5 Ways To Streamline Your Patient Communication

Dental Speaker

Nope, you’re not wrong. There is too much to do nowadays. Way too much.

There’s scheduling, training, communicating with patients, negotiating with insurers, budgeting and accounting. Oh, and delivering care.

So maybe the first question to ask when looking at your to-do list isn’t whether you can get all that work done. Maybe the best question is: What can we streamline?

Luckily, that question has some practical, super-affordable answers that won’t compromise your practice’s brand or your goals.  

In fact, when done right, you can bolster both. Here’s how:

Get an “I’ll be there!” quickly with text messaging

Sixty-nine percent of patients like when their doctor’s office texts them — especially when confirming an appointment and prepping them on upcoming tests.

Makes sense, right? Nowadays, Americans are constantly on the go. Texting is the easiest way to reach them.

But it doesn’t only benefit patients. Your day-to-day gets a whole lot easier, too!

With texting, you save time. Lots, actually. Your office eliminates the dreaded time-suck of phone tag, and you can carry on multiple conversations with patients at once.

Imagine how much time you gain when nearly nine out of 10 patients respond to your texts within five minutes or less.

Spark joy (and efficiency) with online forms

Marie Kondo’s joyful approach to tidying doesn’t only apply to homes — dental offices can benefit from a clutter-free space, too.

Managing dozens of paper forms, like those for intake and treatment plans, can add lots of stress, not to mention time, to an already-jam-packed work day. Not only do you need to hand out and collect forms from patients and decipher handwriting, but you also need to make sure you’re not exposing PHI to office visitors and the public.

Enter online forms. They help offices get more done without all the headaches (and costs) of paper. Plus, when customizable, their uses are infinite.  

Add them to your website, or email them so patients can complete the forms ahead of their appointment. Start getting signatures for treatment plans in real time, not weeks later!

With online forms, your office becomes chic, convenient, and crazy efficient. That sounds pretty joyful!

Smarten up your phone system

Dental teams are facing the same question general consumers did 10 years ago, when smartphones first came out: do our traditional phones make us as productive as we could be?

The truth is, new dental office phone systems, like those that run online (also called VoIP), offer a ton of benefits that increase productivity.

They enable teams to route calls to different phones, like a personal cell, so an office never misses out on a new patient again. And they help teams avoid the interruptions of manually forwarding callers. 

These smart phones also simplify customer service. In addition to indicating who’s on the other line, they provide you with pertinent contact info and treatment history if one of your patients is the caller. That means you no longer need to hunt for a patient’s file during a call, put them on hold, or pretend you remember everything about them. (We’ve all been there.)

Save time with follow-up and recall campaigns

For most dental offices, follow-up and recall campaigns are absolute necessities. They guide patients back into the office and create the revenue that practices rely on.

But when done manually, these communications can exhaust a team or easily fall by the wayside amid the standard office chaos.

That’s where automated campaigns come in. They do all the tedious work that can gobble up hours and hours of your team’s time. And since the campaigns are automatic, you never forget to send them, even when that chaos-driven amnesia is at its worse. 

These life-savers are incredibly specific, too. Because they’re based on each patient’s chart, they can reference the specific service (sometimes the tooth number!), include patient-education videos, and offer estimated costs!

Think of the time your team can gain back with all that manual, error-prone work off your plate. Doesn’t your day just feel lighter?!

Free up time — and your A/R — with online payments

As shoppers, we know all the plusses of paying online instead of in a store: it’s faster, it makes you feel more productive, and it’s more convenient.

The funny thing is, dental offices experience those very same benefits when you make online payments available.

Your office learns right away about a payment, and you can immediately reconcile it against records in your PMS. Your team also frees up time because patients are not calling as often with questions about payments. And the inconvenience of handling all those sensitive credit card and checking account paper records — gone!

The next time your to-dos give you the blues

The next time you’re staring at your list of to-dos, remember, take a step back. It’s not about getting everything done the way you used to. It’s about picking what your team needs to do the usual way, and then finding a way to simplify the rest.

RevenueWell creates closer relationships between dentists and their patients. Built specifically for dental offices, our practice marketing suite automates patient communication processes — giving practices the tools to attract new patients, build better relationships, and simply get more done. Learn more!

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