Practice Automation: Allowing You To Focus On Your Patients

by Savannah Koran

As we all know, dentistry is an ever-changing industry and with the advancement of new technology, it can become increasingly harder to keep up with the latest and greatest advances in the market. In addition to clinical technology becoming more prevalent, practice automation is becoming the way of the future and can help save time, overhead expenses, efficiency and help to increase patient satisfaction. There are many types of products designed specifically for dental practices, which can be overwhelming to decide what types are beneficial for your practice.

Confirmation Software is the most commonly used automation in dental offices. These are third-party programs which integrate with your dental software. They combine a system of text messages, automated calls and emails, which remind your patients of their upcoming appointment times. Some have additional features, which include recare reminders, care call reminders, alerts, surveys, reviews and newsletters – that can also be beneficial if your administration team are utilizing the features. When choosing which program will be a good fit for your office, it is best to evaluate the integration with your dental software, the features that you will utilize, as well as cost. Having your patients confirm automatically will save your team time so they can allocate that time to other aspects and efforts in your practice. Your patients will also appreciate the ease and efficiently of confirmations and reminders at their fingertips.

Insights Software is a revolutionary new type of product on the market that helps you manage your statics for your practice. These new types of programs offer up-to-date accurate information that is available via a web platform, so that you can login remotely. This software is also an integrated third-party that updates automatically from your dental practice management program. Using this technology allows you to manage your KPI’s and make assessments and business decisions quickly. By having numbers available, it helps to access the health of your hygiene department, your associates, and you can compare multiple locations. This is beneficial to decide where you can make improvements, manage costs and compare your data to industry averages. Having this information also helps provide updated reports for your associates, accounting department, and also for banks, which can save hours of staff cost to gather this information. The detail and selection in these reports is incredible and to be able to customize the data is something that every practice can incorporate into their practice management team.

Paperless communication software is also becoming popular amongst new upcoming practices. Also, with third-party integration, the programs are designed to truly have a paperless environment. From emailing your new patients their forms, to placing them directly in your management software, these programs make your patient’s experience a breeze. Even though they all vary, they have similar features, which are beneficial to clinic flow and can include a dashboard to monitor where your patients are throughout the office. Using these features helps to speed up patient flow and your team members time to be able to focus on high-quality patient care. The software generally includes alerts, which help to monitor any missed chart note entries, follow-ups with patients, and provide a communication tool that allows the clinical team to communicate with the administration team efficiently – without having to continuously be walking throughout the office.

Recall Management Software is designed to help dental practices manage their hygiene department and streamline follow-up with patients. They provide a combination of automatic text messages, emails, as well as reminders for team members to follow-up with patients. These programs follow a specific system that is made to help patients remember they need to book in for their appointments as soon as possible. They allow for customization: you can add your own scripting, office information and branding. This makes your communication look professional, efficient and seamless, and like other automation software, saves precious staff member time. By using Recall Management Software, offices typically see an increase in patient bookings, patient retention and reactivation. This is beneficial in any size practice and is sure to increase patient and team satisfaction all around.

Review Management Programs are also becoming increasingly popular with dental offices. We are seeing the need in our industry to be competitive and by increasing patient reviews, it allows us to showcase our quality of service, which in turn attracts new patients. These types of programs integrate with confirmation systems and your practice management software, making it easy for patients to complete reviews. They either provide a link that takes you directly to Google, Facebook, Yelp or the platform you set to seek reviews on and allows the reviewer to quickly click, login and post their feedback. Since society is heavily relying on reviews to make decisions on products and services, dentistry has fallen into the same realm. Consumers are looking for dental offices with high ratings. Since you wouldn’t go to a restaurant with two stars on Google, it is unlikely it would be your choice for a dental provider as well. Having great patient reviews will help your practice grow and help to attract new patients, as well as provide confidence in your service and practice. Automation makes this process quick and efficient for your patients and takes stress off of your team so they can solely focus on providing exceptional care.

Even though these types of automation are amazing, you still need an exceptional team to make everything work and to provide top notch experience to your patients. Your team needs to support and direct patients to utilize these systems and to show the advantages of the information and efficiencies they provide. Technology has come a long way since the beginning of dentistry; however, your patients love their relationships with you and your team and it is still a top reason they will be a returning customer. Involve your team in evaluating which automation systems will work best for your needs and patients, and look at as many options as you can. There are so many excellent choices, so be sure you evaluate carefully and are confident in the product(s) you decide on.

About The Author
Savannah Koran is the founder and owner of Sprout Dental, a dental practice management and coaching firm. Savannah loves learning about new technology, helping others and working with her clients to achieve optimal results. When not helping her clinics grow, Savannah travels often volunteering in dental clinics overseas, working with non-profits locally and spending time with friends and family.

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