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Dr. Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator; a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab; the chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media; a long-time contributor to Dental Products Report; and the founder and creator of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.
A valuable virtual assistant doesn’t just run in the background-it moves your practice forward.
The definition of a “successful” practice has changed a lot in the past 20 years. The clinical and esthetic results you deliver will always be the leading indicator. But in a world where so much of patient choice is decided online, no modern practice can truly be successful without a plan for sustainable, sophisticated digital engagement with both current and potential patients.
Numerous companies, some of which I’ve written about before, have stepped up to help dentists better steer their online presence. Every year brings new and improved tools to help practices manage social media, search engine optimization (SEO), reviews, and more. When I think about what the most exciting next step in this space might be, I can say with confidence that it isn’t another tool. It’s Ava.
Technology that Talks Back
Ava is the internal name for the virtual assistant that seamlessly integrates the three core MMG Fusion offerings: ChairFill, Unified Communications, and Patient Portal.
“A lot of people have tools, but we’ve developed every tool. With Ava, we make every tool work better, improving the overall performance of the staff,” says Paul Intlekofer, CEO of MMG Fusion. “Ava, as a program, is able to think, learn, analyze, and do. It can work independently in ways that will surprise you. While our competitors are constrained by having DNA in a specific area, like phone systems, we are able to deliver Ava as a force multiplier for every tool in our system.”
"Ava is tracking everything so that, instead of getting overwhelmed, the practice can get better.”
- Paul Intlekofer, CEO,
Ava is able to evaluate the verticals, prescribe what is necessary to maximize the growth of the practice, and be the central hub making sense of increasing amounts of data, including potential patients, schedules, and treatment acceptance.
“SEO, phones, scheduling, treatment plans, payments, reviews - Ava is able to read, analyze, and write back all these end points,” Intlekofer says. “That level of fluency leads to a more sophisticated set of results, not just filling a scheduling gap, but also getting the best possible patient into the chair based on the practice’s patient record. Ava is tracking everything so that, instead of getting overwhelmed, the practice can get better. For example, Ava can find patterns in patient calls, send demographically targeted marketing assets, and more.”
Some tools can make morning huddles more informative and more strategic. With MMG Fusion and Ava, huddles can happen in real-time with specific recommendations rooted in data unique to your practice and patients.
“We can still sell bundles that stack up against our competitors,” Intlekofer says, “but our goal for the next phase of MMG Fusion is to help people appreciate that while you can buy the tools, this will change your practice, and your life if you see it as a system-one platform that does it all.”