The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice of the DSO Industry – Episode 165

dental ai dso podcast

Paul Blocchi, Founder of RushTree, and Ronnie Klein, Chief Business Development Officer of RushTree, explain AI in dentistry, its applications, how to leverage AI and how to manage it across all of your locations. If you are looking for AI 101 and what is possible in dentistry, this is a much watch.

Paul and Ronnie share their knowledge and discuss:

  • What is AI & AI literacy?
  • The current narrative on dental AI
  • AI as a “force multiplier”
  • Using AI for cultural harmony
  • Real practice applications and optimization
  • What is coming next? (It’s big!)

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Full DSO Podcast Transcript:

Bill Neumann: Welcome, everyone, to the Group Dentistry Now show. I’m Bill Neumann. And as always, we appreciate everybody listening in or maybe you’re watching us on YouTube. But however you consume our content, we really appreciate your support because if we didn’t have great listeners and viewers like you, we wouldn’t have great guests like the next two guests we have on our show today. If you are watching this, they may be familiar faces to you. If you’re listening in, you most certainly will know these names. And if you don’t, you’re going to learn all about what they’re doing now. We have two industry veterans. We have Paul Blocky, who is the founder of RushTree Business Optimization. And we also have Ronnie Klein, who is the Chief Business Development Officer at Rush Tree. So Paul and Ronnie, thanks. Thanks for being here today. This is going to be a great conversation. I think it’s really needed in the industry. We are, I mean, the topic is AI and I’m thinking, okay, well, what is AI? And I think, well, we’ll start with that question, but first we’ll start with introductions. Paul, can you tell the audience a little bit about your background in the industry and then also maybe talk a little bit about what RushTree is and why you and Ronnie have developed this organization?

Paul Blocchi: Sure. Bill, thank you and thank you for this opportunity. I know it’s been a long time coming. Grateful to be here. As far as background, I have about 32 years in healthcare, specifically dental. A few of those are actually focused on medical and vet, but primarily dental. And the idea of Rush Street came out of many decades of working. I worked primarily for manufacturers, Eastman Kodak, Planmeca, EWU, which we converted to Biotech, Vela, and some others. And basically, over those years, The lesson learned was a lot of these organizations were fantastic at promoting the products and bringing them into the practice. The opportunity always came, I believe, after the sale. How do we keep that expert level of information shared with the practice to help with training, maintenance, troubleshooting, those types of things? And that’s what really spawned the whole concept of Rushtree. And as AI has evolved, now there’s a real opportunity. I did my first AI project back in 2016 and in 2017. And now since the advent and understanding, better understanding of what AI can do through our friends at OpenAI with ChatGPT, there’s a real opportunity to bring this in the forefront. And I have to share up front, it was yourself and Ronnie Klein that really brought me back into the focus of dental with AI. And we’ll talk about that, hopefully get some key takeaways for everyone during this discussion today.

Bill Neumann: Thanks, Paul. And we have Ronnie Klein as well. And I’ll just say I know both Paul and have known Ronnie for quite a while. And I worked with Paul when he was at Vatak and knew him at Plan Mecca and some of the other organizations. With Ronnie, I have been at many a Henry Schein National Sales Meeting where he’s been on the stage winning an award or two. So it’s good to see both come together. But Ronnie, for the folks that don’t know who you are, a little bit about your background and then what your role is at Rush Tree.

Ronnie Klein: Thank you. Yeah, so I’ve been in dentistry for, believe it or not, 51 years. I was just trying to figure that out. My father had a small dental supply company in Brooklyn, New York, and for those from the New York area knew him very well. I then moved into as one of the first Shine reps hired in 1995. I was with Henry Shine for almost 25 years. I was also a VP at Henry Shine for three years, and was very intrigued when I started speaking with Paul about AI, well, what it meant. understanding how dental offices worked, and I was a very, very high-level, consistent consultive sales rep. I helped doctors to improve and increase their production, create cultural harmony in their offices, and constantly was helping them to build their business. And then I looked at what Paul was doing with Rush Tree since 2016 and said, you know, I just don’t understand why more people are not using AI to move forward with their offices in many ways. And it’s a new technology. It’s coming along. So it was really intriguing to me. And that’s why I really got involved with Paul and AI. I think it’s a great solution that can be utilized by many dental environments.

