patient communication software, they were able to start seeing patients pretty much right after the lights came back on.
The office itself only sustained minor roof damage, which practice owner Dr. Joseph Gerlecz was able to fix,office manager Maggie Blackwell said. Once that was done, they downloaded the Weave app on his burner cell phone, which gave them the ability to communicate with and schedule patients. By November the office was back to a full schedule, even without operational internet and phone lines.
“Without the Weave app,” BlackÂwell says, “we wouldn’t have been able to see patients until we got the internet and phones back, but we were able to completely function as an office through that burner phone and the Weave app.”
Blackwell joined the Gerlecz practice last July. At the time, the practice didn’t have Weave. She had used the software at another practice and rallied for her new office to invest in the software when she came on board. The doctor agreed to it, which was a decision that enabled them to stay productive after last year’s storm.
Blackwell first became interested in the software because of the amount of time it saves, she said. Instead of spending hours on the phone trying to confirm patient appointments, Weave automatically sends out reminders through text. Patients can respond directly to text messages to confirm appointments or ask any other quesÂtions they have. Someone from the team can respond with an answer right away, making it a convenient, effective patient communication tool. Weave also can send communications via email, phone call and even fax, which is a new feature Blackwell just started using.
When a patient confirms an appointment, it automatically shows up in the practice’s system, Blackwell said, there’s no need to enter anything manually. They also have the ability to customize reminders before scheduled appointments.
“Weave does a lot of the work for me. The communication works very well,” Blackwell said. “The response time is a lot quicker than if I leave a voicemail. It helps with scheduling patients, rescheduling patients or just trying to keep in touch with them.”
Weave also has helped the practice get overdue patients back in the chair, Blackwell said. Instead of running long reports from the dental software, she’s able to pull up a list and quickly click on names of patients she needs to contact. She can then call or text to let them know they’re past due. It’s quick, easy and has “definitely helped get past due patients in the office,” she said.
Obtaining on-line reviews is another advantage of Weave which asks patients to leave a review about their experience via text. The practice receives about one review a week, which Blackwell said has been beneficial.
Not only did Weave enable Gerlecz Dentistry to stay productive after Hurricane Michael when other businesses in the area had to close (some permanently), it continues to serve as a convenient way for the practice to keep in touch with patients. It makes patient communication easy and efficient, saving time while also improving both productivity and patient retention.
“It’s an office saver,” Blackwell said. “It’ simple to use and makes it extremely easy to frequently communicate with patients. If they have questions about insurance, medication or anything else they can text and we can give them an answer as soon as the text pops up on our screen, without them having to call in.”