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Why Your Patient Experience Is Only as Good as Your Digital Workflow

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News flash: It’s almost 2019, and your patient experience may still be vastly removed from your digital workflow. Do you how much they can affect each other?

Here’s another truth: technology should remove complexity, not create it. Software solutions shouldn’t be stand-alone or developed in isolation; they need to talk to one another in order to eliminate duplication of processes, busy work, and staff frustration. 

These basic tenets led to the formation of Henry Schein One, a joint venture that delivers innovation in dental software and services, combined with expert business coaching, to help connect dental technology so it works as one. This streamlining can assist during the 4 stages of the patient journey. 

Let’s take a closer look at each stage and how the connectivity of your in-office technologies plays a critical role: 

1. Before Your Patient Arrives

Still have the paper schedule because it works for your practice? Have you ever thought it might not work as well for your patients? It’s important to be flexible in 2019. That includes keeping up with your patients’ busy lives by allowing them to book their appointment online or texting them while they’re going about their day. Patients can then confirm their appointments with a single click.  

2. The Front-Office Experience 

Next, consider how you can eliminate paper forms to speed up the check-in process, freeing up your staff from manual entry and increasing the accuracy of your patient data. The digital workflow then turns to your busiest—and most mundane—of work: patient record updates, claims tracking, and billing. A paperless system helps your front office staff quickly check patient insurance eligibility, while the ability to submit and track insurance claims electronically reduces reimbursement time. When it’s time to bill, just create and send the statements directly from the practice management system. Integrated payment solutions will automatically post to the ledger and patient account, and the patient will be able to pay their bill online.  

3. The Clinical Experience 

The clinical setting is where dentists, staff, and consequently your patients can all experience the benefits of a connected digital workflow. The diagnostic process starts with image acquisition, and with a truly digital workflow, you’re able to connect clinical, operational, and financial workflows. On the clinical side, the software automatically places the acquired images in the patient chart, tagging them with the correct CDT codes at the same time and posting to the ledger.  Finally, treatment presentation and planning help clinicians build, document, and present treatment plans so patients understand the urgency and accept treatment. 

4. After the Patient Leaves 

Treating your patients in-office is just half the battle. Reminding them that they need to return for treatment is the other half. With just a few clicks, you can fill open appointments with specific patient lists. Also, you can block the calendar for specific events and use intelligent scheduling to streamline workflow.

Another useful aspect of the post-treatment digital workflow is e-prescribing, which automates the process and transmits prescriptions to pharmacies, preventing potentially dangerous drug-to-drug interactions, drug allergies, dosage errors, and other problems. If patients need a referral, they can easily be referred to other providers, maintaining a comprehensive record of clinical interactions with patients and procedures.

Lastly, you’ll want to continually engage your patients with relevant information updates, reminders, recognition and more to keep them loyal and keep you top-of-mind.  Retaining a patient is much easier and cheaper than acquiring new ones.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, a digital workflow is about technology’s ability to connect intelligently in a way that allows you to better serve your patients. When that happens, more data is shared, more tasks are automated, and more work gets done in a way that allows your staff to focus on what matters most—patient care.  

The Henry Schein One umbrella covers Henry Schein Practice Solutions' products and services, such as Dentrix, Dentrix Ascend, Easy Dental, and TechCentral, Henry Schein's international dental practice management systems, and the dental businesses of Internet Brands, including web-based solutions such as Demandforce, Sesame Communications, Officite, and DentalPlans.com. 

To learn more about any of these solutions, visit www.henryscheinone.com

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