Bill Neumann: Thanks, Ronnie. We were kind of talking a little bit about this. We had a little bit of a prep session here. And the one thing that comes to mind in the dental industry, which maybe is probably unique when you think about AI, is my mind goes to technologies like Overjet, NVIDIA Health, and Pearl, maybe because they were the first to market so well in the dental industry, because there’s certainly a lot of different AI solutions for different things going on in the dental practices, but maybe we start off with what actually is AI? I mean, just let’s start at the basics because it can get pretty confusing with what perception is, depending on what you think AI might be. It might be chat GPT to some people.

Paul Blocchi: Yeah, yeah, well, Bill, you make a good point. You mentioned some fantastic, I like to call rock for our companies. They’re incredible tools, particularly around radiography, which is near and dear to my heart. And also, even with parallel charting, we’re seeing a lot more of these tools do a fantastic job. But for for Ronnie and I, the idea is what the story we want to bring to everyone is AI is in fact, a data story. And the key to understand that is We’re in the process right now of changing our relationship with data at a level that we’ve never seen in human history. And it’s very important to rethink how we look at our data, understand our workflows, and really work on making our data dance to do a few things. We like to use mantras and acronyms a lot to get concepts across to clients and friends. And the three things we focus on when we talk about AI is how do we compress time, multiply money, money as a means, and how do we help humans, not hurt humans, but help humans? So that’s one of the themes I’d like for everyone to take away from our discussion today. But AI is a data story.

Bill Neumann: Rodney, anything you want to add to that?

Ronnie Klein: Yeah, I think, yeah, I would like to add something. I believe that AI can really help the office significantly by, like Paul said, make the data dance. There’s a number of data points that I found that we would have to go through a number of reports to make the data dance. AI helps streamline that process for doctors and for teams, and I think it’s going to really be a force multiplier. I agree with Paul completely. AI, once you learn what it can do and how it can move and how it’s evolving, It will be a force multiplier that will streamline processes and systems and structures, help your clients significantly, your patients.

Bill Neumann: This leads into another point. So Ronnie says, once you learn what AI can do. So let’s talk about literacy. where are we on that learning curve right now when it comes to AI? And maybe specifically, because we are mostly, I see 99% dental people here running DSOs, small emerging groups, or solo practices. So what’s the AI literacy look like in the dental industry?

Paul Blocchi: Well, I’ll respond to that quickly saying, Bill, I believe we’re all students of AI, all of us, right? Even the best experts that are out there today, it’s moving at such a rapid rate that it’s challenging to keep up with the pace. But with that said, the way we look at AI is, again, Think of the relationship with your data and how we use that data. And then understand where we can apply it, what we can apply it to, when. And we’re going to talk about a few of the mantras. One of them we like to say, everything with your data, it’s an AI, is think of the content you’re reviewing or working with, the context that it’s in, and then how do we get creative? And if you use that framework, it really helps you, as Ronnie pointed out, think of what we can do with AI to really be a force multiplier. And what we’ve done with our, we have an offering we’re bringing just to dental, it’s called Pulse. We literally took several key areas where we believe AI can make a difference in the use case to the practice every day. We call it everyday AI. And that creates the force multiplier. So the goal is keep a student mindset. We’re all learning together. Don’t feel you’re left behind because we’re just at the beginning of this, but I promise you the world is going to change at a level many of us aren’t even thinking of and not far off in a matter of just a few years, it’s going to be a big difference. But I think it’s a huge opportunity to change the trajectory of your practices and more importantly, how we help each other every day, have a better work day and a better life.

Ronnie Klein: Definitely.

Bill Neumann: And let Ronnie add anything he’d like to that.

Ronnie Klein: Well, I believe this is a tremendous evolution. I remember when computers started, home computers, when you first had your first Mac or your first PC, it was a real evolution. You know, you had to start to think differently. What can I do with this tool? What should I do with this tool? How can I answer questions? You know, it was a novelty at the beginning, and then it became more industrially accepted. So I think that when you step back and you look at AI, It’s so vast that you have to think about the problems you want it to solve and then start to engage in what is AI, what can it really do besides write an email or a text or respond. And there’s a lot of tools that will be coming out for using artificial intelligence that I think will enhance the dev environment significantly on a non-clinical area.

