5 Ways Integrated Software Can Simplify Your Life
A streamlined office benefits the practice as well as patients
Our hope when we invest in any technology for the office is that it will make life easier, and fortunately, that is the case much of the time. However, with many technologies, it is also true that while they may automate or simplify certain processes, the “care and feeding” they require can somewhat negate their benefits.
This is why integration is such a popular concept with technologies today. When your tools are capable of working with and speaking to each other, it requires far less effort from you and your staff to keep them running smoothly. A great example of this for the dental office is integrated practice management and marketing software. A scheduling system that doesn’t work smoothly with the appointment reminder system may seem hardly worth using in the first place. But when these two systems work together, they can practically run themselves while the dentist and practice staff are freed up to attend to other issues.
I have been using Eaglesoft practice management system (Patterson, http://patterson.eaglesoft.net) since purchasing my practice about 4 years ago. After trying several marketing and patient communications software tools, our office was still encountering several inconveniences with the integration of the systems. Previously, it had been necessary to manually input patient appointments on the schedule, and there was no option to send email confirmations and appointment reminders to patients. Since switching to RevenueWell dental practice marketing software, the office has seen both its productivity and patient communication capabilities increase greatly.
The easy integration between the two systems enables a long list of efficiencies. Dental professionals who haven’t yet begun using marketing software that is well integrated with their practice management software are missing out on the following five ways their lives could be made easier.
1. Simplified Scheduling
When practice management and marketing software systems work together, patients can request appointments online at any hour of the day. Appointment reminders and confirmations are automated, and patients can be contacted via email, text message, or phone, depending on their preference. Reminders can even be sent 1 to 2 hours before the appointment for those busy patients who confirm the previous day, yet still forget their appointment on the day-of. Patients’ confirmation status can be seen in real time right on the schedule, and all of this can take place without requiring time from the front-office staff. By communicating with them using their preferred method at their preferred time, patients are much more likely to receive the important information they need.
2. Automated Accounting
A robust marketing and patient communication system can provide patients with online account access that can help them answer their own questions about insurance, billing status, history, and more. Patients can make payments online rather than having to hunt down a stamp. Similarly, the office can reduce the expense and hassle of sending bills with self-addressed payment envelopes. Plus, by using an online payment system, the office will receive payments faster. Again, when this system is tightly connected to practice management software, everything in both systems stays up-to-date, which is extremely important when dealing with finances and patient payments.
3. No-Effort Marketing
Bringing in patients is key for every dental practice. Creating marketing campaigns can often be time-consuming and difficult, sometimes even requiring outside help. RevenueWell provides numerous pre-designed eNewsletter templates that can be used to easily send out newsletters weekly, monthly, or anytime. In each of these newsletters, we can include a special offer to entice patients to come in.
Even without a special offer, these emails have been extremely effective in reminding patients to schedule an appointment, which is much more efficient for the front desk staff than calling every patient on the list. The email marketing campaigns have proven to be very easy to do and have increased patient recall. They’ve allowed us to increase profits and they also serve as a line of communication to all patients when they are not in the office.
4. Treatment Follow-Ups
Even when given clear verbal and printed postoperative instructions, patients aren’t always able to retain this information or keep track of paper handouts. Our communications software knows when patients have had their appointment, and knows when to send postoperative instructions for procedures like extractions, bone grafts, and root canals. It can send patients helpful instructions online, as well as CAESY Cloud patient education videos explaining postoperative care, all without leaving them to consult “Dr. Google.”
5. Access Anywhere
Dentists don’t live their entire lives at the office, and well-designed software should accommodate that. I can access my patient communications and practice management software securely via my phone or home computer, which enables me to find the patient information needed for issues like emergency calls. I can provide better care with no need to head back to the office.
The added efficiency that integrated systems enable is truly valuable, as it frees up time for both the front office and clinical staff. Dentists shopping for marketing and patient communications software should ask questions and search carefully to find a solution that is capable of integrating seamlessly with their practice management system.
As our experience has shown, with so many things taken care of automatically, staff members can focus on bigger issues, while patients continue to experience a high level of service and communication from the practice. Whether you own a multi-location practice or are a specialist, marketing software can and will make a huge difference in patient communication while creating happier patients and staff.
About the Author
Nichole DeMars, DDS, has more than a decade of experience working closely with patients helping create bright, healthy smiles using the latest techniques and procedures. Dr. DeMars was recently named a Doctor of Excellence by the International Association of Dentists. Her practice, Long Grove Dental Studio, is located in Long Grove, Illinois.