The “new normal.”
But the idea has pushed automation for dental practices to the front-of-the-line.
The pandemic “pause” for dentistry has created a fresh surge of activity. Frankly, the public is ready for a return to “normalcy” (whatever that looks like – new or not).
Normal, routine dental practice workflows must now embrace a combination of safety and efficiency.
Meet the new-kid-on-the-block: “Automation”
Maybe it’s not all that “new.” But how you apply automation for your dental practice or DSO these days is (new).
Operational challenges could be stretching your team and available energies to the limit. People are beginning to return for care. And new safety protocols (more PPE, etc) are an additional layer to your treatment routines.
Let’s be clear…
Automating your dental practice or dental organization isn’t about replacing the human element (your team). It’s more about streamlining operational standards and improving how you and your team(s) carry out their roles.
Two wins happen with automation:
- Your team wins through improved productivity and daily performance impact.
- Your patients win through an improved, perceived safer, and more efficient patient experience.
Basically, automation for your dental practice delivers a less time-intensive daily workflow. And transferring those time-savings to an enhanced patient experience could result in a profitability increase.
Where automation for your dental practice or DSO does the “heavy-lifting”
Front-office patient interactions
Once your team(s) get a “taste” of electronic patient tools you’re likely to experience a dramatic drop in paper costs. You might be hesitant to go totally paperless but the delay will disappear once you feel the productivity surge.
Electronic forms (or e-forms) give your team and patients an advantage. For starters, a patient can complete the required paperwork on their own time, from home, or on-the-go via their smart device.
And your front-office team(s) will high-five the digital capability as it easily syncs with your practice management platform and dental dashboard.
- Reduce the gaps between treatment consultation, treatment planning, and case acceptance with electronic document signing
- Eliminate patient check-in errors that could lead to costly insurance filing delays, etc.
e-Forms are a fundamental way to dip-your-toe into dental practice automation.
Social media engagement and marketing
You might have delayed going all-in on social media because of…well..perceived time constraints. Establishing and maintaining a presence on social media as a dental marketing strategy does take a chunk of time.
But there are ways to automate it alongside your other dental marketing initiatives.
Post-scheduling is a time-efficient way to automate the social media marketing strategy for your dental practice or organization.
Content marketing that includes a social media presence can be more effective when you apply scheduling automation.
- Set up your online newsfeeds to automatically and routinely scan the internet for specific dental news, tips, and resources that are useful to your patients.
- Curate content around certain keywords and key phrases to narrow your search results.
- Subscribe to a third-party social media platform (e.g. Sprout Social, Hootsuite, etc) to manage your social media content publishing process.
- Schedule content (posts) across your chosen social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Instagram, etc) using your curated and personal content. Schedule it for a week, month, or quarter at a time.
Your dental marketing strategy should include social media. But doing so doesn’t have to be a time-suck for your team(s) when you automate the process.
Patient education and treatment presentations
A/V (audio-visual/video) technology narrows the knowledge gap. Educating your patients using audio and/or video content compels them to make informed treatment decisions.
You only have so much available time. Questions and concerns from patients can dominate much of it. Though you’re probably more than willing to answer and assist there are other ways to share your expertise
Be reminded that a patient confronted with a treatment plan will be more likely to accept it based on what they understand about it. Unpacking the procedure details alongside the benefits helps them get-it…and proceed with the procedure.
- Create or curate informative dental content that explains common treatment details and benefits
- Share the informational content in-house on chairside monitors, in your consult room, and in a “highlight reel” format in your reception area.
- Engage your patients online with informative and engaging curated or original content via your dental practice’s YouTube channel. Routinely share the links in patient email communications and via your blog and social media channels.
Automated educational content saves you time while working behind the scenes to pre-heat your patients about their treatment solutions.
Hygiene recall and patient reactivation
Timing is on your side if you automate patient communication. On the other hand, relying on available team energy to carry the load could miss a substantial amount of opportunity.
Advanced planning is essential relative to your patient data, how you’ll communicate with them, and effective timing related to connecting with them.
Automation can streamline that process.
- Establish a recall campaign that follows a span of time (e.g. 120 days, etc).
- Use a variety of communication channels (e.g. email, text, postcards, etc). And use your data analytics to match communication modes to patient demographics.
- Track each campaign’s effectiveness determining how many “touches” per patient or patient grouping occurred prior to scheduling or communicating their intentions otherwise.
Follow-up on treatment plans and appointment details
Staying in-touch communicates value to your patient. Post-appointment or post-treatment follow-up keeps your care front-of-mind.
The more personalized the follow-up communication the better. Patients can sense a “canned” message so have a variety of conversational-toned templates you can use to drop them a quick, well-timed message after a visit.
Attention-to-detail type post-treatment instructions are a nice touch as well. A printed sheet is useful but it might be misplaced or left behind. An automated reply placed in queue via your dental dashboard and/or PM platform with duplicate information will be appreciated (and perhaps more relevant to them).
This brand of automation keeps the care-channel open and active. Patients will sense that they’re more than just a block on your schedule – they will feel the personalization via intentional follow-up.
A secure, accessible online patient portal
Automation is part of your patient’s daily routine. Why not your practice environment?
- Electronic forms available for access ahead of or following an appointment
- Secure, HIPAA compliant access to their health history data, billing information, payment history, x-rays, and images, etc.
- Interactive, secure access to make payments, schedule online, provide insurance information and ask questions about an upcoming appointment or procedure.
An automated patient portal helps your patients feel more in control of their care. And these days, that’s pretty much a significant part of the “new normal” we’ve grown accustomed to.
Automating your dental practice or your DSO is where-it’s-at!
Integrate automation with your dental dashboard and general practice management system. This keeps everything seamless and more productive – which is why you choose to automate in the first place…right!?
Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can use them effectively:
Successful automation and more with an all-in-one dental KPI dashboard
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on-track during your morning huddles and overall practice or DSO goals.
- Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform
- Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups, and DSOs
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!
Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability
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