Bill Neumann: So you mentioned non-clinical. So the current narrative in AI, I mean, it seems like the focus started clinically, but maybe it’s broadening a little bit. So what is that current narrative? What does that look like in dentistry?

Paul Blocchi: So the current narrative, as you mentioned, Bill, it’s very clinical focused, which is critical. But as that evolves, what we’ve done, we took four key areas of the practice and identified where we could plug AI in and make it a force multiplier, specifically key contact points on the outside and the inside of the practice. And I’ll run down them real quickly. But basically, The way we interact with websites is changing. I think you saw some of the demos we were showing you. We have an instant demo creator to show how you can, we don’t use the word bot, but we create advanced AI agents that really create engaging discussions so that we can get visitors from your site to that call to action. Typically in the dental office, that’s either leave your information and most importantly, schedule that appointment. And On the other point is on the front end, your phones are so critical. So we created an AI tool that whether you’re handling the phones internally, working with an outsourced agency, either way, we have a tool that will help cover those calls that are missed or mishandled. And then internally, we created a really powerful operations agent. and think of it as an expert generalist. So we’ll take every single policy, procedure, instruction for the practice and have that available 24-7 for quick answers. There was a recent study done by IDC. When Ronnie and I were researching this, it showed that knowledge workers on average are spending up to 2.1 hours searching for information on their workday, every single day. Years back, McKinsey, which was a huge management consulting firm, In general the time then was 1.8 hours so that number is increasing and our goal is let’s compress that time. So we created that internal tool and then on the marketing side. The way we market is changing. Google is changing. And a lot of you work with excellent firms. I believe some of these dental marketing firms are some of the best I’ve seen in all of health care. And I’m not just saying that because I’m dental biased, but they’re really good. And we happened to deal, before Ronnie convinced me to come forward with the idea of this Pulse program, I spent the last several years working behind the scenes, helping a lot of these agencies globally. And the way they’re presenting and working with businesses and practices is changing because Google’s changing. So you’re going to see a lot come out with AI search and things of this nature. But we also created a tool that will help act as a force multiplier to get you more reviews and referrals. So imagine all those, a whole team of experts putting for one solution. And we designed it so that It won’t interfere with your team or your workflows, but you can infuse it into everyday operation. That’s key. So it’s not a major change management effort. Ronnie and I spend years in change management and we understand nobody likes it. So we came up with a way where we can infuse this AI without any major interruptions. It’s very powerful.

Bill Neumann: Thanks, Paul. Ronnie.

Ronnie Klein: Yeah, I believe that I believe that working with practices internally, I saw a number of areas that I didn’t know how to help when I was in the field, but working with Paul and understanding how AI can be utilized, examples of clinical areas like hygienists who are there. We know there’s an issue with finding hygienists today, and there’s a shortage right now. When a temporary hygienist comes in, how do you direct them to your clinical protocols or how you would like their first time visit with a new patient to be? AI can direct that using data into exactly so that the hygienist can ask questions about what the clinical protocol for the office is. A new administrator at the front desk that has to understand how to input data into your PMS software. There’s a number of areas, a new assistant who doesn’t know how to clean or utilize the sterilizer, how to properly maintain it. We can put those tools in there that are able to, even if you train them, support them afterwards on how to do these administrative tasks. And they’re very, very important. And the question and answers that are going on between the team are very dragging in time. As Paul said, you’re constantly asking someone else how to do something. even after you’ve been taught, which is nobody’s fault, because, you know, you have a lot of things going on. But I think what AI will do is enhance that cultural harmony in the office and allow people to really get answers that are really important and don’t have to waste everyone’s time reiterating these protocols.

Bill Neumann: So who in a DSO or dental group is handling AI now, or is there like a lead person? And if not, who should be the go-to person in a dental practice? Because again, AI, we’ve got it pretty much, it can help with just about everything in a dental practice, or mostly everything. So in your experience, who should be handling that? Who should be the lead?

