According to Physician’s Practice, many dental offices run into several common efficiency killers.
Poor communication, workflow snags and unused or misused technology.
Does your office suffer from any of these efficiency killers?
Or, perhaps you know your dental practice doesn’t run quite as efficiently as it could. Everyone tries their best, but we bet there are some things you can do differently to create smooth, stress-free days.
Practice inefficiencies not only cause daily headaches, but they can eat into your bottom line.
In this article, we’re going to look at how to make your dental practice operate more efficiently so you have more time to do what you do best – take care of your patients.
Streamline Patient Check-In
Is checking patients in time-consuming? Is it a hassle for your patients and your staff?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, consider re-evaluating your check-in software.
Many dental practices are looking to cloud-based practice management software. This not only streamlines check-in, but it enables your patients to enter all of their information online before their appointment.
This not only relieves reception-area back-logs, but it lets your patients enter their information in the comfort of their own homes.
Going to the dentist is stressful enough for many people. Allowing them to do their patient info online can relieve some of that stress.
Simplify Staff Scheduling
If your dental practice includes several doctors, multiple hygienists and numerous office staff, scheduling can be a nightmare.
If your scheduling gets messed up, that can play havoc with your patient schedule, and your office’s efficiency levels plummet.
To run an efficient practice, your employee scheduling needs to run seamlessly. An online scheduling tool can help you manage your schedule no matter where you are.
With an online scheduling tool, employees can swap with others, and coordinating staff is easy. Plus, because it’s an online tool, you can manage it at any time and from anywhere.
You can say good-bye to the days of waiting for a staff member to arrive, only to find out they “told” someone they weren’t coming in.
Online employee scheduling software makes it easy to know when everyone is expected so you can keep your patient flow moving.
Automate Your Billing
Billing is a headache for dental offices. Make this task easier for everyone, and automate your billing.
Once you’ve digitized your billing, it should take just a few mouse clicks to get your invoices out to patients. By streamlining and automating your billing process, you can save staff time and increase the efficiency of your dental practice.
Automate Patient Records
Gone are the days of wall-to-wall patient file folders. If your office still operates this way, it’s time for a change.
Consider the increase in efficiency from looking through multiple files for one patient compared to one click on your computer.
If you’ve automated your patient check-in procedures, the patient records shouldn’t be far behind.
With an automated, cloud-based filing system, you can glance at your patients’ information quickly, upload images and make notes.
With all of your files in the cloud, you can access a patient file immediately during those off hours when patients have an emergency and give you a call.
Remove Financial Barriers
One of the stumbling blocks many practices face is people who seek dental treatment but can’t follow-through because it costs too much.
This isn’t efficient for your practice because you took the time to see the patient only to find out that was the last time you’d see them.
Dental problems are expensive to fix, and many insurance companies don’t cover dental work, or if they do, not completely.
Make it easy for your patients by offering financing. This keeps your practice moving forward and income coming in.
Provide financing options and let your patients know about them. Appoint someone in your office to handle the financing. This streamlines the process and makes it easy for patients and your staff.
Use Online Forms of Communication
Are you still mailing appointment confirmation postcards and using staff to call and remind patients of their appointments?
If so, you can be more efficient.
The best option for operating more efficiently is using an automated system to send either email or text appointment reminders.
The most successful practices are actually using both email and text to communicate with their patients.
Email allows you to further your relationship with your patients. Texting is a quick and easy way to remind patients of appointments.
This also allows you to save money on staff time and postage.
We’ve talked about how to make your dental practice operate more efficiently, and it all comes down to automated, digital, cloud-based computing.
Dental practices in the 21st century must continue to evolve with the times. To make sure your office runs efficiently and you can meet patient demand, consider implementing some of these time-saving suggestions.
Bottom line – you want to improve patient care, increase communication and manage your profits. The best way to do this is by finding ways to make your practice more efficient. Invest in training your staff and finding and utilizing the right automated systems to make your practice as successful as possible.
Do you have any tricks for keeping your dental practice operating efficiently? What works for you? Please comment below to share your tips with others.