5 important focus areas for dental practices in 2015

Keeping up with change is vital for any business, but particularly for healthcare practices. As dental regulations and trends continue to evolve, it’s important to show patients that your practice is comfortable keeping pace. In addition, periodic changes are necessary to keep your practice as profitable as possible. Let’s explore five areas of your practice to examine closely to make the most of 2015:

1. EHRs/EMRs: It’s a good idea to investigate the trend of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and assess how prepared your office is should a mandate be introduced to dental offices. For now, if your practice is running high-quality practice management software, you have already laid a strong foundation for any future EHR opportunities.

More on how EHRs will affect dental practices in 2015

2. Modern marketing: The days of marketing your practice solely via Yellow Pages and direct mail postcards are over. 2015 is the year to make sure you have a great-looking practice website so that patients can find you online. A practice website also makes contacting your office at any hour of the day very convenient for patients. Marketing software can help optimize your site for search engines and give you automated tools to communicate with patients in the modes they prefer. This software can also give patients self-service options for appointment scheduling and bill paying, all of which contribute to patient satisfaction and a positive patient experience.

Free checklist: 5 bulletproof ideas for dental marketing

3. Increasing profits: It’s never a bad time to look at ways to increase profit and, with the tools available to you today, there are several tactics that are easy to utilize. If your case acceptance rate could be higher, look into a patient education system that can provide third-party validation for your recommendations. Patient education systems are good not only for increasing case acceptance, but also for giving staff members a few free minutes to work on other tasks while patients view the video.

RELATED: 4 steps to greater case acceptance in your practice

4. Increasing efficiency: Look for additional ways to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks. Can you set up automated messages in your practice management software to save the effort of typing the same information over and over? Online appointment scheduling and bill-paying tools, as mentioned above, can help lower overhead and give your front-office team time to focus on other tasks. Many other activities can also be automated with marketing software, including appointment reminders, soliciting online patient reviews, sending holiday and birthday cards to patients, and performing treatment plan follow-ups.

5. Connect with your team: There are many office tasks and procedures that your team members are likely more familiar with than you are. Make sure they know that you are always receptive to ideas and suggestions for improving things. For all you know, your assistant or receptionist could have the next big idea that will help make your office more successful. Solicit feedback or ideas during your morning huddle, or create an anonymous feedback box where staff members can contribute their ideas.