Paul Blocchi: Well, we’ve been speaking with manufacturers, distributors, and practices, and Ronnie’s excellent. It’s been great watching him really help folks focus on their primary pain points and then tie in the solution. I always like to say he’s great at bringing the chocolate and the peanut butter together, right, to create that solution. With that said, what we found is we’re dealing mostly with the owners, the CEOs, or C-level folks, but we always encourage every prospect, every client, identify the key liaison, someone you want to lead your AI effort. We like to call them the AI champions. So part of every program, We work with creating an AI champion for the practice or for the operation. And basically, it’s a train-the-trainer program. So we show them how to prioritize the use cases, how to implement. We always like to say crawl, walk, run. And we show them that philosophy and how to actually execute on this. And they do act like a train-the-trainer. It creates an efficiency. But most importantly, even when the project’s complete, we stay with you. And this AI champion creates an AI team. And that’s what ultimately develops systemic AI literacy. And this is the most important thing, right? When we understand, and we’ll talk about that at the end, you know, the language, logic, logistics of AI, make it part of our everyday routine. And I think that’s what’s key. So we start with the decision makers, but then we always identify who do you wish to be your AI champion and we’ll help develop them.

Bill Neumann: Great. So, and Ronnie, you can add to this, but I mean, as I’m listening to you both, you’re really talking about strategy side of things. You know, Rush Tree comes in, helps with the strategy, you know, who will be that leader, right? What are we going to focus on in the practice or at the different practices? And then maybe at the corporate level as well. And then you also focus in on the execution.

Ronnie Klein: That’s right. I’ll take that. You’re focusing on me? Okay, so I would say it starts with problem solving, like everything else. What are our biggest issues? What are our biggest concerns? There’s a number of areas that it could be focused on. I think the one thing that we do at Rush Tree that’s really different than a lot of other people is We understand dentistry. We understand how the AI literacy has to be taught to your staff, your teams. And I think we stayed with you during that process because it is a new data point that has to be taught to the actual team. And it has to be done correctly that this is not replacing your job, it’s enhancing your job. I think that’s really, really important. But I think that You need to open your mind to what that data is. It could be something like recorded phone calls. It could be a teaching process. It could be a clinical director who is teaching new doctors a new clinical aspect in the practice, such as restorations of implants. And then those things are taped or recorded. And then younger doctors can actually go back with AI and actually look at that teaching. look at those questions and actually ask questions about it if they miss something. So I think it’s a very big data point, but I think you have to start with what are our biggest pain points? What are our biggest staffing issues? What are our biggest concerns on engaging with the patient and creating a better patient experience? And how can we accomplish that?

Bill Neumann: So I guess on the execution side is you’re gathering all this data that you referred to. So whether it’s the training or whether it’s other information out there, you’re compiling all this and then processing it and then delivering it in a way where whether it’s new people coming into the practice that are working there as assistants or whatever, they can then take that information or communication with patients, making your website, easier to navigate. I mean, it’s just kind of the list goes on and on. So I guess it can get pretty overwhelming. And that’s why somebody like a rush tree can come in and really, where do we start? And then kind of build from there. Ronnie referred to this earlier on in the conversation when we were just kind of introducing RushTree. How does AI help act? And you talk about a force multiplier. So talk a little bit about what does force multiplier mean and how does AI help with that? Ronnie, we can start with you since you mentioned it.

Ronnie Klein: Well, you know, I think one of the most important things that Paul says, and don’t let it become overwhelming, it’s a crawl, walk, run. You have to start at the beginning. You don’t teach a child to speak in paragraphs before they learn their letters and their phonics. So I think you have to kind of say, OK, we have this big problem. Where do we start to crawl? Because you’re never going to get to running if you don’t start with the crawling process. Um, I think that, uh, basically when you start here with AI, it is a big project. It is a big focus and you can get overwhelmed with it. And I think that that has been an experience of my speaking with people about how it can enhance their company or whether their office. I think you have to step back and say, okay, what’s one of our problems. What’s two, what’s three. Let’s start with one. Let’s crawl, walk, run on that one. Let’s go to the second problem. Let’s crawl, walk and run. But as a force multiplier, I would say to you, the data is there. How we use the data, and I’ve seen it over and over again, you know, we’ve seen a number of practice management consultants say you have a million dollars worth of unscheduled treatment plan in your practice. How do you get there? How do you understand what those unscheduled treatment plans are? How do you analyze them? How do you look through them and say, okay, this one’s three years old and this one’s six months old. We need to refocus. And then we look at the treatment plans from all of the doctors that are working in a practice. And we say, does, does Dr. A do a better job of presenting treatment than Brad thought to be? It’s not a right or wrong or a better or worse. It’s how can we enhance those tools by using artificial intelligence with AI to take them both when they’re doing treatment plans. And I actually say, if we did this, we’re getting a better success ratio using KPIs for better treatment plan acceptance. And I think that’s a good example of how it becomes a force multiplier.

