8 Tried-and-Tested Tips for Excelling at Practice Management for your Dental Clinic
According to market research firm Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide market for dental practice management software is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2026. A rise in dental treatments, as well as interest in or awareness of the significance of oral health, are anticipated to drive the development.
Web-based software is projected to increase at a 7.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $1.3 billion by 2026. Over the next seven years, the cloud-based software sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.5 percent. In 2021, the US market share is expected to be 36.36 percent, with a value of $642.8 million.
Accounting, e-billing, software that enables patients to book appointments online, create reports and assist with insurance claims are all examples of practice management software. Treatment planning and mapping tools, as well as dental imaging software, are available on the market.
The ability to set your practice for success in a world where dental clinics are plentiful is essential in our industry. Every successful dental office begins with effective dental practice management methods.
Being a competent and experienced clinician is no longer enough in today’s competitive dentistry market. You should devote the same amount of time to the business aspect of your practice as you do to your patients.
A well-planned and implemented dental practice management strategy will not only make your day-to-day operations operate more smoothly, but will also help you attract new patients and expand your practice.
The following is the Tried-and-Tested expert advice for excelling at practice management for your dental clinic:
1. Become familiar with your unique selling proposition (USP)
Before you can enhance your dental office management plan, you must first understand what distinguishes your practice from the competition in the first place. Some questions to ask:
- What distinguishes your practice from others?
- Why should a patient select you over the other options available to them?
- What do you have to offer that other practices don’t already have?
- What makes your experiences and services superior to those of others in terms of benefiting your patients?
The idea of determining what distinguishes you from the competition is referred to as a unique selling proposition (USP). It will not only assist you in determining how you might compete and win in a crowded market, but it will also serve as a guiding force in the development of a successful business management plan.
Drilling down and creating your unique selling proposition (USP) requires time and thorough study. There are a variety of tools available to assist you as you progress through this process.
2. Upgrade your online scheduling software
It’s all about efficiency in today’s dentistry office administration. Software connections such as online appointments are specifically designed for this purpose.
There are a plethora of online dental scheduling systems to select from, but they all aim to provide your company more flexibility and efficiency through:
- Improved patient flow
- Increased productivity
- Reduced anxiety (for both patients and your staff)
- Exceptional patient service
This last element is very significant. You may be losing out on revenue if you don’t use online scheduling tools. According to one research, 31% of clients would consider switching dentists if the other practitioner offered online appointment scheduling.
On the other hand, a dentist who made an investment in an online appointment scheduling system experienced a roughly 400% increase in their appointments.
Competitors are already seeing this trend and incorporating online scheduling systems into their practice management strategies. Allowing patients to go to your rivals because of an obsolete or non-existent online scheduling system is a bad idea.
3. Texting alternatives make communication simple
Nowadays, communication is all about ease. To keep up with fast-paced lifestyles, clients want short and straightforward messages. Stop depending on phone calls or mailings to remind you of appointments. Text messaging must be included into your patient communication plan.
The following are some of the most successful methods for dentists to implement text messaging into their practice management:
- Reminders for appointments
- Message rescheduling through text
- Check-in for post-operative care text billing
- Simple two-way communication
According to studies, text messages have a 98 percent open rate, which is much greater than the 14.35 percent average email open rate for the healthcare sector.
“Patient care is always top priority at a dental clinic. Going to the dentist is often not a fun experience for many patients but if you put extra effort into making the patient feel welcome, it goes a long way in making the appointment more pleasant. Having a dental assistant or dental hygienist speak with the patient and provide sunglasses for bright lights helps ease the patient. Dentists should always answer questions or explain how the procedure works before they start it to avoid any surprises. Patients who feel welcome, cared for, and at ease are far more likely to return in the future. Patients want to feel cared for. Open dialogue, and providing extra comfort is an excellent way to maintain a healthy patient base,” Seth Newman, CEO, Sporting Smiles.
