The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental practices, as well as other public health settings, was unprecedented. We are now in the beginning stages of moving forward into the new normal phase as far as public health programs. Several other considerations have entered the forefront as far as dental practice goals are concerned. Topics such as patient communication, automation, extension of services, continuing education, and new marketing strategies have come under more scrutiny as the dentist evaluates annual goals for the new year. Let’s take a look at some ways your dental practice can be more productive and efficient in 2022!
Better Patient Communication
How do your patients feel about resuming dental services? In order to build patient trust, consider sending your patients some type of communication about where your dental office stands as far as the services now being offered and the safety protocols you have adapted as a result of the pandemic. If you are open and transparent with your patients, you will build their trust. As a result, they will be more likely to begin regular preventive services and recommended treatments again on a regular basis.
More Automated Technologies
Automated industry technologies were great at a time when dental offices were shut down for a time and patients were still in need of services. The type of technology you want to sustain and incorporate needs to be of value to your patients and keep your dental practice running efficiently. Consider automating labor-intensive tasks in your dental office to save time and increase productivity. Software systems that reduce paperwork seem to be the current leader in making dental offices more productive and everyone’s life easier. Everything from patient appointment confirmation software to employee scheduling and payroll can be done in a more secure fashion with less paperwork.
Expand Services Offered
Expanding the services offered in your practice can give you a competitive advantage and also tap in to new streams of revenue. One consideration is to offer payment plans within your dental practice. There are several who have lost their employment during the pandemic who may benefit from your custom payment options. The incorporation of specializations, such as orthodontics and oral surgery, might be an option to consider as well. It may be easier to include these types of services due to more availability and collaboration between dental professionals. As it becomes more important to keep the whole body healthy, more of a focus on prevention and oral hygiene would be a great option.
Continuing Education Opportunities
In order to keep up with progression in the dental industry and regulations, encourage or provide more educational opportunities for your dental team. Many sessions are offered virtually. Suggest a list of training opportunities for them to attend, as well as others to help them be better at their job. Dental practices providing continuing education opportunities for their team members can increase revenue. The American Dental Association offers virtual courses to help grow your practice and meet licensure requirements for yourself and your team members.
Invest in Your Staff
Keeping the morale of your dental staff high should be a top priority as you enter the new year. Make a goal to engage with your staff on both personal and professional levels. Create ways to offer encouragement when things are going well, and even when times are tough. Plan on ways to incorporate continuing education into the dental practice. And plan ways to get together as a team for fun. Consider ways to reward those staff members who have worked through the pandemic. Communication with your staff members about ideas to help the practice run more efficiently and encouragement for a job well done that includes bonuses and promotions will build office morale.
A New Marketing Strategy
Marketing is very important, whether your dental practice is thriving or not as profitable. Your practice must remain competitive. Two ways to continue to have an edge on the competition is through building patient loyalty and attracting new patients. The use of social media, online reviews and an updated company website can help your practice thrive. Consider the following:
- goals for your dental practice
- how you can better serve your market
- develop a creative marketing plan that can set your dental practice apart
- appear as a very credible resource
- user your website as a free opportunity to connect with both current and prospective patients with dental health blogs
- offer incentives to any new patients through referrals
- make yourself available for media opportunities in your marketing area on topics related to oral health
In order to be paid as soon as possible for dental services, submitted dental claims must be complete and correct. It is crucial your dental office is up-to-date on the latest coding and is diligent about their accuracy. Dental office staff must do all they can to avoid claims rejections and submit the proper attachments for office reimbursement as quickly as possible. You may want to consider an electronic means of submitting claims to validate them before they are transmitted.
The team at Strategic Practice Solutions can help you reach new heights for yourself and your practice by assisting it to run smoothly. They have been in business for 30 years and understand where you are coming from and can help. Check out more information on how they help, who they help, and who they are today. Enter dentistry in 2022 in the driver’s seat!