Improvements to Consider for Your Dental Practice
When it comes to increasing the efficiency of your dental practice, starting small can produce big gains, says Derek Jones, writing for Dentistry Today. As a major driver of efficiency, technology can transform how work gets done in your office. Improving patient flow, utilizing management techniques, leveraging data, and SEO digital marketing will also positively impact efficiency. The specific recommendations are as follows. Priority Networks weighs in on six improvements in your dental practice. (Source: Dentistry Today, 6 Small Improvements In Your Dental Practice That Will Make A Difference Right Away, by Derek Jones, September 7, 2021, https://www.dentistrytoday.com/small-improvements-in-your-dental-office-that-will-make-difference/ ).
Invest in an advanced EHR
To be considered advanced, an EHR should have certain features. Among them is a computerized provider order entry requesting paperless lab tests, medications, or other procedures. Clinical Decision Support (CDC) tools provide alerts, reminders, forms, and other aids that improve decision-making in the clinical workflow. The EHR should integrate with telehealth software to capture information from remote patient interactions. EHR providers roll out advancements and add-ons quickly, so you can capitalize on them to boost your efficiency.
The success of your EHR and other technology tools also depends on the quality of IT support. Network security solutions and updates, cloud network security, and cloud backup in the event of a major hardware failure are vital aspects of a strong IT support system.
Make the most out of the data you have
A combination of data and technology will help improve your workflow and quality of care. Simple improvements to pursue include having an active social media presence to engage people in need of your dental services. “Drive more traffic to your social media platforms with SEO digital marketing,” says Priority Networks, which offers this service along with data cabling installation, cloud network security, and network security solutions. “Whether you’ve just started out or been in business for a while, SEO digital marketing is the optimal way to grow brand awareness and get closer to your customers, understanding their evolving needs and planning your workflows and interactions accordingly.”
Segment your current patients based on their demographic profile. Use customer data to schedule your workflow and workforce for peak efficiency. For example, suppose you discover that the most popular time to make an appointment at your clinic is between 11 am and 2 pm. In that case, you’ll better understand how to staff each shift appropriately.
Improve your patient flow
A smooth patient flow strategy ensures that patients check in and out in a way that emphasizes the quality of care and enjoys a good experience. Here again, simple changes can make a big difference. You could capture only the information you need in your EHR, reduce wait times by offering the option for a telehealth check-in, use mHealth for text-based check-ins and video chats, or create new rules around simplifying and streamlining appointments. All the technology systems you use must be backed by robust support and security infrastructure. “Quality data cabling installation, networking security solutions, and cloud network security will improve the office computing experience, protect patient information, and provide a higher level of threat protection,” advises Priority Networks.
Practice owners tend to take on tasks they should be delegating. Focus on your core area of practice and distribute administrative and non-core tasks to team members. Explore ways to unburden yourself, such as using a scribe. Outsource tasks that rob your staff’s time for productive work. Allow them the flexibility to swap shifts but also have a backup for extra support as and when needed. These changes will increase patient time, decrease wait times, and boost overall productivity.
Level up patient care
A number of tasks in a dental practice are ripe for automation. They save your staff time on repetitive tasks, time they can spend enhancing the patient experience. Map out the patient journey and identify areas where AI automation can free up staff’s time for more complex, value-generating, and patient-focused tasks.
Employ best practices of team management
Dental practices lose efficiency through small leaks rather than a significant problem. Paying sufficient attention to team management makes the leaks easier to detect and plug. Observe how much time your staff spends on core functions. Give them the freedom to balance their work life and personal commitments. Offer support to get them up to speed with new guidelines and set automated reminders for both staff and patients.
Start with a technology review
Technology is playing an increasingly extensive role in improving the efficiency of dental practices. Understand the strengths of your IT infrastructure and identify areas of improvement—for instance, robust network security solutions for protecting your sensitive data. Do a cost-benefit analysis to determine which efficiency-driving software and SaaS products to buy, and use an experienced data cabling installation provider to connect all systems and enable seamless data exchange throughout your practice.