The New Year is always a good time to analyze what worked last year and what needs work this year to make all aspects of your practice ring true, from its footprint to addressing staff concerns to the looks on your patients’ faces as they enter the building and leave after treatment. Balancing the highest quality of patient care and working environment while thriving as a business is quite a trick. So finding ways to maintain efficient workflow, increase productivity, and meet financial goals are as critical to patient satisfaction as their clinical treatment.
Starting internally, implementing digital workflow systems for scheduling appointments to full capacity, keeping clinical and personal data organized and easily accessible, collecting payments, completing insurance claims, and electronic prescribing takes a lot of pressure off staff and creates tangible connections with your patients. As we are all now completely dependent on our smartphones, staying in touch with and coordinating with patients is easier than ever. Streamlining the digital workflow right through to patient contact also allows staff members the freedom to interact with patients on a more personal level while the technology is dealing with the automated administrative end of things. Tying electronic technologies into the cloud enables quick and easy communication between you, your patients, and specialty referrals alike. However, remember to follow HIPAA regulations, monitor the security of your systems, and keep data security issues high on your list of administrative priorities.
Next, take a look at your external presence—maybe give the practice website an update. Make sure it’s modern looking and optimized for interactivity with mobile devices. Regularly upload information on new clinical information, products, technology, dental procedures, and patient financing that will attract patients to elective procedures as well as prompt them to enquire about a medical condition or call to tell you they just started taking a new medication. And because today is all about connectivity, start a FaceBook page, join Linked In, and tweet if you want to. Dental patients are savvy consumers in their daily lives and often depend on social media and reviews to make buying decisions, so make your dental practice search-worthy by providing information that sets you apart by reputation as well as offerings. Attracting new patients and keeping existing patients active will keep the ying and yang of the practice of dentistry with the business of dentistry in balance.