One of the most asked questions we receive from dentists is, “what can increase productivity in a dental office?”. As your dental office grows and prospers, there will be a large block you will have to breakthrough when it comes to productivity within your office.
Knowing how productive your office can become, can be mind-blowing in comparison to the impact of the success of your dental office. Using statistical data to monitor and analyze your system as well as your front staff. It’s very effective in measuring the advancements of your dental practice.
Improving your Dental Practice’s Productivity
One of the given facts is that you will need to increase the number of treatment plans as well as products/services enlisted to patients and customers. Many different factors contribute to how well your dental practice is performing. By improving your social media presence online, the engagement between your patients shows great potential in increasing the growth of your dental practice.
Your patients are the number one priority when it comes to your dental practice. Their safety, as well as their experience, is what drives them to return and book another future appointment. They are the people who can push your dental clinic to improve. Impressions are very important when interacting with your patients so it’s always a good idea to start there to progress towards an effective workflow at your dental practice.
1. Patient Interactions
The initial interaction your patient will have with your dental office generally starts when your receptionist answers their phone. A majority of your patients will contact through phones in comparison to other methods.
The main concern about this situation is properly training your staff for front-line customer service.
- Practicing methods like interactive listening techniques
- Ensures that your staff is listening to the concern/detail of what the patients are saying.
- Improve customer service by using a text-type platform as most prefer to communicate through SMS
2. Decrease Patient Wait-Time
Most people hate wasting time. The time spent in the waiting room for patients shouldn’t be longer than 10 minutes. Generally, patient’s satisfaction will reflect positively concerning the waiting time.
Communication, of course, plays an impactful role concerning your customer’s satisfaction which correlates with your productivity in a dental practice. Upfront information is important when interacting with customers. When regarding their wait-time, it’s always best to let them know about the estimated wait time when they arrive at your dental practice. Patients will appreciate the heads up.
Predicting the wait time for a patient can be very demanding and difficult, however, it’s something that patients will be very grateful for even if it’s an estimate. Let them know that it’s only an estimate and it depends on the situation. Again, communication is a very important factor in keeping your patients satisfied.
3. Appointment Confirmations
Most dental practices rely primarily on their marketing systems as well as their management. Your dental practice increasing in productivity with a follow-up confirmation is very credible. With more patients in the dental chair, the increase in productivity (of course).
By enlisting patients on treatment plans are important, however, a lot of patients do tend to be forgetful and busy so they are susceptible to missing their appointments. Your office must implement a system that sends out a reminder or a message to the patient a few hours before the appointment to remind them.
This prevents most patients from missing their appointments and reducing your dental office productivity.
4. Front Staff Communication
The most successful medical practices have an amazing receptionist that ensures that their patients are happy and satisfied. The front desk staff is the catalyst to the communication flow throughout your dental practice and establishes the quality of the care.
By improving internal communication within your dental office, it prevents mistakes that could damage your dental office’s image to the general public. With a good practice manager, they are trained to keep track of the communication systems that provide results from the front office to the back office members.
- Giving your office manager the authority to prepare training seminars, as well as effective accountability systems, to your staff to assure that they give the patients the proper satisfaction and treatment.
- Instead of assigning everyone the same job, reduce the confusion about whether it be financial details or treatment, appoint specific staff members specific categories like billers or coders.
5. Assess Patient Feedback as a Team
One of the main selling points of a great dental clinic is their customer service and marketing. By establishing your presence on directory listing and social media, it increases the amount of feedback you can receive from previous patients. Increasing your knowledge base, it creates opportunities to improve your customer service as well as their experience with the team.
With how influential the internet is today, it’s become more prevalent than any other referrals. The fast and easy online customer platforms allow the patients to share their opinions and feedback which is great. Engagement with your directory listing sites is mandatory if you want to build a loyal customer base.
With today’s volatile business environment, customers can be gained or lost in a simple look at your feedback ratings. One of the best ways to retain as well as gain customers are through your engagement with your patients. Being a dental office that responds to patients about their concerns, it becomes a unique selling point for your practice. This gives potential clients more of an inclination to book an appointment.
6. Treatment Costs
According to the ADA, the costs of dental treatments are the primary reason adults indicate why they do not want to book an appointment at a dental office in the next 12 months.
Many dental insurance providers are also fairly discriminant about the specific dental work they cover. So this also discourages many potential patients from booking appointments and postponing them.
Both situations can affect your patients’ decision in booking an appointment. This goes to show, that by providing your upfront costs, it allows patients to decide rather than just a complete denial of booking an appointment. It’s important to help the patient understand the cost and the coverage that comes with their dental plans. It also helps to offer an estimator for the cost that gives them the ability to finance their treatment.
