Sesame launches cloud-based patient connection system

By Donna Domino, features editor

October 11, 2011 -- LAS VEGAS - Sesame Communications is expanding its offering of cloud-based products and services for the dental community with Sesame 24-7, a new patient connection system that provides search optimization, online marketing, patient portals, and practice metrics tools.

Sesame 24-7 was officially introduced this week at the ADA annual session. This new online suite is available immediately to new Sesame members with rollout to existing members scheduled for 2012.

Sesame's services leverage cloud-based technology to provide a single point of access to analytics anytime, anywhere on dental practice operations, marketing initiatives, campaign effectiveness, return on investment, and operational key performance indicators, according to the company.

“This helps dentists get found, get chosen, and stay connected.”
— Mike Nelson, chief operating officer,
     Sesame Communications

Sesame 24-7 integrates performance data on patient portals, automated reminders, websites, social media, search engine optimization, and online marketing into a single dashboard. Available through any Web browser, the Sesame 24-7 dashboard gives dental providers a 360° view of team performance and online marketing effectiveness to patient engagement and patient satisfaction levels.

One of the most valuable features for dentists is the system's ability to collect accounts that are 60 days overdue, according to Sesame. When reminders are emailed to patients, 38% are paid with 24 hours and 50% are paid in the same time frame, the company said.

As a result, "dentists or their staff don't need to have uncomfortable conversations," Sesame CEO Diana Friedman noted in a presentation at the ADA meeting.

More than 100 million consumers now use the Internet to get healthcare information, according to Sesame. And most patients prefer getting email or text reminders for appointments instead of phone calls.

Sesame 24-7 differs from other patient connection systems because it integrates all the elements for dentists and their patients regarding appointments, billing, records, and images, according to the company.

"It provides real-time information regarding updates about what's going on in their practices," Friedman explained.

The system records all phone calls so that dentists can tell where patients are calling from, how the calls are managed, how many are new patients, and how many are calling from mobile sites. It also allows doctors to see whether patients are using Facebook or the Internet, so they can evaluate the effectiveness of customized marketing campaigns.

The system's mobile component is tailored for the growing number of patients who use their iPads or smartphones for Internet access.

For dentists, the practice dashboard shows the status of treatment plans, reports, search engine marketing statistics, how many clicks their sites are getting, and how many phone calls are from new patients or existing ones. It also shows how much patients have spent and what treatments they have received.

One of the marketing tools utilizes the growing popularity of quick response (QR) bar codes. For example, dentists can send out postcards offering free consultations for new patients. Prospective patients can scan the QR codes with their smartphones, which will immediately take them to the dentist's Web page.

Other features of Sesame 24-7 include search engine optimization and online marketing modules that provide information on blogging, help with Facebook and Twitter pages, and setting up YouTube channels.

"This helps dentists get found, get chosen, and stay connected," Sesame Chief Operating Officer Mike Nelson said.

Portals allow patients to pay their bills and also track how much they've spent on flexible spending accounts and their insurance statements.

Patients can also view their clinical images, Friedman noted. In fact, she said, one of the most popular features for patients is posting animated videos on their Facebook pages showing how their teeth move with Invisalign products.

"We live in a very voyeuristic environment," she said.

Copyright © 2011

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