It’s 2018 and technology is quite literally all around us. In fact, it seems you can automate just about anything these days, from adjusting your belt to accommodate post-meal bloating to dispensing a perfectly portioned glass of wine or a segment of dental floss. While some of these innovations are just plain unnecessary (looking at you, “Belty!”), others can actually remove time-sucking manual daily tasks from your plate, and free up your schedule to tackle bigger opportunities.
For example, what if you could completely automate routine patient communication activities – from appointment reminders, to post-op instructions, to soliciting reviews? Or, what if you could submit insurance claims electronically and identify the claim’s status without making a single phone call? If you utilize Patterson practice management services like RevenueWell and Insurance Suite you can do just that, and shift your time and effort towards value-adding activities complete with a personal touch!
If you’re tired of manual, repetitive office management duties…automate them! Here are 10 things you could be doing with your time instead.
1. Focusing on Social Media Management
Your social media channels are one of the first things that appear on search engine result pages when potential clients are seeking you out. Take some time to create custom content that will ensure that you stand-out on the platforms your patients are already on, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Snap high quality photos that show off your company culture, try out a social trend (think “Ice Bucket Challenge,” or the “Bubble Challenge” for Oral Cancer Awareness), and even consider trying out some paid social media ads to target potential new customers. Plus, social media is increasingly being used as a customer service channel, so use your new-found time to stay up-to-date on all customer questions you may be receiving through your social pages.
2. Creating Morning Huddle Agendas
When held consistently, a daily morning huddle is an all-but-guaranteed way to improve your team’s morality and productivity. The ability to communicate is ranked even higher than clinical skill, when it comes to factors that affect how well a dental practice performs! Take some time to plan out organized daily huddle agendas for everyone, and consider putting together a checklist to make sure you’re covering the things that matter – and skipping the things that don’t – in these crucial 15-minute stand-ups. Take a look at this list that contains loads of helpful tips and tricks!
3. Conducting Killer Office Tours
There’s no tool that can replace your ability to provide a personable, personalized tour of your office to prospective patients. These tours are the perfect opportunity to establish your team’s friendly, approachable tone, and they’re also a great time to boost your practice’s credibility by making sure to showcase your impressive technology. It’s going to take some of your newly discovered time to determine if your current tours are hitting all the right stops. You’ll need to decide which areas of your practice highlight your care philosophy, make a list of possible stops, and set up trial runs with your team to make sure everyone is consistent.
4. Improving Your Office
Dental professionals, more than anyone else, know how important “impressions” are! 😉 The visual appeal, styling, cleanliness, smells, and sounds of your office speak volumes without saying a word. Take some time to research, ideate, and implement things that could improve your surroundings!
- Augment your beverage bar
- Create a spa-like playlist
- Find some modern team uniforms
- Update your reception area furniture
- Research the psychology of what language makes patients feel most valued
- Determine if it’s within the practice budget to secure a local florist to deliver fresh flowers each week
Looking for some inspiration on what makes an office “extra cool?” Take a look at these stand-outs!
5. Researching New Equipment & Technology
Making sure your practice’s equipment and technology is up-to-date goes a long way in proving to patients that you are true experts in your field, and that you value providing the best comfort and care the industry has to offer. There are constant innovations being released in the areas of digital imaging, small equipment (seriously…there are lasers), practice management software, treatment centers, and more. Take some time to research the latest and greatest, and determine which upgrades would be the smartest plays for your practice. A great first step? Reach out to your local Patterson representative and start a conversation – we’re here to help!
6. Creating Local Partnerships that Benefit Your Business
One of the most effective ways to grow your dental practice is to form strategic alliances with other businesses in your community. According to Dr. Anissa Holmes, establishing these local partnerships is actually a “win-win-win,” benefiting you, the other business, and the other business’ customers. For example, is there an amazing florist down the street? Display one of their arrangements in your reception space, and promote this relationship on social media. Do they specialize in bridal bouquets? Give them a stack of $50.00 off teeth whitening services that their customers can take advantage of before tying the knot. By taking the time to implement these strategies, you’ll be sure to attract more new patients and establish your office as a destination within your community.
7. Connecting With Your Community Through Outreach Efforts
Do the schools near your practice host career days? Volunteer and evangelize the field of dentistry (while also promoting your practice and its services, of course!). Could your office host a Boy Scout/Girl Scout troupe and help them earn a merit badge? Reach out and see! Could you organize a candy exchange/buy-back program every Halloween? Sure you could, now that you’ve got the time! Spearheading these efforts in your community are all ways to extend your business’s reach, and ensure you stay top-of-mind over your competitors.
8. Earning CE Credits
Seeking out opportunities for continuing education is an awesome way to make yourself a more valuable team member – with higher earning potential to boot! Earning CE credits doesn’t necessarily mean spending a pretty penny to fly somewhere for a long weekend (though, if you’re in the market, consider AADOM this Summer👍). It can be something as simple as a webinar you take at your desk, or an off-site half day. Consider seeking out a certification in customer service, social media, or digital marketing.
As journalist Margaret Fuller once said, “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” There is an endless supply of reading material when it comes to researching any of the ideas above. Read about customer service, read about marketing, read about the latest developments in dental technology, or read about how to conduct a killer office tour – you get the idea. If you’re a “paper person,” pick up the latest edition of Best Practice. If you’re a digital dynamo, stay right here on OffTheCusp! From practice management tips, to HR advice, to printable projects, there’s plenty of browsing to do. Be sure and share what you learned during your next morning huddle.
10. Leaving on Time!
The coffee maker is clean, the fridge is stocked, the operatories are tidied, tomorrow’s checklists are printed, your patient reminders have been sent, your insurance claims have been submitted, you shared the perfect team selfie on social media, and you…get to LEAVE ON TIME! Why? Because you opted in to the automated patient marketing services Patterson has to offer, and you were able to shift a significant daily burden off of your plate, making room for more of what matters.
Leave the automation to us, and we’ll leave the personalization to you! What would you rather be doing with your time? Let us know in the comments below!