Why smart consumers will determine the future of dentistry

Dr. Marc Cooper

Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, corporate consultant, trainer, seminar director, board director, author, entrepreneur and inventor.Dr. Cooper has studied with masters in many disciplines, participated in formal business educational programs, and worked as an independent contractor with top-flight consulting companies. In 2011, Dr. Cooper was selected as a coach for the prestigious TED Fellows Program.The Mastery Company has been in existence since 1984. Dr. Cooper's client experience in dentistry includes solo private practice, small partnered practices, managed group practices and retail corporate enterprises. Dr. Cooper has worked with numbers of health care entities such as insurance companies, clearing houses, bio-technical companies and disease management companies, as well as the senior executives and boards of large hospitals and hospital systems and a number of their related physician groups. In addition, Dr. Cooper has worked with Silicon Valley start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He has worked with dental clients in the U.S., U.K. Canada, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Israel.Dr. Cooper is author of eight successful books; Mastering the Business of Practice, Partnerships in Dental Practice, Running on Empty, SOURCE, Valuocity, Valuocity II, Valuocity III, and The Elder. His electronic newsletter reaches thousands of subscribers in 31 countries. Dr. Cooper also co-developed a suite of online dental practice management assessment tools.Dr. Cooper can be contacted at:info@masterycompany.com

Patients are now selecting dental care providers based on outcomes and values.

In today’s dental world, unless you have a deep understanding of exceptional patient experience, you more than likely will find yourself out of business in a few years. Why? Because a seismic shift is occurring from dentists in control to patients in control.

This is made possible by the explosion of technologies-cloud computing, wireless sensors, Big Data and mobile devices. These technologies are shifting the buying power from dental producers, whose work was control of their patients, to increasingly smarter and smarter patients, moving control from the dentist to the patient. Those in the business of dentistry who fail to grasp what is occurring will totally miss the future. Those who understand how to satisfy a very smart patient will realize success in the future.

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Dentists and their organizations need to wake up. Patients don’t have to get much smarter. We’re now in an era of digital technology that increasingly is about machine learning systems along with machine-to-machine communication. No conscious human intervention is needed. The scale of patient data (clinical, historical, comparison data) will become massive, ultimately giving the patient immediate information and individual power on an unparalleled level.

Also, dentists and their organizations must realize you have two sets of customers: the dental benefits companies and the patients. Both, because of technology, will be informationally linked. These two customers “sets” want to select their dental care providers based on outcomes and value. And before long, patients will just need to tap the “dentist app” on their phones to get the information they need to make their selection.

As the patient becomes more consumer-savvy, aided and abetted by his or her insurance company, a “patsumer,” patients who think and act like smart consumers, will emerge to determine the future of dentistry.