Growing a dental practice can be challenging, but through technology, digitization, and automation, you can save time, track your growth, and improve your business overall.
3 Ways a Dental Practice Can Grow Through Digitization
1. Digitize Your Documentation and Internal Processes
The first step is to digitize your old materials. Digitization involves transforming your paper records, processes, and similar information into digital files, which can be kept on a computer or server in your practice.
What Are the Benefits of Digitization?
Digitization has a number of benefits over paper documentation, including the ability to view past versions of documents, offering document safety in the event of a natural disaster or similar incident, and the ability to backup documents to a secure location outside of your practice.
Aside from storing patient documentation, digitizing your practice can also benefit your business in other ways. For example, you can create a primarily digital onboarding process for new employees, allowing them to work through any required materials freely and available for on-hands training opportunities.
Simplify Your Practice’s Digitization Process
Full digitization may require some up-front investment to ensure your digital infrastructure is robust and secure enough for your dental practice. You may decide to invest for a number of reasons, including:
- Accessibility. You will need to create an in-practice network — similar to an intranet — that allows you and your employees to access any information you need as quickly and easily as possible. You may decide to outsource setting up the network to an IT specialist to save time.
- Security. With digitization, you’ll face the challenge of meeting HIPAA requirements to ensure your patients’ personal information is secure at all times, but you can work with a firm that specializes in HIPAA compliance to ensure that your practice is in line with those requirements.
This investment you make in ensuring compliance is frequently more affordable than attempting to do it on your own. In addition, it has the potential to save weeks or months of work.
It’s a good idea to consider additional insurance coverages, such as data breach protection, that financially protect your practice in the event that a cybercriminal gains access to your infrastructure.
2. Automate Your Patient Acquisition and Scheduling Process
Patient acquisition and scheduling go hand-in-hand — and both are often at the core of growth strategies for dental practices.
If your practice is manually handling patient appointments, you may be spending unnecessary time scheduling, rescheduling, and canceling. This costs time and money.
Automation can help save your staff time and may help you meet your revenue targets.
How To Automate the Scheduling Process
Online scheduling platforms empower your patients to create, modify and manage their own appointments. These systems free your team to focus on providing incredible service to patients.
In addition, you can automate responses, confirmations, and follow-up messages for patients who have an appointment. Automated email or text messages can help them remember their appointments and arrive on time.
Please note, while automated marketing and follow-ups can be beneficial to your practice, you must be aware of and adhere to any relevant marketing laws, such as obtaining consent for receiving communication from your practice. You may decide to obtain advice from a legal professional to ensure you are adhering to all regulations.
3. Track Your Success
Digitizing your dental practice comes with another important benefit: the ability to easily track your business’s results. With this information, you can effectively scale your operations and ensure you have the appropriate technology, staffing, and revenue to invest in your growth.
With digital data about your practice, you can quickly and easily access information about appointments, hours worked, recurring expenses, projected revenue, and more. The more you can track, the more accurately you can plan for the future.
For example, if you’ve been tracking your practice’s growth for several years, you may notice some form of seasonality to your business — like scheduling more appointments during the summer when school is out.
This knowledge will allow you to set monthly, quarterly, and annual goals to continuously examine your dental practice’s growth.
Please note, while these suggestions do not guarantee growth, they are potential ways to improve your practice.
Continue Building Your Patient List
Digitization can help you improve your practice and develop an up-to-date, continuously growing patient list.
Access our in-depth Ebook today to understand how you can develop and target your ideal patient type, utilize community outreach programs, and more!
Grow with Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.