What if you could get more time to focus on patients while reducing the stress from running your dental practice? The key to increasing efficiency in your dental practice is a combination of the right systems and the right mindset. Here are 12 ways to increase productivity in your dental clinic so you can get more time to focus on growing your practice.
Tip #1: Automate the Patient Appointment Booking Process
What does your patient appointment booking process look like? Do your patients call your team directly? Do they send an email requesting an appointment? If your staff has to manually book appointments for your team, they’re wasting valuable time.
Instead, you need to digitize your appointment booking process. Appointment booking systems allow patients to effortlessly choose the type of appointment they need along with their preferred doctor and time. These systems integrate into your dental practice management software directly, automatically updating your calendars with new appointments.
By streamlining your patient appointment booking process, you’ll remove the need for your staff to sort through seemingly endless appointment requests every Monday. (Even better, no one will need to work over the weekend to keep appointment bookings up-to-date!)
Tip #2: Use Cloud-Based Dental Practice Management Software
Dealing with on-premise dental practice software solutions can be problematic. On-premise systems can be expensive to maintain, increase the risk of data loss, and make it harder to scale your practice.
Plus, when they crash, getting them up and running again can take a long time. (And things only get worse when you lose data…)
You can reduce the risk and costs associated with on-premise dental practice management software with cloud-based solutions.
Plus, the cloud has many benefits for streamlining dental practice processes. For example, they’re accessible, secure, and resilient. And by moving your dental practice over to a cloud-based solution, you’ll ensure that your systems stay running so your staff can support your patients easily.
Tip #3: Integrate Dental Applications
It’s not uncommon for dental practices to use a variety of 3rd-party software to support patient services. With new applications being developed all the time, it’s tempting to want to use them all. As a result, you might have an app for appointment scheduling, one for billing, one for charting, etc.
The challenge here is that all these different apps have different data streams. And tracking, collecting, and processing that data accurately can be a challenge. A simple solution is to use dental practice management software that offers a range of features. This keeps all your information in one system instead of on multiple different platforms.
Tip #4: Collect Patient Feedback
If you’re not asking your patients about their experience at your clinic, you’re missing valuable insights. After all, what you think of as an inefficient process might be drastically different from what’s bothering your patients.
By collecting candid feedback, you can ensure that whatever improvements you make to your dental clinic will benefit your patients in the end.
Setting up a simple survey for patients on an iPad or emailing them after their visit is an easy way to collect feedback from patients. The key is to make it as easy and convenient as possible. That way, you collect the insights you need to increase productivity in your dental practice.
Tip #5: Go Paperless
On average, employees spend roughly 1.8 hours looking for information every day. If your dental practice is still using paper documents, then you need to consider transitioning to digital documentation.
For starters, there are the direct costs associated with paper documents. This includes paper, ink, and a printer for printing. And there are organization and storage costs, clips, staples, filing cabinets, etc.
In addition to the direct costs, there are costs like the time it takes for employees to locate documents, costly mistakes from errors, and even the space required to house these documents.
The simple solution is to go digital with all your documents. This will help drastically reduce these costs while keeping your documents much more organized. Plus, you’ll reduce the likelihood of costly errors…all while reducing your carbon footprint.
Tip #6: Implement a Contactless Patient Check-In Process
Automating patient check-in with a contactless process can make it a lot easier for both your team and your patients.
Rather than have your patients show up and fill out forms in the waiting area, they can submit all their information and sign the necessary forms before they arrive. This information goes directly into your patient management system, making it easy to track and update.
Whether your patients book online or over the phone, they can knock out all the admin work before they arrive. This helps them get seen faster and helps you avoid any errors with patient billing information.
Tip #7: Empower Your Team with Remote Access
If you’re looking to increase productivity in your dental office, you should empower your team with remote access. Remote access allows employees to access important information from any secure device. This means that your dental staff does not have to be on-premise to support your patients’ needs.
From unpredictable situations like COVID to natural disasters to everyday unfortunate events (car breakdowns, sick kids, etc.), you need a way for your team to continue working when life throws them curveballs. This ensures that operations don’t grind to a halt because one or two team members from your staff can’t show up for work.
