Your dental practice's telephone system is likely the primary way patients reach out to your office to schedule an appointment. It’s important that you put careful consideration into this vital communication tool when you’re shopping for a new system.
Here's some of what you need to know to start finding an appropriate system for your needs.
Review Phone Systems Designed for Healthcare Practices
Not all phone systems are equal. For your dental practice to thrive and maintain compliance, using a system designed for healthcare practices is potentially critical.
As a healthcare provider, you may be bound by HIPAA and other federal regulations that protect patient privacy. If your phone system fails to keep patient data protected, either on-site or in the cloud, the system may not comply with privacy rules.
Systems designed for healthcare offices are also tailored to facilitate faster check-ins and checkouts, shorter call times, and an improved patient experience. Choosing an appropriate communications solution for your dental practice may have a significant impact on the success of your practice and your overall bottom line.
Select a System Appropriate for Your Dental Practice Size
When reviewing phone systems, be sure to note the call volume each is intended to serve. If you have a small practice, you're unlikely to need advanced features, and they may not be worth the extra expense.
However, if you own a large, multi-location practice, you'll need a telephone system that allows your team to effectively collaborate regardless of volume or location.
Choose a Cloud-Based, VoIP Phone System
Depending on the size of your practice, you have the potential to receive dozens or even hundreds of phone calls, texts, and email messages from patients every day. A cloud-based phone system with VoIP capabilities allows you to integrate voice and data into a single solution that streamlines patient-practice communication.
Cloud-based telephone systems can help you automate patient appointment reminders, enable quick access to critical patient data and allow staff to spend more time with patients instead of on tedious administrative tasks.
Look for a System That Offers Landline & Smartphone Capabilities
Today's dental professionals are on the go, even in the office. Few staff members are glued to their seats, ready to answer a landline. It's important that you look for a phone system that offers the ability to connect multiple devices to the system, so your staff can access the system from any location.
However, it's also important to have access to landline capabilities. This will create a fully unified system and ensure you have a backup in the event of outages. Look for phone systems for dental practices that offer both.
Make Sure You Have Access to Call Analytics
To effectively market to your target audience, you need to know which strategies work and which don't. Call analytics may be a useful tool that allows you to scrape critical data from calls, texts, and other forms of communication so you know which dental marketing campaigns are driving leads.
Without analytics, you could potentially spend too much money on ads that aren't converting to calls (and not enough money on the ads that are). Analytics data can help you to make decisions on which campaigns should be paused, which should be ramped up and which need edits for improved performance.
Choose a phone system for your dental practice that either has integrated call analytics or allows for the easy addition of analytics from a third-party provider. Evaluate your analytics data regularly to try to ensure that your marketing dollars are being maximized on the most effective campaigns.
Calculate the Cost
The cost of a dentist phone system may be a critical consideration, especially if you're a small practice without a lot of budget to put towards this expense. Before making a commitment, look at the upfront and ongoing costs of each system you're evaluating.
Many systems will include monthly or annual service fees, in addition to the initial cost of hardware, software, installation and setup.
If your budget for a telephone system is tight, consider where else you may be able to cut costs so that your phones can be prioritized. A quality phone system is likely among the most important technology your office uses on a day-to-day basis.
While it's important to stay within your price range when selecting a phone system, having an unrealistically low budget can prevent you from getting the capabilities your practice needs to stay competitive.
Seek to Streamline Your Business with Treloar & Heisel
When it comes to providing quality patient care, dental practices can't afford miscommunication. At Treloar & Heisel, we understand the importance of selecting a phone system that works seamlessly for your office.
We're committed to providing dental practices with a wide variety of solutions tailored specifically to providers within the dental industry, including business and marketing tips, insurance products, and other financial services.
Contact us today to learn about how we can help you seek to make your dental practice thrive.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer legal advice. Please consult with a professional concerning this topic.