Some challenges that dental practices are facing today are a result of the pandemic. Others were caused by the ways dental care has been evolving for years. It might feel harder than ever to lower operating costs and grow your client base, but many offices are doing it without breaking a sweat. In fact, many dental practices grew their revenue by at least 20% in 2022, earning these high growth revenue businesses the term elite.
Here are the actions taken by elite practices that keep them in the top earners.
Technology Makes Everyone Happier
Elite practices are 3 times more likely to invest in automation to streamline workflows, improving the experience for both staff and patients. According to a study by NexHealth, of practices that experienced a decline in revenue in 2021, only 50% used patient communication software.
We’re talking about things like platforms that automate the scheduling, onboarding and follow-up with new patients. 92% of elite practices use such technology. They also take advantage of remote apps that reduce the number of office visits for things like routine aligner evaluation.
Other common applications of technology are patient messaging, reminders and recalls. Some systems even send digital invoices that make payment easy and automatically schedule the person’s next visit in six months. Taking all these tasks off the hands of staff means your office runs more efficiently and the human touch is used where it’s really needed.
And patients like it: the number one patient complaint that dental staff hear is that scheduling appointments is too difficult. Elite practices know people want an easier, more efficient experience and are happy to use devices to get it. Automation makes scheduling – and many other tasks – much easier.
Reduce Their Likelihood to Cancel with Digital Forms
A top complaint that dental practices hear is “too much paperwork.” When a new patient schedules, let them fill out the paperwork online instead. 63% of respondents to the survey said letting patients do that increases patient satisfaction (and yet only 32% of practices use digital forms). Digital paperwork is not only more convenient for the patient, it increases the likelihood they’ll keep their appointment because they’ve already invested some time in it.
Fill Your Schedule with a Waitlist
Elite practices hate cancellations that create holes in the daily schedule. Reduce those cancelation-caused holes with a waitlist. With a waitlist, patients receive the doctor’s immediate day-to-day availability and can schedule last-minute appointments. This is not only good for the practice, but is a TOP way to increase patient satisfaction. People love booking a time they are certain they’ll be able to make. The study showed that 79% of elite practices reported fewer than 10 cancellations per week (only 43% of low revenue growth practices could say that).
Optimize Your Providers’ Time
In 55% of elite dental practices, providers see 11 or more patients a day. This is possible because other staff take administrative work off their hands, allowing providers to spend more time with patients. Of practices experiencing negative growth, only 32% see 11+ patients a day.
Track Patient Loyalty
Almost 40% of practices don’t know if patients are more loyal today than pre-pandemic because they don’t track patient recall. But this is an important metric. Elite practices track it and get at least 80% of patients to return for multiple appointments a year. The majority of people who come for an appointment become recurring patients.
Recognize Staff Performance
42% of practices rank staffing the office as their biggest concern. The top method for retaining staff is peer recognition, which means recognizing and praising staff regularly. Make sure they know you appreciate them and know what a great job they’re doing. Next most popular ways to retain staff are compensation adjustments and investing in training for staff.
In addition to recalls, the main way elite dental practices engage patients is with patient education. An educational campaign can give information about your services, answers to common questions, office updates or explanations for why home care is so important. You can show flossing technique, promote clear aligners or other treatments, teach why follow-up is so important, and more.
Setting up an automated marketing campaign system gives an easy way to deliver patient education. Elite practices use patient education because they know patients who understand the importance of their treatment are more likely to follow through.
By the way: elite practices don’t bother with discounts because less than 10% of offices have found them to increase booking rates.
Use These Strategies to Grow Your Practice
Elite dental practices know they need to be proactive about retaining valuable staff, need to automate many of their manual processes, and must invest in technology that improves the patient experience. If you haven’t already updated your office in these ways, it’s time. To stay competitive and grow your revenue, take advantage of technology that streamlines your processes and makes patients happy.
Your dental practice can do all of these things with In Hand Dental remote care app. Go to our Contact Page and set up a time to book a free demo today!