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Three years ago, Dr Pia Oparkcharoen set out to open a dental practice in Melbourne. Being her first practice, everything from purchasing equipment to system software and marketing was a learning curve.

Planning the location

In order to minimise risk and earn back setup costs, Dr Pia was determined to set out on the right foot. From the very beginning the major challenge she faced was attracting patients to the new practice, which seemed daunting given her limited experience and small budget for dental marketing.

During the planning phase, Dr Pia discovered the perfect location for her dental practice; a building right across the road from a pharmacy, with no other dental practices nearby. The demographics of the surrounding suburbs were busy working professionals who would benefit from their service – the only problem was, Dr Pia initially had no idea how to reach them.

Understanding the market

The first thing Dr Pia accomplished was establishing her customer’s needs. She learnt that busy professionals want the convenience of location combined with an easy method for booking appointments – so decided right from the outset that her practice would implement online bookings.

Finding an effective marketing partner

After initial research, she found HealthEngine, a service that would allow her practice to accept online bookings.

Dr Pia downloaded the HealthEngine app onto her phone to experience how it worked from a patient’s point of view.

She loved the app experience, and was pleased to find everything worked easily alongside her chosen practice management software, Dental4Windows.

Dr. Pia found HealthEngine had the complete online solution to help Docklands Dental Studio become more efficient in-house, and to continually drive new patients through the door.

Success leads to practice expansion

With the help of using HealthEngine to launch their practice, along with a heavy focus on their own SEO efforts, Docklands Dental Studio grew their patient base at such a rapid rate that Dr. Pia had to expand the practice by adding another chair.

HealthEngine continues to facilitate over 20% of Dockland Dental Studio’s monthly bookings.

A new patient brings the practice an average of around $500 – $600 per annum for general maintenance alone, so the small investment in HealthEngine has already paid for itself.

With HealthEngine’s seamless usability and added power to attract ready-to-book patients to the clinic, more time is now spent managing and caring for their expanding patient base.

“Even the reception staff love HealthEngine, because it means there’s less disruptive calls from patients asking about appointments. And no, they’re not scared of their jobs being replaced.”

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Dr. Pia from Docklands Dental Studio chose to share her story as she often hears that other dental practices find patient acquisition a challenge, when it doesn’t have to be. Introducing online bookings with HealthEngine is a great way for any clinic to attract new patients and provide convenience.

Pearl of dental wisdom

So what’s the advice Dr Pia would give to people wanting to start their own practice?

“Do what Nike says. Just do it. Start by contacting HealthEngine and see what they can do for you. Have them walk you through how to implement online bookings and you will find that it’s not as difficult as you might think.”

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