Bill Neumann: Paul, I don’t know if you have anything to add there, but I know you talk a lot about, you know, your client and the client means it’s not necessarily just the, you know, the CEO at the DSO, right?

Paul Blocchi: So yeah, thank you, Bill. So Ronnie made a good point about the force multiplier effect. The key is the philosophy of client. So you’ll hear a lot of folks talk about the customer, the customer. When we say client, we’re referring to not just the patient, but also the team members, your colleagues, and also even your vendor partners. When you use this philosophy, it expands your mind to look at all the data we’re using every day, how it can help each of those clients with a better experience. And it’s really powerful. We walk through exercises. Like I said, what we did with Pulse We have four pillars we work with. We set benchmarks. So after Q1, we have X amount of patients that we want to bring in incrementally gain. At the end of Q2, it’s Y amount. And even at the end of two quarters, I’ll make a point. We talk about compressing time. Our objective is to help your team gain up to one additional week per month in saved time. Think of the value of that alone, all those other higher valued activities your team could be doing. And you’re not measuring by years. It’s measured by months and quarters, even weeks, actually. But the thing is, Ronnie said, crawl, walk, run. Every single practice, even within a group, is going to adapt to this differently. Our job is to help guide that through working with your AI champion. And most importantly, one thing I take pride in, every project we do, I like to think we’re very effective at repurposing data. This is the key no one talks about with AI. I keep saying AI is a data story. I’ll give you two quick examples. The city of New York recently put out their bragging. They work with one of the big agencies about chatbot that was to help small businesses. Nobody properly tested this data. And in my opinion, they didn’t properly train it into the AI. So when you hear these stories about AI, and the media is very good at this, right? these horrific stories about AI. Nine out of 10 times, I could tell you right away, that data was not properly repurposed, it wasn’t properly trained, and it wasn’t properly tested into the technology. That is literally where I take the most pride, because we’ve been doing this for a while. We’ve been behind the scenes helping these other agencies. So it’s like anything, right? If you do that up front and work properly, you’re going to have a much better result. But it’s different. It’s not software. It’s about there’s a pulse on this stuff. You have to work with it. You have to continually monitor it. You have to maintain it. And if you do these things, just like with with large procedures, right, the patient has a responsibility post procedure, you know, to keep to have a successful outcome. It’s the same principle. This is what we do with AI.

Bill Neumann: I think that’s a really good point. And we’ve all experienced the bots on websites that are, you know, the data that’s programmed in is so limited that you you get so frustrated. You’re like, okay, I’ll give it a shot. And inevitably, you’re not getting the answer or the response that you need. And then you’re searching through the website to try and figure things out. And so that ties into what you were saying earlier, Paul, about the New York issue. So there’s bots, and then you call them agents. So I And you talked about also being a pulse. So I was playing around just before we jumped on with your Pulse Optimizer. So if you go to and you can plug in your practice website and just hit start the demo. And so I did it for a practice. And I actually did it for our website as well, And I will say it worked so much. Now, this is just, I mean, this is a demo. It really has done nothing. It was like 30 seconds, I think, to run through the exercise. And then it’ll put an Asian on your website, and then it’ll run through things. And it worked heck of a lot better than I think just about any bot that I’ve seen. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun to play around with. Ronnie wants to talk about it. It’s

