It’s safe to say that the “linchpin” of a dental practice is, in many ways, the front-office.
That’s why your front-office workflows and productivity are key to overall practice success.
The business of dentistry is influenced by your front-desk efficiencies.
- Patient communication and engagement
- Information and data management
- Check-ins and hand-offs
- Collections and AR (Accounts Receivables)
- Insurance claims management
It’s no surprise that each of those involve a well-managed workflow. It’s also common for technology to share the load for those operational tasks.
How to improve dental front-office productivity from team to technology
Use task management techniques
It’s helpful to have a high-altitude perspective on the core administrative tasks that drive your practice workflows. It starts with those need-to-be-done items.
Next to the nitty-gritty task details is clarifying who’s responsible. Too many hands in a task can be a productivity-killer as much as having no one on-point for it.
Think task distribution. Or if you prefer – delegation.
- Create a shared responsibility culture. But make sure no one team member has too much on their plate.
- Cross-train for efficiency. One team member with sole responsibility can lead to gaps in productivity if they’re out of the loop.
- Delegate based on individual strengths, skill-sets, and preference. This encourages a team approach to productivity.
- Use shared decision-making. Multiple vantage points helps promote culture buy-in and creates shared ownership in practice/organizational success.
Unify your practice culture around productivity enhancers
Multi-tasking seems to be the norm for the front-office team. And for good reason – phones, emails, treatment plan creation, clinical hand-offs, financials…you get it!
Yet, focus can become blurred by incessantly juggling more than one task at a time. No doubt, the fray can signal that production is cranking. But on the other hand, chaos can diminish the positive returns on invested team energy.
It’s important to monitor front-office workflows for energy drains. While multitasking is often unavoidable, steps can be taken to reduce its frequency.
Task-batching and task-timing are two considerations.
- Batch tasks that are anticipated and routine. For example, hygiene schedule blocks will naturally produce treatment plan creation and treatment presentations. Anticipate these hand-offs based on scheduled hours throughout the day and be prepared.
- Time tasks around the “two-minute rule.” These are tasks that can be knocked-out in two minutes or less. Fill time gaps with them.
This is by no means the final word on productivity enhancement. You know your practice culture and team – assess, innovate, and execute accordingly.
Unlock technology benefits
Start by looking-under-the-hood of your current technology. Determine how much of your workflows and systems can be automated.
Automation can save substantial amounts of time and team energy. Automation works for:
- Patient information and data management. Online access allows essential forms to be completed and reviewed ahead of an appointment.
- Creating templates for routine and repeated processes. These could include follow-up communications, treatment protocols, etc.
- Storing your patient information for security and ease of access.
- Appointment reminders and billing systems.
Technology also enables you to establish a dominant online footprint for your practice(s) or organization. A major efficiency boost for your front-office team and your patients is online scheduling capability.
A secure, easy-to-use online scheduling portal can enhance your patient experience while maximizing team productivity.
- Patients can schedule, modify, and cancel their appointments via a dedicated patient portal on your dental practice website.
- Your team can reduce its call volume and channel that time into on-site patient interaction and other productive administrative tasks.
While we’re talking technology
It’s essential that your online scheduling platform integrates with your dental dashboard and general practice management system. This helps eliminate having to manage another service on top of your foundational system.
Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can use them effectively:
Using Data to Drive Big Decisions for the Growth of Your Dental Business
3 Tips on Optimizing your Dental Practice Operations with Software Solutions
An all-in-one dental KPI dashboard for DSO, group practice, and solo private practice success
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!
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