3 Lessons DSOs Learned From COVID-19: Cash Flow, Culture and Care

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Now that we’re on the other side of what was a difficult year for DSOs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to reflect on lessons learned. Here are three ways to build positive momentum — financial processes, culture and patient experiences — so that your organization can come back strong and be prepared for future downturns.

Read on for more about how these three lessons can help you be successful as a DSO in good times and challenging times.

1. Prepare financial processes now
DSOs have to know where they are at any given point with accounting, including budgeting, planning and cash flow. When government mandates called for shutting down dental practices, suddenly practices critically needed a holistic financial picture.

If they already had certain financial processes in place, DSOs that had to furlough employees and stop seeing patients maintained strong positions financially. Dentrix Ascend users in particular were able to keep cash flowing, even when they were not allowed in their offices, because they switched to a strategy of working down insurance accounts receivable from a home office, using their cloud-based practice management software. Delays in closing accounting periods and other obstacles were offset by concentrating on what could be done, instead of what was out of reach.

2. Cultivate a strong team culture
Especially when leaders were mindful of their organizations’ finances, robust team cultures driven by strong leadership made it possible for some DSOs to perform better than those that struggled with culture. While the situation with COVID-19 made gaps apparent, DSOs that had resilient cultures before the pandemic were able to tighten those gaps more quickly and easily.

Good leaders helped their teams focus on the company’s vision and on building relationships, fostering a thriving culture. For Dentrix Ascend users, having remote access meant their culture could stay strong, even with closures, because team members were able to collaborate while processing finances and when communicating with patients. These employees who were keeping the business running while others were furloughed had the technology tools to work productively and efficiently.

3. Ensure a superior patient experience
You can positively impact patient care by creating measurable goals and the financial processes to support those goals. Practices have always wanted to create a great experience for patients, and those DSOs that were early adopters of technology promoting patient-centered encounters were also ahead of the DSOs that did not have those tech tools.

To create the best possible patient experience at a difficult time, successful DSOs provided new workflows such as touch-free check-in and contactless payments to facilitate social distancing and reassure patients who were concerned about health and safety protocols.

As practices reopened, they had the burden of adding and following significant safety measures to their day-to-day operations. Dental teams needed to learn how to make the most of their software to free employees to give time and attention to patients.

Don’t Settle for Average
The universal message behind all three of these lessons is not to settle for average. Whether in good times or extreme circumstances, DSOs that use cloud-based, high-performing practice management software such as Dentrix Ascend can still enjoy robust financial processes, a strong culture and a team that is excited to treat patients.

Watch the Dentrix Ascend “3 Lessons Learned From COVID-19” webinar on demand to learn more from industry experts on how to thrive in challenging times.

To learn more about Dentrix Ascend and how it
can support your DSO’s goals of cash flow, culture,
patient care and more, call (844) 588-6473
or request a request a demo.


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