Ronnie Klein: So, yeah, I want to talk about this because I’m so excited about it. We’re probably one of the only companies in the world that actually has this. I’ve never seen this before anywhere else. I think what’s amazing about this is how it learns. You know, AI learns from itself. So Paul and I did a demonstration for a manufacturer where we asked it questions to solve a technical issue. And during its first run on Pulse Optimizer, it actually didn’t give me the answer I was looking for. We then went and tested it three days later, just to try something out. We didn’t even expect it to change. It learns from the URL data on this website, how to resolve the issue. And we were both blown away with it. So AI does learn from itself. And I think Paul makes a very good point that RushTree does something that other companies do not. And that is we monitor it. We test it. We are very much about that. I watched on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago about psychotherapy, therapists using AI. And the lack of monitoring on 60 Minutes was it wasn’t working the way they wanted it in many ways. They had to go back to the drawing board. I don’t think it was a therapist who put the data in or the questions or the answers. I think it was a company actually that didn’t want to test or watch the data or make sure it didn’t drift or hallucinate, which are two terms we use in AI. It’s very, very important to make sure that it’s giving you the right answers. Everything gives the wrong answer occasionally, but if you catch it and correct it immediately, it’s not a huge issue. But I think it’s really important to learn those things. I would definitely say, you know, Ethan Malik, who teaches at Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania, said something. We’re all starting somewhat fresh with learning about AI. And that’s where we need to start. We need to learn what AI can do. Spend some time really learning what those tools can use and we can help you get there a lot quicker.

Bill Neumann: Thanks, Ronan. This is interesting here. You talk about AI and as it evolves and it really can help to develop. We hear culture thrown around a lot, right? That’s like everybody talks about the culture of a practice and sometimes the ones that shout culture the most have the least cohesiveness, but we’ve all seen that before. Let’s talk a little bit about AI’s role in kind of helping build that Cultural harmony in a practice look at it from a practice or from you know at the DSO level Who wants to start with that?

Ronnie Klein: Go ahead right I Mean, it’s funny when you talk about cultural harmony It’s very interesting that I was emotionally connected to a lot of my dental offices I could walk into an office and feel the stress of an office and the team and everybody that I engage with in the office or the flowness, how it flowed and it felt good to come in. And if officers don’t understand that or doctors don’t understand that, their patients feel that, their patients feel that. So, you know, the stress that’s going on in the dental offices are from things that are going on on a regular basis. And if you haven’t been in a dental environment, you wouldn’t understand this, but most of the people watching this or hearing this will understand this. Did the lab case come in that we have an hour appointment? AI can be utilized to make sure that you get a report, that you can say to it, you know, AI, did I receive all my lab cases for scheduled appointments today? And we can make that happen. So those are the stress points. Suzy is not coming in. She has a cold today. How do I handle her most important duties? What are her most important things? Instead of becoming stressful, it actually relieves that by saying to AI, like Suzy has 10 things on the agenda that she has to do today. How can I accomplish that and still do my job at the front office as an administrator or another receptionist? So those are the things that I think it really creates cultural harmony. It also creates something where if you hire somebody, they feel very apprehensive about asking questions once they’ve been trained. They shouldn’t, but they might feel, you know, basically feel that their job is at risk if they keep on asking too many questions. It was maybe they’re a visual learner. AI could be used to do visual output to help them to visually see what they should do instead of how they should do it verbally. So there’s a number of ways that it creates cultural harmony in the office by using those data points and making the data dance.

Paul Blocchi: And then I just wanted to add to that Ronnie, Ronnie nailed it real world experience. But just think of it, Bill, as far as cultural harmony, cultural harmony, we believe is achieved, achieved through operational efficiency. And how we do that, we look at your data, We’re role agnostic, department agnostic. We just look at two functions, right? It’s either some form of engagement or some form of data support. And what happens is, by applying this data, we literally create operational synergy. And I just had an example. I met with my nieces yesterday. One of them runs a very large dermatology practice. The other one’s an operating room nurse. And they brought up, hey, how’s the AI going? I didn’t want to talk about it. It was family time. I just showed them on our phone, one of our agents, and I showed them a quick operational agent. They went on for 20 minutes, gave me eight different use cases, clinically, non-clinically, working with vendors. And I said, what’s your biggest challenge? And they said, we can’t get anyone to listen to what we need. And there’s a revolving door with people, and we pull people to go train the new people, and it’s just constantly backlogged. And I said, I bet you’re not looking forward to going to work tomorrow. And they both said, actually, we love what we do, but no, we’re not. So I think the answer to cultural harmony is we have to fix operational synergy. And that’ll lead to people start appreciating their workday better, free up time to more value-added activities that are the more human-focused activities, high value work. And guess what? They’re going to be more comfortable coming into the work the next day and it’s going to lead to better culture. And I think that’s key.

