E-Commerce is generally accepted and demanded all kinds of transactions and services. It is a mandated way of life for today's Internet-savvy consumers, especially the young and up upwardly mobile generation of consumers.
How is the e-Commerce concept and technology innovation applied in dental care communication between the offices and the public? Can any automation in the process clash with the long-standing practice of cultivating one-to-one personal relationships with patients and potential patients?
Now in 2019, we pay our bills online, doing banking online, never mind shopping online. The general public has already adopted that online transaction by free will or necessity of compliance. I mean, the forced compliance imposed by higher fees for those transactions done in a personal manner.
We can sign up for a loan or credit card online. Lately, I have seen a T.V. commercial for buying an insurance policy online and ridiculing and termed necessity to phone insurance companies as old-fashioned.
Now, the question is, why can we search the dental website for available time to see a dentist in the office of our choice, online? Then book our appointment and submit all our personal, insurance, and health information online? Do it all in the comfort of our home or office and 24/7.
When you come to a dental office as a first-time patient, you might be handed an all-fashioned clipboard with a paper questionnaire to fill out. It is hard to remember and concentrate on answering all vital information when stressed about dental procedures.
The technology to facilitate such automation already exists. Why, then, almost no dental office is using it?
In the professional I.T. jargon, we should ask: Where do dental offices stand on the technology life cycle in the relationship and communication with patients and the general public. According to G.F. Moore, they could be Technology Enthusiasts, Visionaries, Pragmatists, Conservatives, and Skeptics.
Also, let's not confuse the adoption of technology for actual dental care, where digital x-rays and other innovations in dental technology are quickly adopted. In this case, the decisions to acquire new technology are internal, and the patients accept them since they are the passive recipients and beneficiaries of such technology.
I can agree that not everybody is a willing technology adopter. Why then do dentists not cater to the technology-ready segment of the younger population by providing new “early-checking” services online?
We are already searching for a dental office online. The dental offices already see the value of being found online.
To answer some questions that I have posted in the above line. The dental professional prefers the status quo and will not change unless the patients loudly demand it. There is no cost saving on the staff, only additional cost for technology implementation. That contains the price for the software and training of the team in the usage.