Managing your own dental practice can be extremely rewarding but it is not a simple or easy task. As a practice owner, you have to wear many hats – dentist, businessman and marketer to name a few. While some processes can be contracted to external vendors like tax consultants or chartered accountants, you end up shouldering most other tasks. Juggling revenue and costs, hiring and training employees, investing in equipment and software etc. can take up a considerable portion of your time.
The healthcare industry is under increasing pressure due to a number of reasons. Some dentists are stressed out by the sheer volume of documentation that is necessary while other clinics struggle to stay afloat financially. The healthcare industry is shifting away from paper-based filing systems to electronic records but many clinics are still struggling to read the benefits.
In conjunction with EHRs systems, quite a few clinics have also implemented practice management software. However, there is scope for improvement in many areas. Dentists have been working with pen and paper for decades. It is a comfortable and familiar workflow. But electronic records require different processes and healthcare professionals have to adapt accordingly.
Systems, Processes and Tools
EHRs and practice management software play a crucial role in any dental practice. You need to set up systems and processes that can serve as a good foundation for the clinic. Every staff member has to know the ins and outs of equipment and software needed to perform their job. If a particular process or tool is not working for your practice, you should consider changing or adapting it appropriately. Without a strong base, you will constantly be trying to solve problems as they arise instead of been one step ahead of potential issues.
Hire and Train the Right People
Working in the modern dental clinic requires more than just clinical skills. Depending on the particular role, your employees need good communication and customer service skills as well. When hiring dental hygienists or administrative staff, consider if they will make a good fit with your current team. In many areas, there is a shortage of skilled staff which can make it more difficult to find the right person to fill a vacancy. Once you do hire good employees, training and retaining them is an ongoing process.
Focus on the Financial Aspects
One of the benefits of using EHRs such as Dovetail is that they often make it easier to process payments and claims. Integrate your EHR and PM software with popular payment gateways and quickly turn outstanding payments into cash in the bank. Why wait weeks for the insurance company to respond to paper documents when you can process and send claims electronically? Reduce the probability of errors and mistakes when coding procedures with handy features like auto complete.
Improve Efficiency and Productivity
Dovetail lets you see your day at a glance in the morning. Schedule appointments with simple drag and drop or send reminders for follow up visits to patients. You can see who is working on certain procedures or clients at any given time. With intuitive and easy-to-use workflows, you don’t have to jump through hoops or click multiple buttons just to complete a single task. Switching over to a cloud based EHR system can improve the productivity of your clinic. You can focus on patients and spend more time with them instead of wasting it on handling paper files.
These are a few of the areas that you can focus on to improve your dental practice. Whether you are trying to increase revenue or spend more time with patients, Dovetail can help you manage your clinic better.