As a welcome to the New Year, many practice owners could be seeking ways to improve the overall productivity and efficiency of their offices. Finding new and innovative ways to increase dental office productivity can enhance staff agility, boost the patient experience, and help welcome new patients. Improvement in any of the areas mentioned in our guide below can also help increase revenue in the process.
1. Focus on Creating Remarkable First Impressions
Scheduling appointments with dentists may surprisingly cause anxiety to many patients. Focusing on creating remarkable first impressions means training front office staff to answer the phone professionally and set the tone for the rest of the visit. The initial phone call to your office, for instance, can play a vital role. It may be the basis on which a patient decides whether to proceed and make an appointment or skip. You must train front desk staff at your dental office on friendly and courteous phone call etiquette. Equip them with resources and information they need to respond to patient questions. This will also help them become more confident and increase overall productivity.
Most callers lack the patience and the time to be transferred to different departments to get the queries addressed. If a patient calls your dental office for the first time and has all their questions answered, make an appointment based on their schedule. You are bound to feel respected and genuinely thanked by the end of the conversation. You will also know that you have taken the first step toward a long-term doctor-patient relationship.
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2. Cross-train Your Dental Team
To increase dental office productivity, you must have agility. And hardly anything else reflects agility like cross-training a team does. The idea behind cross-training is to build a team of versatile players with “T-shaped” skills. This indicates that each teammate must possess deep expertise in a specific area—say, billing—but also possess general skills in other relevant areas, like dental marketing or scheduling.
- Map out at least three new skills each teammate must cultivate throughout the year
- Discuss with your team which skills they want to inculcate
- Share standard operating procedures with team members
- Set up and supervise shadow meetings between the primary task owner and cross-trainee
- Modify job descriptions from time to time to include new skills, and add achievable performance goals
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3. Digitize Employee Scheduling Process
Writing down the staff schedule on a paper calendar is time-consuming, monotonous, and confusing. It is the traditional way of managing schedules. This is a key area where your dental office can go paperless. Besides, it can also be better organized, more efficient, and the staff will get more time in hand to complete other essential tasks. Digitizing scheduling processes helps reduce human errors, keep your staff organized, and allow for quick and easy schedule changes. When everyone is on the same page regarding their respective employee schedules, you can do away with short-staffing issues.
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4. Encourage Patient Feedback
It is said that when you know better, you perform better. This is also applicable to increasing productivity at your dental office. Encouraging patient feedback helps you get an inside look into certain aspects of your practice that you had not noticed before. Patient satisfaction surveys empower you to see how all the steps of the dental experience makes patient feel and which areas require improvement. Many dental practices encourage feedback by making it easy for patients to leave their reviews on a mobile device. In most cases, patients are happy to leave feedback as long as the process is short and easy.
5. Add Innovative Marketing Touchpoints
By adding a few touchpoints to marketing efforts, you are most likely to increase patient retention, enhance engagement, and also welcome new patients. Be creative with your marketing, and patients are going to appreciate the outreach.
- Create short and crisp videos from your dental office. Your marketing team or specialist can send those to patients after their treatment to reaffirm your recommendations. Such a personal touch can go a long way.
- Have you tried sending appointment reminders to patients through text messages? You must if you have not yet. But before that, consider asking patients if they wish to be texted and reminded.
Implement some or all the above tips at your dental practice, and you will be sure to see improvements in your dental office productivity. To learn more or share something with us, you can connect today.
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