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Unplugging Bottlenecks in Your Dental Practice’s Revenue Cycle


Make sure these 3 areas of your practice are running as efficiently as possible to ensure your patients are happy and that you are operating at peak performance.

Unplugging Bottlenecks in Your Dental Practice’s Revenue Cycle | Image Credit: © Kzenon - stock.adobe.com

Unplugging Bottlenecks in Your Dental Practice’s Revenue Cycle | Image Credit: © Kzenon - stock.adobe.com

In every industry, efficiency matters. When processes take too long or tie up your schedule, it can be hard to decrease your expenses and raise your revenue. Dental practices often have bottlenecks that prevent them from making as much as they could.

How can you identify and start unplugging bottlenecks in your dental practice’s revenue cycle? Here are 3 key areas that you should work on in an effort to ensure that you’re operating efficiently as a dental practice and getting the most out of your revenue cycle.

Visit Length vs. Treatment Length

One of the biggest dissatisfactions that many patients express about the entire healthcare system, including dentistry, is the total length that they have to be in the office versus the total length of time that they are actually having a treatment or visit with the doctor.

For example, a patient might be told to show up to the office 15 minutes early to complete paperwork and update their information. After completing the paperwork and turning it in, they might then wait another 20 minutes to be taken back to an exam room. Once they are in the exam room, it might be 10 to 15 more minutes before they actually see a hygienist or a dentist.

While many patients expect this now, it can be bad news for your revenue cycle. When it takes a lot of time to go to the dentist or doctor, patients are less likely to return for preventative care visits, which cuts into your revenue. Eliminating scheduling and service bottlenecks can help improve your revenue cycle.

Looking for Outside Solutions

Many dental practices are still performing tasks manually that could be outsourced or otherwise automated. Even small things, like forcing your patients to call you instead of also allowing for online scheduling, can add up in your day and leave you with less time to focus on helping the patients that are most in need of your specific attention. By using your time efficiently, it will be easier for you to get everything done and improve your revenue cycle.

Identify Key Areas of the Practice for Improvement

While some bottlenecks may occur everywhere, others often have a specific part of the dental practice that is most affected. The 3 places that many offices find are most impacted by bottlenecks that affect the revenue cycle are the front desk, the sterilization area, and the operatory. Some of the key things in those spaces that slow time down and prevent a more streamlined experience include:

  • Paperwork
  • Dental charts that are not intuitive or digitized
  • Digital information that cannot be accessed on multiple computers throughout the office
  • Non-digital dental radiography

APEX Reimbursement Specialists can assist you in both identifying and eliminating these bottlenecks to improve your practice’s revenue cycle permanently.

For more information on this topic, read: Why Revenue Cycle Management Is Critical to Dental Practice Success.

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