With remote access, your dental practice can continue to operate smoothly no matter what’s happening in the world around them. You just need to be sure you have systems in place to manage a remote team effectively.
And with systems like multi-factor authentication (MFA), you can be certain that your patient records remain secure.
Tip #8: Look to the Data for Additional Insights
It’s important to establish a baseline of data for your dental practice that you can use to compare the efficiency of your improvements. The easiest way to do this is to establish a set of KPIs that you can review with each new change.
Some simple KPIs for evaluating dental practice productivity could be:
- Labor costs
- Average patient appointment time
- Number of appointments booked
- Number of appointments canceled
- Patient attrition
- Number of patient records processed
- Number of errors in patient payments
By using the data as a baseline, you can quickly see whether or not you’re increasing productivity in your dental practice with the changes you implement.
Tip #9: Incorporate Teledentistry Into Your Practice
Teledentistry is an easy way to increase productivity in your dental practice. It allows you to expand your practice outside of your office and reach more patients who aren’t able or willing to take time to go to the dentist.
Teledentistry allows patients to set short appointments with your practice that are convenient for them. Instead of taking time off and traveling to the dentist, patients can call in and chat with a dentist about their issues.
While the dentist serves the patient in a timely manner, all the front desk has to do is direct the patient’s call to the on-demand dentist. This allows practitioners to see more patients, generating more revenue, through these billable consultations. And it reduces the number of additional tasks office staff need to do for each appointment.
Tip #10: Streamline and Automate Patient Messaging
Instead of manually sending messages to your patients, you can automate the process. Email automation in your dental practice allows you to build stronger relationships with your patients without taking up too much of your staff’s time.
With email automation, you can quickly set up a range of triggers that send out emails to your patients. The messaging can vary, but here are a few of the more common ones:
- Follow up with post-appointment care
- Request reviews from patient
- Advertise services and promotions
- Provide updates on your practices
- Remind patients about preventative care
- Send appointment reminders for teeth cleanings
- Share relevant content about oral hygiene
Tip #11: Change Up Your Dental Office Layout
You can drastically improve productivity in your dental practice by shifting up the layout. For example, does your front desk staff need to go to a different room to collect documents from the printer? Do you patients have to ask for magazines from behind the counter while they’re waiting? Do your dentists have an area where they can evaluate medical documents privately?
Everyone in your dental practice should be able to move around and get what they need effortlessly, without any extra steps.
Take the time to evaluate how your support staff, dentists, and patients move about your dental practice. And think of new, better ways to set up and organize your dental practice layout, so everyone has an easier time getting around.
Tip #12: Ask Your Staff for Input
No one knows the inefficiencies and frustrations found in the day-to-day operations of your dental practice better than your staff.
While the suggestions provided here will help you get a head start, it’s important that you ask your team what could be done to improve operations.
Take the time to ask your team about the slowdowns, frustrations, and bottlenecks they deal with on a daily basis. And ask them if they have any ideas on how to improve them. You can even offer a bonus as an incentive to get more feedback.
Using their insights, you can design a plan of attack that allows you to continuously improve your dental practice management operations.
With fewer headaches and fewer inefficiencies, your team will have more time and energy to focus on patients. That’s how everyone wins!
Turn Up Your Productivity - and Lower Costs - with Curve SuperHero™
Curve SuperHero is your solution to take your dental practice's productivity to the max. Because SuperHero is all-in-one - including imaging, charting, billing, patient engagement, business intelligence and more - you can eliminate the time suck of logging in to additional apps.
Curve is a leader in cloud-based software for the dental industry. Using true cloud-based software like Curve SuperHero allows you to access your platform and data from anywhere you are. Our intuitive, easy-to-use interface is designed to streamline your workflows and reduce the number of clicks your staff members need to make for everyday tasks.
To learn more about how Curve SuperHero can increase your office’s productivity, click here. Or sign up now for your personalized demo to see Curve in action.