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Nichole DeMars, DDS, has more than a decade working with patients to create bright, healthy smiles using the latest techniques and procedures. After completing her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Michigan State University, Dr. DeMars received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Dentistry in 2001. During her residency at Loyola University Medical Center, she focused on providing comprehensive dentistry to a wide range of patients, including cosmetics, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, pediatrics, orthodontics and oral surgery.
It’s human nature to think of ways to make your life easier. We strive for efficiency, success and satisfaction in many different aspects of our lives. The same goals should be applied to your dental office and, most importantly, considered when you talk with your support staff.
It’s human nature to think of ways to make your life easier. We strive for efficiency, success and satisfaction in many different aspects of our lives.
The same goals should be applied to your dental office and, most importantly, considered when you talk with your support staff. I have used a practice marketing system called RevenueWell from Patterson Dental for the last four years and have seen huge impacts in my office when assessing the productivity of my support staff and my office as a whole.
Continue to the next page to see the how it can help...
Focus on the front desk
The front desk is one of the most easily congested locations in the dental office. Your staff must not only deal with patients in your waiting area, but process payment and insurance forms, confirm appointments and update schedules, make phone calls, send out follow-up instructions after visits and remind patients of upcoming appointments. These tasks, while important, can take a lot of time, especially when considering the fact that you should be connecting with each of your patients at least one a quarter.
One of the ways that my practice marketing software helps alleviate the workload from my front desk staff is to automate appointment confirmations and reminders. Submitting insurance claims has become much more time consuming now than it used to be, so it requires a lot of time and attention from my support staff. By knowing that the appointment reminders are off their plate through the automated process, my staff are relieved of this duty and can focus their energy elsewhere.
Another essential task, albeit a time-consuming one, is running and analyzing reports. Thankfully, your practice marketing system can do this for you, as well. By leaving this process up to the system, I am able to focus my time in the office on my patients, which is the ultimate goal.
Capitalize on campaigns
Every dentist knows the importance of keeping up with patients. One of the ways to accomplish this is to send out postcards or flyers with specials or a nice thought around the holidays. This is still hugely important, but can be made so much easier once the process becomes automated. RevenueWell comes pre-stocked with a variety of built-in campaigns for your use, such as back-to-school offers and end-of-year specials.
In addition to pre-stocked campaigns, we have found success in running our own campaigns. We recently purchased a CEREC system, which is exciting technology that is of interest to a number of our patients. We sent out an automated campaign offering 10 percent off treatments and found it to be very effective in getting additional people in the door, trying something they otherwise would not have known about.
Sending out campaigns through social media, email or text to your patient base not only serves as one of your quarterly touch-points, but it can also increase revenue.
With the addition of the practice marketing software, I found that we were communicating more frequently with our patients, which they appreciate, and we were saving money doing it. Rather than having to buy postcards and stamps for my direct mail pieces, I was able to input a bit of data into the system and send out electronic messages to my entire patient base.
Attrition is huge in the dental world, and our practice marketing software does a great job of keeping this percentage low in my practice. By simply keeping in contact with our patients, we see a lower patient attrition rate because they know we are thinking of them and, consequently, they want to come back to our office.
When something stronger is needed to get someone in the door, like an incentive, our practice marketing system allows us to easily send out customized specials. For example, if we haven’t seen a patient in over a year, we might send them an offer to receive free whitening trays at their next visit. This does wonders for our office and we see the effects immediately.
Remember when looking for ways to improve your practice to start with your support staff. Ask them what would be helpful – reducing the amount of phone calls they have to make? Allowing them more time to discuss treatment plans with patients? Streamlining some of the patient communication? Chances are they will point you in the direction of implementing automation in different areas of your practice. Start small and you’ll soon see all of the ways in which you and your staff can be more in touch with your patients.