Some things in life are easy. Dental practice management is not typically known as one of them.
For too many practices, life still looks something like this. Your staff spends a ton of time:
- Tracking down patients for recare,
- Scheduling and rescheduling to fit patients’ ever-changing requests,
- Dealing with complicated insurance forms, and
- Inputting customer information into your system from multiple software products or paper forms.
Over our 17+ years innovating in the dental practice management software industry, we’ve learned a thing or two about common practice management challenges. And we know how to fix them.
Read on for actionable tips to conquer five common dental practice stressors.
1. A Constantly Full Voicemail
It seems like you could have a full-time staff member answering voicemails around the clock. It takes forever to call each patient to schedule - and often reschedule - their appointments. Your staff member is on the phone checking dentists’ calendars while the patient is trying to calculate a window between their work meeting and daycare pickup.
For your master calendar, try to:
- Create a color code: Quickly identify appointments by provider, type of service, etc.
- Switch to smaller increments: Use 10-minute increments instead of 15-minute ones. According to Dental Economics, this switch can save thousands of dollars in lost production over the course of a year.
Give your dentists a break: Block out time for your dentists to rest and reset, which can improve their efficiency overall.
- Consider patient self-schedule: You remain in control of your calendar but give patients the opportunity to schedule in a way that works for them.
2. A Server That’s on the Fritz...Again
There’s no worse disruption to your day than when your server is down.
Could the issue be that you’ve been hitting “Update Later” on your security program for the last...365 days? Time to put the practice on pause while you call in your IT technician.
One way to avoid this dental practice management stressor is to commit to regular server maintenance. Get the newest products, download the latest updates and take every security measure you can to protect your system.
But, this is often an impossible task.
Investing in a cloud-based dental practice management software can save you from all of these headaches. A true cloud-based software continually updates your product and security for you, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
3. Reports That Lack Actionable Data
As a business owner and entrepreneur, keeping your business thriving is always on your mind. But your business reports are difficult to pull and the format doesn’t aid in formulating easy next steps.
Curve Business Intelligence provides you an actionable dashboard of the information most important to dental practice management.
Our customizable reports can show you everything you need to make your business profitable by analyzing:
- Financial information for production, collections and aging.
- Recare dashboards so you know how recare is impacting your dental practice.
Treatment plan overviews to empower you to more easily follow up with patients to schedule outstanding treatments.
4. Paper, Paper and More Paper
It’s the 21st century. It’s time to eliminate paper.
Paper is slowing your staff down. Retyping paperwork into your computer database is inefficient and can create costly mistakes. Worst of all, paper is vulnerable to floods, fires and other disasters.
In a matter of minutes, your patient data could be gone.
If you haven’t switched from paper records yet, now’s the time. When patients can fill out forms electronically, it reduces in-office wait time and physical contact with front desk staff - both vital in today’s COVID-regulated world.
And it’s better for the environment, too!
5. Garnering Great Customer Reviews
Customer reviews can be tricky for any business, but especially dental practices that rely on word-of-mouth and Google searches to bring in new patients.
And let’s face it, the dentist’s office doesn’t usually top many people’s favorite places list.
Many modern dental offices pay closer attention to the patient experience. Examine the customer’s journey from scheduling appointments and arriving at the office to patient education and billing.
Here are some things you can implement to improve your patient experience:
- Automate: Set up online self-scheduling and automatic text reminders.
- Start the “paperwork” early: Have patients pre-fill paperwork online to reduce in-office wait times.
- Customize the experience: If you have televisions at your chairs, allow the patient to pick their favorite (office-friendly) show. You could even go a step further and document this in their chart so you can have it ready for next time.
- Relieve dental office stress: Offer noise-cancelling headphones so patients can listen to soothing music.
Provide patient education: Give staff time to sit down with the patient and educate them on the services they need and why they’re important for overall health.
The Solution to Your Dental Practice Management Stressors
Dental practice management is riddled with difficulties and bad processes. Luckily, Curve SuperHero™ can help you conquer these stressors.
Our Curve GRO™ patient portal puts you in control of the patient experience with self-scheduling, informational videos that educate your patients and build trust with your practice, easy online payments and text or email reminders. The best part is that we automatically point patients to your Google, Facebook and Yelp sites so they can leave positive reviews, and automatic communication thanks them for their feedback.
We know dental practice management isn’t always simple, but we’re on a mission to make it better. With modern solutions to age-old challenges, Curve SuperHero makes scheduling, billing, patient engagement, imaging, charting, support, training and, well, everything we touch easy so you can focus on your patients.