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5 Fool-Proof Ways to Implement a Contactless Patient Communication Strategy

By Planet DDS
December 8, 2020

5 Fool-Proof Ways to Implement a Contactless Patient Communication Strategy

By Dr. Greg Grillo

Healthcare providers in every field continue to work through a challenging year with more uncertainty than most of us have ever known. At the same time, patient expectations are evolving based on both established trends and new dynamics. It seems like a difficult time to implement more changes in our offices, but these adjustments are essential right now.

While this may not be the right time to add a new CBCT machine, it’s definitely time to meet patients where they’re at psychologically. For example, 75% of patients expect to do a virtual healthcare visit in the future. Removing physical touchpoints simply makes sense to them.

As dentists, we’re juggling more dynamics than usual: we’re doing more with less staff, and we’re handling patients with extra concerns. We need contactless patient communications, and we need to get them in place now. The right strategy and execution will make our patients more comfortable, our teams more efficient, and our bottom line more profitable.

Here are five ways to implement a strategy immediately that transforms our practices from 2019 into the world we live in today. Best of all, we can leverage a platform built on two decades of experience in dentistry with the best support in the profession.

1.Convert to Paperless

Many practices have trudged towards paperless solutions over time, but many of us end up with a hybrid model. We open digital charts with nice odontograms and perio charts, but we ask our patients to grab a clipboard and fill out their intake paperwork. That space between the past and future has worked, but it doesn’t make so much sense today. Less paper helps everyone feel more secure, more productive, and less frazzled.



Building a paperless forms system from scratch isn’t for the faint of heart. We’re not going to get it done without serious technology on our side, and it needs to work right for dentistry. Make life simple and put

Legwork Paperless

into action in 2021 with just a few clicks. It’s this simple:

  1. Create drag-and-drop custom forms that gather the precise information you want.

  2. Let your patients access their forms securely online at home or on a mobile device.

  3. Automatically find finished forms in your 

    Legwork Dashboard


  4. Need to do an in-office intake? A mobile device will do!

2. Open a New (Virtual) Office

The rush to telehealth accelerated during the COVID-19 shutdown, but the trend started well before that. At the start of 2020, virtual visits had risen


over the previous year. Now, 83% of patients plan to use telehealth after the pandemic fades. You can add a practice within your practice by opening the digital doors to patients.



We don’t have to build a new virtual office; some brilliant people have done it for us. We simply open the doors and start taking care of our patients. We can’t place a MOD composite online, but there’s a lot we can do. And since teledentistry will soon be tied into the Legwork platform, offering this service will allow us to shift our paradigm and connect with our patients in more ways, such as:

  • Meeting patients online to discuss teeth straightening, implants, and smile makeovers

  • Consulting an existing patient with current x-rays about a broken tooth, and scheduling appropriately

  • Interviewing and examining patients with infections, and deciding if antibiotics would help keep them out of the ER

  • Consulting with homebound, elderly, or quarantined patients


3. Add Pre-Planned Comfort


of patients report anxiety about their dental appointments, and too many people completely avoid care. Anything we do to help decrease stress for our patients also reduces stress for us. Happy patients spread the word about our offices, and word-of-mouth remains a priceless way to engage new patients. Contacting patients about their comfort before their visits send impactful messages about the value we place on them.



Personalized care starts with our philosophy to treat people, not just teeth. Despite our best efforts, we need a system to provide first-class service consistently.

Legwork Comfort

allows us to automate a critical step in our relationship with patients. And consistency matters. Otherwise, Ed hears about the “wow” experience of his neighbor, but he doesn’t find it himself. Your reputation can soar by adding a contactless step to the delivery of care. Consider this scenario:

  1. Before Mrs. Kindred’s appointment, she receives an online survey that asks her specifically what amenities she’d like at her appointment.

  2. Your survey also asks Mrs. Kindred about her anxiety level.

  3. Mrs. Kindred arrives feeling engaged and pampered before you even start treatment.

  4. Your team has time to prepare, and touch, only the items needed for her.

4. Campaign For Change

Staying connected with 1500+ patients could take an army of contact experts who send emails, write blog articles, and post on social media. If we don’t, our brands disappear in the marketing noise. Our best patients see us every six months, and even that’s a long span to go dark.


of people say they feel more positive about a brand after reading customized content, and 61% of people are more likely to buy from brands that deliver consistent content. In a world that has become more reliant on digital connectivity, these contact “touch points” are essential to our success.



We don’t have to let the rigor of campaigning stop us. Fortunately, all the tools we need to engage every demographic reside in

Legwork Campaigns

. With a complete library at our fingertips, steady engagement works through multiple, integrated parts we can pull together like this:

  • Choose a monthly blog article from the Legwork library to post on your website

  • Use an email to introduce the article and encourage patients back to your website; bonus: returning traffic boosts your SEO

  • Pick social media posts from the library for steady drip exposure

  • Add an automated email campaign with more content written by the Legwork team of talented copywriters


5. Integrate, Overlap, Repeat

At times in my career, I’ve been satisfied to put my head down and produce quality dentistry. After all, that’s the cornerstone of our success. But trends in consumer behavior and expectations build with steady force. While we’re admiring our perfect crown margins, patients are evaluating how we make them feel. In 2021, our ability to nurture relationships, build trust, and provide guidance will carry more weight than ever with uneasy consumers. That need also provides our practices with a tremendous opportunity–we just need to put the pieces together.


In a busy dental practice, integrating and executing a patient communication strategy for the new reality may seem overwhelming. In an average year, up to 20% of our patients leave our practices. We can’t afford to overlook a comprehensive strategy. Simplify life and lean on the Legwork team to put all these tools into action. Integrated components on a single platform that communicate with many practice management software programs. A perpetual no-touch communication system builds bridges with patients that keep our practices vital and engaged.

Strategic Planning Pays Big Dividends

As we face a new year, it’s time to reflect on the lessons of 2020 and elevate our practices to the next level. Dentistry offers consumers a relationship-based experience that has diminished in many healthcare fields. For patients, that personalized experience is priceless. We can harness the contactless communication tools of a new era and set our practices up for success today!


Want to learn more about how you can let your patients know that their safety is your top concern? Join me, Dr. Nakla, and Legwork co-Founder and co-CEO Korey Korfiatis in our free webinar where we discuss

Predictions for Touchless Communications in 2021 and Beyond