You’re getting ready to open a dental practice—congratulations! When setting up a new practice, you have a lot on your plate. From decorating your new space to hiring to getting systems and technology up and running, the “to-dos” are neverending. However, if you’re asking for recommendations on the best scanners and shredders or researching walkie-talkies for inter-office communication, we’ll need you to stop right there.
A successful modern dental practice eschews inefficient technology and processes that create more work, such as paper filing systems. A modern (and successful) practice also makes business decisions based on whether a system or process will enhance or hurt the patient experience.
To point you in the right direction, we created a new dental practice checklist you should adopt right away to ensure your dental startup is a success!
✅ Say ‘Yes’ To Dental Automation Software
As your practice opens its doors, you may have time on your hands to assign your front office tasks such as filing, printing, and scanning new documents. However, manual systems and processes will quickly become a bottleneck as your practice grows.
Your team may have time now to keep up with filing and data entry for each patient record, but that won’t last long. Furthermore, the cost of paperwork will add up quickly. For example, established practices with 3,000 patient records could spend as much as $10,000 in employee wages to prep paper charts. While you won’t be at a 3,000-patient base right away, this illustrates the workload that could await you as you grow into an established dental practice.
We recommend being a fully automated practice out of the gate for these reasons and more. Benefits and capabilities of an automated dental practice include:
- Digital patient forms that sync directly to your PMS
- Automated appointment reminders and automated online recall scheduling
- A smarter and faster way to pull patient data on-screen, when a patient of record calls the practice
By automating your workflows, you’re making it easy for patients to engage and get the information they need while ensuring your practice stays one step ahead.
✅ Establish Discreet And Seamless Dental Office Messaging
We get it; you’re a new dental practice with a small team, so why bother investing in communication software? If you need to reach each other, why not just shout into a walkie-talkie or leave sticky notes behind? We’ll tell you why, because it disrupts the patient experience.
Picture This: A new patient sits in the waiting room after checking in. They are trying to relax but instead hear your team chatting about which operatories are available all while walkie-talkies are going on and off in the background. On top of that, your patient hears the staff mentioning their name a few times, making them feel a bit nervous. Most people don’t like going to the dentist — so don’t make their experience even more stressful!
By investing in smart intra-office communication tools, such as YAPI’s office messaging system, you are:
- Exchanging old, dated technology and physical interruptions for built-in instant messaging from your computer workstations and smartwatches
- Enabling your team to communicate discreetly with one another, protecting the integrity and privacy of patient information
- Providing a much more seamless experience for a patient handoff, from back to the front office
✅ Make It Easy For Patients To Book Online
Implementing an online book system may seem premature if you’re a new practice with a small patient base. However, online scheduling can be a powerful patient acquisition tool. It can help you quickly build a patient base and can establish your practice as high-tech and modern—two things that are incredibly beneficial when trying to stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few reasons why online booking is a ‘must’
Prequalifies New Dental Patients: With YAPI’s online scheduling system you can make insurance verification part of the booking process, that way no surprises arise if a patient were to fully book an appointment, only to find later that their insurance isn’t accepted
Enhances Your Dental Marketing Efforts: As a new practice, you likely won’t have a huge marketing budget. No matter—you can link directly to your online booking system on your website, on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, or even on your online review platform.
Reduces No-Shows: Research from 2019 shows that clinics with online scheduling can reduce their no-show rate from 25% to 11%.
✅ Build Your Reputation With Online Reviews
Getting online reviews can seem like a chicken versus the egg problem. To get more patients, you need online reviews, but without online reviews, it can be hard to get more patients. However, by being proactive you can quickly generate more reviews on key sites such as Yelp!, Healthgrades, or Google My Business. Here’s how:
- Train the front desk team to ask patients about their appointment during check out. If they respond positively, direct them to your online review website of choice to leave their feedback.
- Send follow-up texts after the appointment (another time automation comes in handy!) with a link to your online review site and a short, polite request to leave a review.
- Share links to your great online review platforms on social media. Link to your Yelp! or Google page in your Instagram bio and on Facebook.
If you’re ready to make these changes, check out our “Starting a new dental practice checklist” to make sure any systems you might purchase pass the test!