We know that running a dental office isn’t a piece of cake and many dental professionals are wondering how they can make their office more efficient and productive. Factors such as team productivity, intake procedures, payments/billing, appointment reminders, office communication, and much more all play a role in the efficiency of your dental practice. On top of this, seeing the dentist is a common fear among Americans and many already have anxiety about coming in.
To grow your dental practice and to help your anxious patients get in and out fast, it boils down to efficiency. Efficiency is key to both of these factors as well as giving team members a better experience day to day and reducing turnover.
Efficiency Starts with Your Staff
Making your dental practice more efficient starts with the people behind the scenes. Communicating with your dental team efficiently during the day will help keep everyone on the same page. Think of communication as the grease or syrup that gets in between the moving cogs of your practice; it can either speed things up or slow things down. For more tips on team communication and engagement, check out Episode 6 of Weave’s Podcast The Happy Practice Playbook.
Communication with Front Desk and Clinical Staff Members
Weave offers Team Chat, which gives your staff a safe and secure platform to communicate on. Team members can get questions answered, receive updates and stay on the same page when communicating with one another. This is an essential tool for front desk staff as they are the ones checking in patients and making sure the records are kept up to date.
The importance of having a morning huddle is not to be overlooked. A morning huddle is a great way to begin the day on the right foot and organize your team properly. You can take this time to review the day’s appointments or discuss tools to help your team. Your team will also look forward to these meetings as a way to prepare themselves mentally for the upcoming workload and have a chance to ask questions or get clarification. For tips on creating a powerful morning huddle, click here.
Training Dental Assistants in all expanded duties
Your team members are only as good as their training allows them to be. So, make sure your staff is as much of an asset as possible. If you have the opportunity to train a team member on a task so it can reduce workload, do it! It would help if you also considered holding monthly training meetings and setting continuing educational goals so your team can perform better at their job and assist with more day-to-day tasks.
Reducing Patient Wait Time
Nothing is worse than needing to schedule a dental appointment and being unable to reach the office or wait on hold for a long time. Reducing patient wait time is another essential tip for improving efficiency in your dental practice. One way you can do this is to turn your parking lot into a waiting room with convenient check-in methods like digital forms and texting communication.
Digital Forms are a surefire way to improve efficiency and speed up manual intake processes, while also adding convenience and organization to your patients’ lives as well as your own. Instead of handing your patients a clipboard when they arrive, you can shoot them a text with the required forms they need ahead of time. Your patients will feel more confident when they walk in, knowing the paperwork is already taken care of and they can be seen ASAP.
Digital Forms also help with organization and office clutter. Gone are the days of manually browsing file folders, keeping track of records, and organizing old pieces of paperwork. With efficient, digital forms all of your patient’s paperwork is stored on the cloud and can be accessed by the right people.
A virtual check-in means a patient does not have to walk into a practice to be checked in for their appointment and can save their place in line from the comfort of their car. Turning your parking lot into a waiting room is a great way to speed up check-ins and reduce the spread of germs in your waiting room. Patients can simply respond to a text to check themselves in or book another appointment. If they need to reschedule, it can also be done with a simple text.
The traditional way of communicating with patients involved a lot of missed phone calls, voicemails, and emails. Although calls and emails can be useful ways to communicate with patients, there are more valuable ways such as texting. Texting is now the preferred method of communication over calling and emailing in today’s world.
According to a recent study, 85 percent of smartphone users prefer mobile messages to emails or calls. Although many dental professionals might know texting is the preferred method of communication as a whole, many don’t have a system in place to do so. Weave offers convenient texting for one-click communication that is fast and organized. Your team can monitor conversations and connect with patients in the way they prefer. You no longer have to play phone tag or try and keep up with missed calls and voicemails.
Organized Communication & Scheduling
Another way to reduce patient wait time is through quick communication, organized scheduling, and efficient phone calls. When you know more about your patients ahead of time, you save time during a phone call. Multiply this time savings by all the phone calls every week and it’s clear to see how essential this is.
Utilizing fast, text communication will also save time/energy and give your patients less time they have to wait for a response. If they want to schedule an appointment or modify an existing one, it can all be done through text messaging and fast communication. Reducing patient wait time is key to delivering a better experience to your patients and bringing in more business.
Dental office Tools and Resources
Upgrading Dental Office Phones
Remember when we said texting was the preferred method of communication these days? Although this is still true, you will have plenty of patients who want to be able to call your practice on the phone, leave a voicemail or receive a callback. Because phone systems are a huge part of the overall success of your dental practice, Weave decided to make them smarter
With Weave Phones, you can see your patient’s information as they call in. This is helpful for return patients and for new team members who might not know each patient yet. Your team can also have more insight into heavier call times and missed calls so your team can be staffed accordingly during these heavier times. To learn more about phone call metrics, click here.
Automating Appointment Reminders and Confirmations
Task automation is the secret ingredient to improving efficiency in your practice and it can simplify the workload of your team. Task automation means the day-to-day tasks such as collecting bills/invoices, collecting reviews, checking patients in, collecting missed calls/voicemails, sending texts, verifying insurance, and much more are all handled with automated software.
With task automation, you can send out appointment reminders and confirmations with the touch of a button. For more tips and insights into sending appointment reminders, check out this blog.
Automate Insurance Verification and Billing
Verifying insurance doesn’t have to be a tedious and time-consuming process anymore. Weave offers automated insurance verification that is easy to browse and access all from one central spot. You can also send out bill reminders and let patients pay their bills with a simple text. Weave offers multiple convenient payment methods like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Credit/Debit card. Weave also now offer Buy-Now-Pay-over-time through our partnership with Sunbit, so patients can get the help they need right away without worrying about needing to pay in full upfront.
Everything and More with Weave
Weave is a patient engagement system designed to do more. Weave has essential products plus an intuitive phone system to give you all the tools you need to create a better patient experience. The biggest way to make a dental office more efficient these days boils down to the technology you use to run it. Weave has all the tools and more for the needs of your small dental practice. To receive a free demo, click here.
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