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Dan Easty is the Regional Technology Advisor with Patterson Dental. He has educated and trained hundreds of offices to become paperless and advises regarding the best way to implement technology into practices.
Do you ever wonder how you survived without all of the modern technologies we have today? With smartphones, tablets and laptops, we are able to access any information we want or need at virtually any time
Do you ever wonder how you survived without all of the modern technologies we have today? With smartphones, tablets and laptops, we are able to access any information we want or need at virtually any time. Not only has technology made many of our lives easier on a personal basis, but it has done so in our careers as well.
This is especially true in dentistry; it wasn’t too long ago that practices did everything with paper records. As technology evolves in our industry, dental practices now have the ability to be completely paperless.
Here are five ways technology improves your dental practice:
1. Increases efficiency
Practice management systems can significantly increase the efficiency of a dental practice. One such system, Eaglesoft from Patterson Dental, has the ability to pull customized high-level reports, allowing your practice to see beyond the typical end-of-dayreport and take a more in-depth look into different ways to increase efficiency in your practice.
One efficiency that can be gained relates to easy scheduling procedures. Integrating a practice management system with marketing software, such as RevenueWell by Patterson Dental, allows patients to schedule an appointment whenever and wherever they are. Italso sends automatic reminders to patients, decreasing your practice’s no-show rate.
Additionally, some practice management systems allow your patients to enter their medical information into a tablet and/or computer when checking in. The patient’s information is automatically saved and available to the dental staff, saving the front desk from having to manually input the data.
2. Lowers overhead costs and increases profits
Instead of calling patients to remind them to make appointments or filling out patient records manually, a good practice management system can streamline everything andtake it all digital. Office supply costs are cut when minimizing or eliminating paper recordsand note taking when everything is done digitally.
Eaglesoft also encompasses tools such as Money Finder and Revenue Opportunities. Money Finder allows dental practices to find hidden revenue opportunities by electronically searching for patients who are late on recalls or have not completed a recommended procedure. Revenue Opportunities directs dental professionals to reports that help increase revenue. Dental practices can select pre-set options, such as locating overdue recalls, to help generate additional forms of revenue that may have otherwise been overlooked. This tool will provide a list of patients who match the criteria of the presetoption.
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3. Marketing resources
Running a patient analysis within most practice management systems breaks down your patient base into categories such as age, gender, insurance status, and zip codes. This information helps a dental practice target their marketing efforts to a specific section of people who will benefit most from a certain offer or marketing campaign.
On the other hand, if your office is running a monthly special, you can utilize your already existing patient contact lists to send out a mass email advertising the special. This message will get to patients who may not have otherwise known about the special.
Patterson Dental also offers Smile Channel, which was created to play in dental practice waiting rooms. The Smile Channel is an educational tool, allowing patients to see what treatments your dental practice can offer. Many times, patients are unaware of the many services a practice offers and, consequently, they will not know to ask for it. Learning about additional services through Smile Channel may prompt your patient to ask for further dental care.
4. Increasing patient acceptance through patient education
Explaining dental procedures to those not in the dental field can be challenging because every patient has a different style of learning. Patient education systems offer educational videos that puts dental lingo into laymen’s terms allowing patients to better understand procedures. Often times a video will trigger questions patients may not have thought to ask due to a lack of understanding, which helps to form a more complete understanding or the patient.
Dental professionals are also able to email patients educational videos, allowing them to watch and learn from the comfort of their own homes. Many dental practices see an increase in case acceptance when using a patient education system, because it allows patients to not just hear but actually see the benefits of accepting the recommended treatment.
5. More fluent communication
Although some may think the opposite, technology can often times enhancecommunication within dental practices.
Many practice management systems offer messaging tools, allowing the front and back of the dental office to communicate quickly and efficiently. Instead of having to leave a patient’s side to check on something with the front office, dental hygienists are able to send a quick message to the front all while continuing to be of assistance to their patient.
Patient medical and insurance information is easily accessible through a practice management system, allowing both the front and back office to look up a patient’s benefitsand medical history in the blink of an eye.
Additionally, a patient education system ensures that a practice is communicating the same message across all mediums. Having consistent messaging across a dental office will allow your patients to have a better understanding of procedures. By offering clear and consistent messaging every time, a dental practice can ensure nothing is left out or overlooked.
Implementing technology into your practice does not have to be intimidating, especially when you have all of the above benefits to look forward to. When looking at different systems it is important to do your research to find the best fit for you and your staff. Technology can offer your practice many timesaving tools; so talk to your representative to ensure you are utilizing your tools to their maximum potential