NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s report, “Top Challenges for Dental and Orthodontic Practices: Results and Observations from the 2015 Practice Readiness Survey”, a survey of nearly 500 dental and orthodontics professionals and their common problems of practice management they anticipate to be most challenging in 2015. Download the full report
Thinking about your patient and staff communication and day-to-day operations, which of these common problems do you feel will be most challenging to your practice in 2015?
Here is how survey participants responded along with some additional thoughts on the top three ranked answers:
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While staff time concerns and communication costs were popular choices as top challenges in the survey, patient no-shows and their financial impact still ranks as the top challenge for more than one-third of practices. Practices who are communicating with patients about upcoming appointments via postcards might consider implementing an email, text or automated phone system that allows patients to actively confirm their appointment. Many practices have successfully included cancellation options as well, leaving ample time for staff to fill potential openings with other patients and retain that planned appointment revenue.
#2 – Measuring success of marketing efforts
From a day-to-day practice management standpoint, practices are challenged to show which marketing activities delivered the most return for their dollars. While many local advertising and awareness campaigns can drive response, many online marketing programs have ROI tools built in to demonstrate the effectiveness of marketing spend.
#3 – Staff too busy to focus on patient communication
A staff that is too busy to communicate with patients will often experience high no-show rates and frequent turnover in the patient base. Recommended solutions to the challenge include automating routine communications while leaving staff to handle patient discussions that truly require a conversation. Basic appointment reminders, wellness tips and other common practice communications can often be automated with a personalized feel that does not put the provider-patient connection at risk.
Additional challenges listed:
- Too many patients, not enough doctors.
- Needing to communicate in multiple channels – social media, email, text, etc.
- Inability for patients to complete forms online.