1 Upgrade to digital imaging
Upgrade now. The longer you wait, the longer you miss out on the advantages to be gained by using digital imaging. In addition, purchase a good digital camera for dental use, and learn how to use it. Evaluate ROI and purchase the appropriate digital extraoral radiography equipment as soon as prudent. The longer you wait, the more opportunities you will miss.
2 Use Images To Create Reports And Handouts
One of the best reasons to use digital imaging, and one of the ways that it is most underutilized, is for the creation of reports and other handouts for patients. Create reports that can be printed for each patient who visits the practice. Simple letters that thank the patient for their trust and include their photos and/or radiographs are easy to produce and highly appreciated by the patient. Systematize the creation of these types of letters and reports.
3 Environment — What’s Your Impact?
In today’s environmentally-conscious world, every business needs to carefully evaluate their environmental impact. Digital imaging, paperless charting, paperless medical questionnaires, green computing, power conservation, and aggressive recycling are all examples of relatively simple green initiatives that every dental practice would be wise to implement. Once implemented, find creative ways to draw attention to these initiatives.
4 Computerized contact management
Patients care about how they are spoken too, how long they wait, the mood of the staff, the way the phone is answered, how quickly their questions are handled, all affect a patient’s perception of the service provided by the practice. Track what you can and use a computerized system to keep notes on everything and anything that might improve perceived service.
5 Upgrade antiquated equipment
If you expect your patients to describe your practice with terms like ‘modern,’ ‘high-tech,’ or ‘up to date,’ you’ll need to look the part. If a technology item looks like something from the previous century, your patients will notice. Replace it. By eliminating older technology items, you will likely make your staff more productive and also reduce energy usage as well. Automated lab equipment has been added to the dental industry in order to make dentistry more accessible to the masses. This means that dental care will be available for everyone, all while lowering costs.
6 Get Involved With 3D Imaging
Implement cone beam volumetric imaging in your practice now. If that’s not possible, either due to financial or legislative reasons, get as involved with 3D imaging as you can. This means sending patients for 3D studies, working with the actual 3D volumes, learning how to diagnose and treatment plan with them, and using the volumes to educate patients. Short of juggling flaming chainsaws, there is nothing that will impress your patients more than the manipulation of their 3D volumetric data while you discuss their treatment plan.
7 Use Technology For A Better Patient Experience
The patient experience is as much a function of the environment and atmosphere in the practice as it is about the clinical services provided. Movies, music, recorded television programming and educational content can all be delivered on demand, and customized to each patient’s preferences.
8 Backup, Backup, Backup
The potential for catastrophic system failure exists. Virus protection, data protection, usage policies, access policies, security, documentation, and recovery plans are necessary although unexciting realities for any modern dental office. Make sure that your data is being backed up, and make sure that someone is checking that backup.
9 Practice Management Software
The choice of practice management software is probably the most important single decision that impacts the administrative functions of the practice. Making an incorrect choice can be devastating. Evaluate practice management applications carefully, and make a decision based on features, support, appropriateness, and quality. Don’t choose based on price alone.
10 Appropriate Use Of Technology
The greatest assemblage of technology items will do nothing to help your practice or impress your patients if they are not used well and appropriately. Make use of any training resources available, which are appropriate to your systems and setup, and seek out new training opportunities. Use technology to communicate with patients as is appropriate to each of them.