7. Dental Office Design and Layout
As your dental office is one of the places where you spend most of your time, it’s a great investment. You can never underestimate how much of an impact a simple office design can sway patients’ decisions to book an appointment. The culture of the dental practice is translucent the moment the patient walks into the office.
Proper attention to design detail in a dental office can set the tone for team productivity. When working in a nice workspace, people tend to be more motivated and look forward to working every day. Find what products make a good first impression and advertise these dental products as an addition to the design!.
8. Lighting Matters.
Proper lighting inside a dental office can mean LIGHT and DAY. The design of the office doesn’t stop with the amenities and the furniture. By having good lighting, it can have an impact on the patients’ experience from both the waiting room as well as the actual procedures.
- Transitioning to more natural light rather than a fluorescent light makes a huge difference in the office. It gives the office more of an ambient and natural look.
- Recessed lights are also a great replacement over decorative lights as decorative lights tend to give off an uncomfortable brightness.
- By providing an adequate task light in clinical and business areas of your practice, it can lead to a beneficial addition to enhancing productivity and drowsiness.
9. Professional Morning Meetings
A start of a good day sets the tone and mood for the rest of the day. The same with daily productivity. As a result of how you set the day, a morning meeting with your team is the starting point of a successful dental practice. With all your staff on the same page, it allows for better team coordination as well as physical confirmation.
An effective method of starting your morning meeting on management tasks like:
- Emergency patient protocol for the day as well as case acceptance.
- Overhead profitability
- Handoffs and deliveries that may occur throughout the day.
10. Automated Billing
As a form of payment, many dental offices rely on a form of organized payments. This may occur through either a receivable system as well as insurance claim processes. An essential tool you may use to help make these processes more efficient is billing software.
Automated billing makes practice management processes a whole world of a difference. The software will make it so your automated system that includes both billing and appointment reminder, are sent out
11. Payment Platforms
Now that you have automated billing software in place, it also makes adding payment technology a lot easier. It also permits faster transactions between your patients as well as your office. This is a result of a majority of patients using credit cards.
To maximize productivity in an office, a payment processor would make your life a lot easier. For one, it increases both profitabilities as well as productivities for the dental plan/service provided. With a simple system, it shifts both the liability of the dental payment to the patient and removes the additional step of collecting from the patient for your team.
12. Using the Latest Dental Technology and Digital Platforms
One of the more successful dental professionals tends to be more up to date about dental practice management. Especially the management software. With professional management software, it makes scheduling, managing, planning, and providing dental care into what seems like a mindless process.
With added security with the newer updated software, many other benefits come with these programs.
13. Up to Date Dental Supplies
A driving force behind the most productivity within a dental practice is the preparedness in any of your dental treatment rooms. If each room is well equipped with dental equipment, it gives you better access to provide any dental procedures at a moment’s notice.
This also helps with the organization as well as prevent/eliminate issues that will cause delay, decreasing your productivity.
14. Providing a Digital Schedule
Quality customer service is the catalyst to the satisfaction of your patients. If properly executed, daily employee transitions between shifts can change up the dynamic of your entire office to a better workplace. We recommend a professional scheduling platform that gives you the ability to schedule a variety of things like:
- Shift Scheduling
- Vacation requests
- Shift swaps
By having a professional digital schedule that all of your employees can access, it allows them to schedule things orderly as well as see the availability of other staff. With the digital schedule, better communication is necessary to progress the productivity of your office. Your staff should have a better understanding of each other as well as yourself.
15. Innovation and New Services
By offering newer services as well as constantly developing your practice into something better than the day before, motivates your staff as well as attracts and retains patients. It’s one of the values that lead to how to get more dental patients into your office.
Increasing the number of services as well as keeping updated with the ever-changing dental practice, it will increase the potential of new patients as well as developing a quality patient base. These loyal patients may also refer to your practice if you provide a service that is unlike other dental practices.
Approaching your practice with an innovative mindset, as mentioned earlier, establishes an incentive to your patients as to why they shouldn’t choose another dental practice over yours. Like incorporating marketing and other strategies.
16. Incorporating a Bonus System
Sometimes, your staff just needs that little extra motivation. One of the methods that we recommended in how to motivate your dental staff, we mentioned how an award incentive offers your staff a little extra boost they need to work harder and put in just a little more to your dental practice.
Make sure that the bonus provides feedback and encouragement to the directed staff so that they understand why they received what the did. Rewarding things like punctuality, increasing their patient numbers, sharing information, as well as reaching goals by the end of the month.
17. Bonding with your Dental Staff
Every step you take to improve your dental office is a step you take with your team. When everyone is on the same page, you can become more productive as well as succeed together!
Overall, there are many different ways to increase the productivity of your dental practice. Whether it be a software that makes appointments a breeze, to even a bonus program that will help motivate the team to work harder, there are a variety of different methods that you can incorporate into your practice to improve the productivity of your dental office.
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