Text messaging provides for more efficient and timely communication, which leads to higher patient satisfaction. You’ll see a significant improvement in practice-patient connections if you interact with patients in the very same manner they interact with their family and friends.
4. Simplify financing options
When it comes to choosing a dentist, one of the top concerns for consumers is cost.
Patients may be turned off by costly treatments or concerns about paying for a service. Offering full transparency and contemporary financial alternatives, with this in mind, is a wise step toward practice success.
There are a few financial alternatives to consider:
- Billing that is automated
- Portal for online payments
- Plans for payment
- Discounts in cash
- Savings plan for employees
We suggest discussing which alternatives are appropriate for your practice with your accountant or financial adviser. However, make things easy and clear for your patients as your objective (and yourself).
The more straightforward a patient’s payment choices are, the more likely they are to accept your treatment recommendations and return for further therapy.
5. Consider putting the billing desk on autopilot.
The billing desk’s activities may also be streamlined using technology. When it comes to making payments, customers don’t want to be kept waiting. It will be easier to handle insurance claims if your billing office is automated. More importantly, it will decrease patient wait times while processing payments.
In a nutshell, adopt technology if you wish to simplify the billing desk’s process. All procedures should be automated. It will be simple to keep track of your patients and keep track of all payments.
6. Leverage technology for dental practice management
You’ve undoubtedly observed that keeping current with technology can help you boost better patient experience. This entails having the finest tools and equipment and incorporating the latest healthcare software that is accessible for dental practitioners.
Beyond that, use a management system that can help your practice operate efficiently such as dental practice management software. Sure, a lot of practice management is available in the market offering you the best practices, that is easy to use and assists you with day-to-day operations.
However, nowadays, dental practitioners are custom developing software too. The practice management software would integrate seamlessly with their imaging system and allow them to track many aspects of practice performance, like how many implant surgeries they accomplish every month, so they always know where they stand.
7. Ensure optimum data security
Patient confidentiality is paramount, as it is with all healthcare services. You’ll have a massive quantity of private information on file that can’t be accessed.
Health data and financial information must be kept in a secure environment. Locked cabinets and password-protected papers are examples of this. If you fail to comply with legal standards such as those outlined in HIPAA, it may be the end of your practice’s prosperity.
A dental practice’s reliability and reputation will be harmed if there is a data breach. It will, however, have financial ramifications. For example, in 2013, Krebs revealed that Adobe had been hacked, and that over three million accounts with encrypted consumer credit card information, as well as login credentials for a variety of accounts, had been taken. Adobe was forced to pay $1.1 million in legal costs and $1 million in compensation to consumers.
The lesson here is that patient confidentiality is not just vital, but also critical. It may be difficult to get it just perfect, but it is critical.
8. Formulate a marketing plan for your practice
What distinguishes your dental practice from others? Why should a patient choose your office over the one across the street?
Because dentistry is such a profitable business, there will be a lot of competition. Patients want the best experience for the least amount of money. Dentist treatments may be pricey, and although patients want the work done well, they may not foresee the necessity for such an expensive procedure at the moment.
Competing with other businesses requires a strong marketing plan. The following strategies may be used by the best practices to attract new patients:
- Hosting webinars and creating content: To drive traffic to the website or social media pages, there are a lot of tools available to help you manage, plan and conduct professional webinars.
- Email campaigns: Email marketing reminds existing patients of upcoming visits while also attracting new ones.
- Social media platforms: Such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- A user-friendly website: This makes it simpler to find a practice.
The finest dental offices are concerned about their patients’ well-being. They push dentistry to new heights. Every aspect of the procedure is simplified, from the receptionists to the waiting room’s aesthetics to the appointment itself. It may seem tough, but dental practice and administration is all about organization and patient comprehension.
Using cloud-based technologies in your dental practice elevates the dental experience and ensures that clients return to your dental office time after time again. The patient experience becomes less frightening and more welcoming with this dental management assistance.