How to use a full-service software to drive revenue, quality of care

MMG Fusion’s suite of services helped one group practice attract new patients while raising satisfaction among existing patients.

We implemented MMG Fusion’s full-service marketing, management, and growth software products in our 4 Soothing Dental practice locations in California’s San Francisco Bay Area beginning in 2016. Through a focus on patient experience and quality of care, Soothing Dental has significantly grown its revenue, number of active patients, case acceptance rates, and patient satisfaction while becoming more automated, and increasing profits.

This case study details how MMG Fusion’s software drove these results and helped our staff meet meaningful practice goals month after month and year after year. We separate our analysis into the MMG Market and MMG Manage suites of services.

Enlisting MMG Market: New Patient Acquisition, Patient Satisfaction, and Growth

All dental practices strive to bring in new patients to increase revenues and mitigate the unavoidable patient churn, which averages 12% nationally. We implemented MMG Fusion’s Websites SEO {search engine optimization]) and PPC (pay-per-click) and local directories to ensure that Soothing Dental was being found online and leaving a favorable impression with new patients visiting.

Once we were found online, MMG’s Reputation Management tool ensured we were chosen based on the large number and high quality of our reviews. Appointments were made easily using MMG’s ChairFill and Patient Portal, which offered patient-friendly features to increase patient satisfaction. Closing the loop, we used MMG’s Marketing Tracker Call Analysis to understand the return on investment (ROI) from our marketing efforts to help make better marketing decisions and reduce our cost per acquisition (CPA) for new patients. The following measurable results looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) demonstrate the significant impact MMG Market had on growing our 4 Soothing Dental offices.

CPA: A “well-run” practice should try to spend 10% to 20% of the expected first-30-day-production to acquire a new patient; that is, if they expect to produce $800 in the first 30 days (e.g., an ad campaign for crowns), they should want to spend $80 to $160 for a new patient. At Soothing Dental, we have reduced our CPA and achieved the 10% to 20% gold standard using the full market suite. This result is about 40% better than our competitors.

Reviews: Because Yelp is the most important review site in the San Francisco market, we focused on those reviews for 3 years. Using MMG’s Reputation Management and Task Manager tools, Yelp reviews increased from 40 to 417 over 3 years, which was at times the highest number of reviews on Yelp among all dental offices in the country. We then focused on Google reviews, which rose from 0 to 63 over 1 year.

Scheduling: MMG’s Online Scheduling eased this process, allowing our practices to reduce the time to complete online scheduling to under 60 seconds, with an average of 70% of patients now regularly scheduling this way.

Number of new patients: With better SEO/PPC and more effective marketing campaigns (an increased ROI per campaign), strong reviews, and easy scheduling, new patients increased from an average of 7 per month to 60 to 70.

Revenue per chair. A rule of thumb is to produce $250,000 per year per dental chair; our San Francisco office generates about $380,000 (significantly better than even a well-run practice). This was an increase from $157,000 per chair prior to using MMG Market Suite.


Automating with MMG Manage

Using the Patient Portal, Unified Communications, and Ava’s artificial intelligence (AI), we were able to implement a “patient first” culture by automating many processes and creating seamless communication with patients and between staff members in 4 geographic locations. The communication tool closed the distance between staff and made them more productive.

It can be tempting to focus attention on the razzle-dazzle of new patients and revenue, but creating effective, consistent, monitored, replicable processes and patient management strategies is just as important to a practice’s success. The following measurable improvements demonstrate the significant impact MMG Manage/Ava had on our operations.

Patient satisfaction and patient churn: MMG’s Patient Portal creates a so-called paperless office where the patient can complete tasks without having to call or email the office. Everything is patient-friendly and easier with automated new patient enrollment, visible treatment plans, online payments, Uber rides if needed, and Starbucks gift cards for rewarding compliance. Now, 85% of our patients have used the web app, and we have reduced patient churn from 23% to 8% compared with the national average of 12%. The revenue per patient using Patient Portal has also increased by 30% (Figure 1).

Automated processes with Virtual Office Manager, Ava: The main responsibility of the office manager is to ensure that tasks are defined, prioritized, assigned to the right person, and completed efficiently and effectively. We use Ava’s artificial intelligence to assume many of these responsibilities. Ava detects the tasks that need to be done and tries to perform the task automatically; if she can’t, she creates a task for the right staff member, along with best practices guidelines, and then tracks the task to completion. The task is added to the performance reports for each staff member so ongoing training can be provided effectively. It is noteworthy that prior to Ava, we couldn’t effectively measure how well our staff was performing discrete tasks. With Ava, we are assured our staff is working at optimal performance and can see for ourselves all that is accomplished on a daily and weekly basis.

MMG’s HR Suite: Soothing Dental implemented an effective bonus system through the HR suite, using individual, team, and practice KPIs, which generated a 15% increase in production. The time to run bonus payments and payroll was decreased from 8 hours to an hour per payroll due to both processes being fully automated.

MMG Fusion facilitates “best practices” using MMG Market and MMG Manage together for optimal scheduling and increasing case acceptance.

Scheduling Faster

We executed a few successful strategies through the use and implementation of the full MMG Fusion product suite. These best practices can be effectively reproduced only with the unique power of MMG Fusion’s AI, best practices data collection, and single sign-on laterally integrated suite of products.

Offering immediate availabilities to maximize new patients: An office without immediate availability for new patients is less likely to get new patients (Figure 2).

Most patients book their first visit within the next 2 days. If an office does not have availability within the next 2 days from the time a new patient wants to make an appointment, the patient will most likely not make the booking. It is critical to manage the office schedule to always allow for this availability.

We achieved this by using MMG’s Ava AI along with Patient Engagement and ChairFill, which show each offices’ availability for new patients. Should availability drop below a certain threshold, Ava tasks a staff member to make changes to the schedule. This strategic approach dramatically increases new patient scheduling rates.

Increasing Case Acceptance

When presenting a treatment plan, it is critical to effectively communicate the value of the treatment to the patient. This helps not only the patient’s oral health but also the business by ensuring necessary treatments are scheduled and practice production is increased. We use MMG’s Patient Portal and 3-D oral modeling and health score to easily show the patient how important each treatment is.

3-D oral modeling: This interactive function is patient-facing and color-coded to show pending and completed treatments (fillings, crowns, extractions, cleanings), making it easy for patients to see and understand their care. Patients can select and click a color-coded tooth issue to schedule an online appointment (Figure 3).

Oral health score: The scoring system is like a credit score for one’s teeth and mouth. A number between 1 and 100 is calculated using completed treatments, unscheduled treatments, and other factors, such as hygiene appointments kept. When a treatment is added to the list of recommended treatments, we use the newly updated score to show the patient its importance.

MMG’s Patient Engagement is then used to follow up with patients to complete their unscheduled treatments through email, SMS, or the mobile Patient Portal web app to ensure that all patients maintain their oral health.

Figure 4 shows how patients’ oral health score improves over time in Soothing Dental offices. The longer they stay with Soothing Dental, the higher their score gets. This shows the effectiveness of Soothing Dental’s processes and MMG Fusion’s tools.

Getting Results

By effectively using MMG to optimize old processes, Soothing Dental has created a healthier and thriving dental practice that substantially grew profits across 4 different locations.

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