Are You Still on the Fence?
DSOs and group practices often set up their multiple dental offices with beautiful reception areas; they make them as efficient as possible with a cozy corner and, nowadays, even a space to discuss treatment plans and payments. The front office team develops meaningful long-term patient relationships just as the clinical team does; all this helps increase the business’s success. If this past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that the entire dental team needs to learn to manage efficiently and adapt to unexpected events.
How can dentists and their team members throughout the DSO or dental group organization communicate with patients, labs, and specialists even when they are not in the same physical space? What about when the schedule is too busy to accommodate the patient who expects to be served because of the long-term relationship they have with the team of a particular office location?
The solution: teledentistry!
Whether it is an associate discussing a case from home after office hours or in-between appointments, Teledentistry platforms such as TeleDent provide the dental team at every dental group location with a path to increased success and increased patient satisfaction.
What is standing in the way of dental groups and DSOs making the jump to using teledentistry? Could it be the belief that teledentistry only supports rare situations such as a pandemic that shuts down offices? Could it also be that many DSO procurement managers and group practice owners have not researched the daily benefits of teledentistry and don’t yet understand the return on investment? The answer may be a little of both.
What questions should those with purchasing authority ask themselves to see if a teledentistry solution would support their patient care mindset and enable the organization to grow – and perhaps more importantly, scale?
Every group practice and DSO is different—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution—so executive leaders and owners should ask some pointed questions before making the decision to investigate whether teledentistry is right for them. Personally, before embarking on any journey, my go-to has always been Self-Assessment.
Dental groups and DSOs can start this investigative process by reviewing their current situation and asking some clarifying questions:
- Do you want to increase the number of patients you see each month?
- Do you want to optimize scheduling and reduce no-shows?
- Are emergency appointments disrupting your billable treatment schedule?
- Does your group practice’s future growth look stagnant?
- Is your current workflow inefficient?
- What aspects of your workflow need improvement?
- Could your team members find opportunities to communicate with patients virtually?
- Could some in-office appointments be transitioned into virtual consultations?
- Is the cost of PPE and the time required for sanitizing operatories between appointments impacting your bottom line?
The benefits of asking yourself these questions, especially now, are unequaled. Why? Because you will find ways to better understand your needs and how to improve your processes. It is an extremely competitive world out there; make sure you are ahead of the parade. Make sure that you adapt to the changing times.
Remember this: adaptability supports a strong team core and enables creative minds to thrive. The benefits of moving certain types of care to teledentistry appointments are the mirror image to practice growth and a reduced stress factor for the entire dental team and your patients.
You’re Ready to Make the Leap. Now What?
The first thing you need to do is find a reputable teledentistry vendor who has been in the business for a while, like TeleDent by MouthWatch – You don’t want to team up with a COVID Johnny come lately!
Next, book a consultation with them to explore their solutions to your and your patient’s needs. I suggest you have all the decision-makers on this call so all questions and concerns can be addressed at once. Be sure to ask about scalability and security.
Multiple location teledentistry is not a cookie-cutter solution. Your DSO or group will require a complete platform that includes the personalized training required to provide you with all tools and the ideas you need to make your teledentistry journey a successful one for your organization, your teams and above all your patients.
As a DSO or group practices practice adds or reduces locations, changes its business model, or adds mobile dentistry units, teledentistry can help you adapt by increasing business hours and enabling you to offer personalized care to a broader range of patients.
This is the differentiator that will make your patients feel closer and more engaged with each of your teams in every one of your locations. Here are three ways teledentistry achieves this:
- Improved Communication: Teledentistry supports the most comfortable conversations about treatment plans, emergencies etc. Why? Easy! The patient is in an environment that is safe for him. Furthermore, you are making yourself available to “visit” their homes”.
- Positive Patient Perception: Patients want their dental practice to be current with the latest technology. Teledentistry can add to that positive patient perception, leading to positive word-of-mouth advertising and online reviews.
- Increased Connection Across the Board: Teledentistry ensures practices, team members, specialists and patients stay easily connected and have better communication.
Elevate your practice, improve your workflow, join the innovators!
Implement teledentistry in your DSO or group practice!
About the Author:
Sylvia Rochon is the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for MouthWatch, LLC, an industry leader in teledentistry and digital imaging solutions. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has 25 years of senior sales and marketing management experience with innovative dental companies. Do you have questions about teledentistry? Sylvia can be contacted at [email protected] or 514-214-8383.
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