Bill Neumann: So as we start to wrap up the podcast, a couple final thoughts here. When you’re looking to optimize a practice, what is RushTree looking for and how do you go in there and help with that?

Paul Blocchi: Sure. Quick rundown. Again, the whole idea of Pulse, Ronnie and I really focused on four areas that we can have massive impact, quick impact on a practice to create that operational synergy. We look at your website. We look at your phones. Internally, we take your entire operation and automate every policy, procedure, and instruction so you have that expert available on demand. And then for the marketing, we created this AI driven marketing tool that doesn’t get in the way of your marketing department or your current, whether it’s outsourced or internal, but it acts as a force multiplier to get you more of those reviews and referrals. It kind of automates a lot of the content too, to help keep that cycle focused for your practice on the areas and procedures you want to bring to the communities you serve. So that’s the whole idea of Pulse. It’s really a solution, not just the tool or toolkit even. And I think the answer is it all starts with a discussion. And from that discovery, we could really map out a game plan, whatever your situation is.

Bill Neumann: Ronnie, anything you want to add to that?

Ronnie Klein: I think Paul did a really good you know, explaining it. He did very, very well explaining it. I think the most important thing is I think everybody in the environment wants to be profitable, of course. But I think we need to remember that the the patient, the patient needs to be really wowed. They really have to have a great experience. And I think AI enhances it in so many different areas. Once we do that discovery, well, how do you want to engage with the patient? What kind of experience you want to create? How can we help with that? Whether it’s guiding a team member using artificial intelligence data platforms, or whether it’s actually enhancing right on the chat function of your website, the enhancement of the customer experience. So they don’t feel like they’re talking to a computer or a bot, but to a really well-designed agent that really has their best interest at heart. And I think that’s really important. And that’s what we really focus on.

Bill Neumann: That’s great. I think you’re both going to want to comment on this because the question is always, well, what’s next for AI or what’s coming next? And again, I think when we started this off, I said sometimes it feels like it changes daily or even hourly sometimes with just the advancements and all the different tools and solutions, which certainly can be overwhelming. And that’s why somebody like RushTree can come in and instead of trying to fumble your way through and go, okay, well, maybe we’ll choose this solution today, or maybe we should focus over here. You can really come in, I think, and create a strategy so it’s not so chaotic and overwhelming. But let’s talk about what is either occurring now or soon to happen in AI.

Paul Blocchi: Yeah, thanks, Bill. That’s a great point. And just to share, you mentioned some earlier, our main channel we use in social media is LinkedIn. And, you know, I was doing articles for a long time on that. And Ronnie said, hey, we should take this elsewhere. So I started bringing alerts up. You know, I’ll put a couple stop signs up and say, hey, check this out. And I think you noticed I started doing that several times throughout the day. Sometimes there’s so much new news coming out. But where it’s going. Think of it this way. Everyone heard a chat GPT. And that’s part of being what’s called a large language model and very basically large language models. are very good at knowing what to say. When you enter your input data, it knows what to respond with. I think you’re going to see these APIs evolve to what some are calling large action models. So think of the large action models, we call it agentive AI. So agents are going to be very good at not just knowing what to say, but knowing what to do. They’re going to actually want you to punch in what you want, or type in what you want, or talk in what you’d like. it’ll actually respond and start taking action to execute on those tasks. I think you’re going to see a big move on audio, number one, and number two, agentive AI, where these agents are going to be conducting tasks for you and executing those tasks. So that’s where it’s going.

Bill Neumann: Really interesting. What do you see, Ronnie?

Ronnie Klein: No, I mean, Paul’s the expert at this. I mean, he’s the one who educates me on this stuff, really. And I think you’re going to see the LAMs. I think you’re going to see a lot of them. I think it’s going to be really great in the dental office, the environment, the business, anything where you’re not going to only have to be able to talk to AI and get results like a Google search in a better format, but you can be able to ask it what to do. You can be able to say, I want a flight tomorrow at 8 a.m. I don’t want to fly to Miami. I want a flight. I don’t want to sit on an NC. I want to sit in the window and so on and so forth. And I want to leave at eight and come back on Wednesday at 10. Can you tell me what flight it is?” That’s where we at now with Google. AI is going to develop that, but then it’s going to say, okay, you have my credit card on file. Please book the flight for me and send me an email with a confirmation. And it’s going to do all of that for you. And we see the applications in Dennis where I want to place, I want to have an appointment. I want a hygiene appointment. This is the time I want. Okay, fine. And it’s going to be just a process where you’re not going to have to send the returning email and go directly to a tool that’ll actually say to the patient, okay, you’re going to receive a text, uh, confirming that appointment for that time. And really no one is really going to have to touch it at all. It’s going to be, I want this and this is what I got.

