Dental Practice Automation: 4 Ways to Improve Practice Efficiency

Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook

July 8, 2021 3 min read

Cloud-based practice management software leads the technology wave in dentistry and brings with it the benefits of automation. Dental practices can achieve new levels of self-reliance and productivity with automation and provide great value for their patients. Before exploring the ‘how’ of practice automation, let’s consider the ‘why’ of it first.

Increasing competition in the market by groups and Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) pushes practice owners to work harder than ever before. There is a massive need for dental practices to add value, improve patient engagement, and provide consistent quality of service.  All this while reducing overheads and efficiently navigating the trenches of day-to-day operations. 

Automation is already playing a key role in increasing case acceptance, improving patient engagement, acquiring new patients, and streamlining communication and coordination between staff members and patients alike. With the new realities of Covid-19, automation is a must-have solution for dental practices to consider. 

Here are four processes that benefit from automation in a dental office:

1. Reminders: Treatment plans, Appointments, Patient recalls

Automating reminders is a great way to improve patient retention and practice efficiency. A modern cloud-based practice management software helps you roll out reminders for multiple contexts. This includes but is not limited to appointment and treatment plan reminders and patient recalls. Reach out to your patients, reach out to them in ways they prefer, like text messages and emails. 

Moreover, automating follow-ups effectively ensures that your patients are well cared for even after they leave your practice. Let’s consider automation in the context of treatment plans. Once you’ve completed a treatment procedure and outlined the next steps, a follow-through email detailing the care instructions gets delivered to your patients. Automating this process, removes the possibility of errors and ensures that your patients receive necessary instructions before they get back home. 

On a similar note, you can automate patient recalls and reactivations which are the backbone of any thriving practice. This is a time-intensive activity that demands constant attention and effort from your staff. It requires careful planning and communication across multiple channels and media platforms. Additionally, you need to monitor patient interactions and maintain a proper cadence for your recall campaigns to yield results. Automation helps you roll out your plans at the flip of a switch and provides periodic data that paints an accurate picture for recall campaigns. It helps gather actionable data that tells you what works, what needs to improve, and what has to change. 

The ability to configure the frequency and format of reminders is another added benefit of automation. Let’s consider appointment reminders. Practice management software lets you configure how frequently reminders get sent. You can easily maintain multiple patient lists, based on patient types and their preferences. Configure daily, weekly, hourly, or custom reminders for each patient type. You can send frequent reminders to those patients that need them while respecting the privacy of patients who keep their appointments and don’t wish to be bothered. Such configurations help you add layers of personalization and improve engagement without any additional grunt work. 

2. Filling in missed appointments

Cancellations and no-shows are the facts of life at a dental practice. No matter how much you refine your plans for missed appointments, it always sends your front desk into a frenzy to fill empty slots. These last-minute changes scramble your plans for productive scheduling, where you carefully structure your daily schedules to meet production targets. Practice management solutions offer fill-in features that automatically detect last-minute cancellations and run through your cancellation lists until a replacement is found. 

3. Online registration forms

When you link electronic scheduling features through your website, the patient intake process becomes a breeze. Electronic forms streamline the patient registration process and enable patients to fill in the required paperwork before they set foot in your practice. They have the flexibility to complete the intake process using their laptops or smartphones. The main contribution from automation is in the time saved when the digital registration forms integrate into your patient records. This ensures accuracy and is a convenient alternative for the practice and the patient. Hours spent in entering data from messy notes get done in a matter of minutes. 

4. Patient testimonials

Patient ratings are a crucial part of the new patient sales funnel. Normally, this involves collecting patient feedback from the front desk, compiling and then posting it onto digital platforms. With online reputation management features, practice management software helps automate this process. Text messages with links to register feedback get sent to patients as soon as they check out from your practice. All it takes is a few clicks to gather and post feedback and testimonials to your website and social media platforms. 

Disruptive technology offerings by CareStack help streamline your production by automating practice operations. With CareStack, you get one complete solution to manage everything. That includes appointments, treatments, claims, payments, patient communication, reporting, and more. Gain more time to focus on your staff, patients, and your personal life. Get a lot done in just a few clicks.

Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook

July 8, 2021 3 min read