Four Ways Software Can Support Everyone in Your Dental Practice
For Dental Office Managers and those dental owners without an office manager, running and managing a dental practice comes with a lot of responsibilities. According to one office manager, she wasn’t even sure what her responsibilities included. So let me fill you in. Dental office managers take care of everything. They are the backbone of any dental practice, keeping on top of hygiene appointments, accounts receivable, marketing, patient education and even HR.
What do they need? According to those office managers I’ve talked to, they need cooperation from the dentist, assistance from the team, and software that will solve problems rather than create them. A lot of office managers are resistant to changes or upgrades for reasons that they just don’t need the stress of learning a new system, but saying yes to the right software is beneficial for everyone involved. First, the right software can make a lot of tasks, especially the monotonous ones, much easier, and second, the right software providers will make the conversion process and the training as easy on everyone as possible. Here are just four ways the right software can support not only the dental office manager and the owner but everyone in the dental practice.
1. Staff cost vs. staff production
As the dental owner or office manager, you understand the metrics of your office, but do you know how to make those metrics work for you? The biggest expense in a dental office is staffing cost. Your staff may be costing you more than you make in production. The way to find this out is by calculating the percentage of cost vs. production. You don’t have to share the answer you come up with, but if the staffing cost percentage is higher than the production percentage, you might have a problem.
The solution: know your numbers. Know what’s coming in and what’s going out and more importantly, inform your team, because they need and deserve to be in the know. If you are expecting 110% of them then they will be expecting the same of you. In Alex’s book, “Responsible Dental Ownership: Balancing Ethics and Business Through Purpose,” he suggests the following: “When you give employees control over the metric and provide them with a bonus for meeting it, they perceive the bonus as fair.”1
Giving your employees control over their own numbers keeps them and you happy. Make sure you discuss expectations with them about what you would like to see production wise. “You should ensure that your production is at least three times your salary.”1
Believe it or not, there is software available to help you do just that without having to worry about getting the numbers wrong or not knowing exactly what your clinical team is doing. Your metrics would be accurate, this would then help you assess employees for a raise. Your employees could also view their own metric and reports, and therefore, what production numbers would earn them that raise
If you would like to know more about MaxiManager, our HR management tool, please click the link below:
2. Recalls and Appointment Reminders
Software assistance is not just for the owner and dental office manager, it is also beneficial to the front staff, especially when it comes to keeping on top of all those hygiene appointments. In his book, “Responsible Dental Ownership: Balancing Ethics and Business Through Purpose,” our CEO, Alex suggests to dentists and hygienists that to keep the chairs full “book your patients for their next appointment while they are still in the chair.”1
But communication with the patient shouldn’t stop there. Now it’s up to the front staff to make sure that the patient receives those appointment or recall reminders so that they don’t feel like their dental practice has lost touch. If you aren’t working with either the right software or any software to make this process easier, it can be a frustrating ordeal. The right software makes sure that the front staff are not only on top of those reminders but that they are on top of statements as well. No more postcards or postage to worry about. No more fighting with software that just doesn’t suit the practice. It should be easy, just click and go.
Send a text message to all, some, or just one patient. Send a happy birthday! Send an appointment or recall reminder by email and ensure a much quicker response. If patients don’t have this, I guarantee they are asking for it! And just for the sake of improvement, we have updated our very own email reminder system, MaxiReminder, to automatically confirm a patient who responds “yes” to either the email or text message you send.
For more information about MaxiReminder, simply click the link below:
3. Charting (look, ma! No hands!)
The dentists, hygienists and dental assistants in the office can enjoy a software tool that allows them to work hands-free with a completely digital system. No more worrying about contaminating a sterile environment while they work. They are free to just use their voice in order to update their charts.
The right software can change everything: reduce stress, create and manage patient treatment plans, improve productivity and data accuracy, and most importantly, improve patient and health satisfaction.
For more information about MaxiChart, simply click the link below:
4. Patient Satisfaction
The right software can assist everyone in the office, but what about outside the office, the bread and butter of your practice — the patients. Yes, even the patients can be afforded software assistance. Making a patient’s life easier when it comes to rescheduling appointments, filling out the medical questionnaire, viewing individual and family balances, and more will ensure a more loyal and satisfied patient base.
For more information on our Patient App, first in its class, simply click the link below:
There are many more ways software can support your dental practice, your staff, and your patients. Take a look around, see what works best. Approach software assistance with an open mind and you will see that it isn’t a burden on a practice, it’s a tool to assist all of the hard workers on your team, including you.
For those dental office managers who would like to join a growing community of colleagues overcoming similar challenges, apply to become a member of the Dental Office Managers Association of Canada (officemanagers.ca) absolutely free by simply clicking the link below:
- Zlatin, A. (2018). Responsible Dental Ownership: Balancing Ethics and Business Through Purpose. Charleston, SC: Advantage.
For more information about the author, I encourage you to check out his website at https://alexzlatin.com