Bill Neumann: That’s fascinating. Yeah. So this is a good segue here as we start to wind up. Great conversation. I think this is just enough information on AI where it’s not overwhelming, but it could be. So that’s why rush trees here. So if people want to get in touch with you and you made a great point, Paul, you definitely should follow Paul Blocky and also Ronnie Klein on LinkedIn. So that’s like if that’s the only thing you take away from this is go just just follow these two on on LinkedIn, because there’s just a wealth of knowledge, information updates on what’s going on. in the space, I would definitely check out that Pulse Optimizer. It’s and just plug in one of your practice’s websites and see what the agent that it creates can do for you in 30 seconds without you doing really anything but putting in that URL. So it’s amazing. But Paul, and we’re gonna drop the LinkedIn handles for both of you in the show notes. What about email addresses? Can you shout those out so people that are listening in can reach out if they have any questions, Paul?

Paul Blocchi: Sure, yeah. Feel free to email me directly at paul at rushtree. Our general one is support at rushtree, but paul at is fine. And I’d be happy to answer any questions. You can call us too at 917-746-2202. Be happy to answer any questions.

Bill Neumann: Ronnie, Ronnie, what’s your email address?

Ronnie Klein: I think I think we can use Paul’s and support. I follow the support one on RushTree, so that’s the best way to do it.

Bill Neumann: Support at Gotcha. And of course, website, or you can go to that, which you’ll have a lot of fun playing around with that. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. It’ll take you, like I said, about 30 seconds and you can watch it do magic on your website. So it is really pretty amazing. All right, any final takeaways, anything that I missed, anything you want to hammer home before we call this podcast complete and we have educated our audience and the AI literacy in the dental industry has increased?

Paul Blocchi: The only thing I want to say, thank you, number one, but for everybody listening, please just start using AI. Just AI it. Everybody just Googles it right now. Make it a habit every day to also go on to your AI of choice, whether that’s ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, Copilot, whatever it is. Just start asking your questions. You will be amazed. I promise. Right, Ronnie? And Bill, you know this. We spoke about it. If you make this a habit, It’ll really reward you and then do the same for your teams as well. Just AI, start using this every day. You’ll have a good time and you’re going to learn by trying.

Ronnie Klein: Yeah. I just, I just want to say thank you, Bill. Really appreciate this time. And, uh, basically, you know, don’t get discouraged. Don’t, don’t become an AI hater. You know, it’s going to, you know, you’re going to play with it and you’re going to get some answers you like and some you don’t or some that you disagree with or it’s not going to be correct. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. But I think learning AI, we have a very good friend that works for an educational firm and he teaches his two kids. He tells them in high school all the time. This is the future, guys. You have to learn AI in high school. This is what the future looks like. And we see it a lot on, I’m a 60 minute guy. I see a lot of AI stuff on 60 minutes of where it’s going with robotics and other areas, how it’s, you know, scientifically and working in the medical field. And I think you just have to learn about it because it’s not a scary world when you start crawling, walking. So I think that that’s my question to friends and family. Just stop paying attention to it a little. Start using it a little. Start using it for, if there’s something that you want an application or information on, there are a bunch of tools out there you can use to decipher. I took an 85 page PowerPoint to put it into an AI platform and asked it a bunch of questions. and I was able to give me each answer instead of me looking for what slide on the 85 page PowerPoint I needed the answer for. Great way to teach your teams when you have those big power slides or Excel sheets or so on and so forth. So just keep on utilizing, keep on learning. It’s a journey. And thank you for the time, Bill.

Bill Neumann: Yeah, great. Great points. Ronnie Klein, Paul Blocky from Rush Tree. Thank you both. Great information. Again, drop all the contact info on the show notes. And until next time, I’m Bill Neumann, and this is the Group Dentistry Now Show.