July 9, 2021
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO
It is vitally important to look past stereotypes and get into the real data about millennial behaviour that can inform how you interact with them as a potential customers and patients. Is your practice ready to meet this generation where they are?
Mapping out this new patient journey is what keeps Paul Intlekofer, CEO of MMG Fusion, up at night. I was able to get some time with him to paint a fuller picture of how a modern dental practice can strategically engage this critical demographic.
Lou Shuman: You just did a Viva webinar to over 1,000 dental practitioners on this very topic. With so much information, where did you focus?
Paul Intlekofer: We focused on the patient journey and the idea that you have to be found in order to be chosen by a patient.
It begins with the practice website. It should be custom built to reflect who you are – the type of practice, services offered, etc. Custom content is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy.
Once a patient finds your website and is ready to schedule, they should be able to take immediate action through online scheduling. This is a much more important step than people realize.
Research shows that 60 percent of our customers schedule after 10pm at night. Your website needs to be “up” with them and ready to reserve. We make sure that our online scheduling process can be completed in 60 seconds.
The next step in the journey is getting a patient registered. We’ve all had the forms that need to be filled out, in triplicate – very annoying. Our Patient Portal solves this problem and is key in moving to a paperless office. So as soon as the patient signs up online or via the phone, they’ll get a link pushed to them in order to set up a username and password, establishing them in the portal. This allows them to do e-signatures, consent forms, medical and dental history, get insurance eligibility checked, view and make payments, and more.
The patient portal also facilitates dramatic increases in case acceptance. First it engages the patients with an intuitive 3D model to help them understand the what/why and importance of completing a presented case. Plus, the portal offers the patient their “oral health score,” regularly updated, which functions like a credit score. Completion of presented cases, as well as completing 6-month checkups and cleanings, directly increase your score and motivate patients to maintain oral health.
Bills and payment and processing can also be completed within the portal to further improve the patient experience.
LS: The advantages to the patient are clear, but what does this look like for the office manager accustomed to facilitating these things?
PI: If I’m the office manager, and I’ve got a question coming in from a patient, I’d want to be able to communicate the fastest way possible. With our communications hub, CommCentral, and our VoIP Phone systems, you can replace your phones and improve communication. We offer the ability to, as soon as a person calls, have their patient screen pop up so you know who they are. If a person texts, we can do a two-way text or easily move from text to talk. I can send an X-ray while on the phone. I can use the office intercom function to communicate with staff at the same time. All this functionality in a practice, cheaper than what you pay for your phones now, with all types of communication queued up and organized, including communication history with any patient, all in one place.
When you layer Ava (our AI Task Manager) into the mix, you can have her automatically prioritizing, disseminating, and tracking the completion of tasks that come out of all that communication.
LS: The convenience factors are clearly designed to meet the needs of the 21st-century patient, but I’m excited about how this empowers the office managers and people at the front desk.
PI: We call that the “force multiplier.” This multiplies the capabilities of whatever software or tools you’re using. It’s an easy add-on. You can fine tune it to your practice needs.
LS: A differentiator for MMG Fusion is that you’ve run a unique beta test, working closely on software development within an affiliated four group practice, integrating the MMG system, and getting proof of concept in a real practice environment with real patient interaction.
PI: I think that’s what makes it all work so well, we could see for ourselves what created the best patient experience and how it impacted results.
About the Author
Lou Shuman, is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the Oral Health advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.