The future is unpredictable. You can speculate, but that’s only one way to consider how to future-proof your dental practice.
Optimism was somewhat threatened by 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic. And while you’re still confronting many of those realities there are still predictions that create a positive outlook.
We’ve been here before…
Unprecedented…new normal…those descriptors have perhaps been overused. But it fits the comparative mindset when you face what feels like an unknown challenge - such as what’s currently being experienced.
Although the times feel “unprecedented,” it’s likely you’ve faced crises before. Reflection might also prove that you and your dental practice or dental organization are stronger as a result.
Shaky financials, health threats, internal disputes, team turnover, management headaches - each cast a fog on the future of your practice. And in some instances dentistry as a whole - much like the COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS epidemic previously.
Is a future-proof dental practice possible?
Actually, “future-proofing” lacks something as an ideal. But to carry the thought further, it’s more a matter of preparing for the future rather than assuming whatever the future holds will or won’t impact you.
In reality, the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to respond in effective ways. Could you see it coming…no, as most did not.
But dentistry confronted it. And as a result new advances emerged, protocols were improved and refined, and patient engagement broadened as a result of technology (e.g. cloud based practice management platforms, contactless patient solutions, teledentistry, etc).
The triad of patience, flexibility, and preparation contribute to your successful approach to the future…whatever occurs.
Three future-proofing strategies for your dental practice or dental organization
Pandemic perspective has and will continue to shape dentistry’s future. It’s beneficial to transition your discoveries and those of dentistry at-large into practical operational strategies.
Trends evolve. The future is a constant on the horizon especially as relates to some of dentistry’s fundamentals.
It’s a good idea to refresh your dental practice(s) with them.
1-Engage patients around a lifetime health perspective
Early treatment protocols are key to helping patients understand that today’s health decisions and routines impact tomorrow’s outcomes. You’re in a position of influence for their oral health decisions.
- Promote the health (and economic) benefits of early, routine treatment
- Educate patients about the systemic connections between their oral health and general health
- Inform patients that cost-effective treatment today is better than more costly treatment later
2-Energize your hygiene team
You’re aware of the patient flow that starts with routine check-ups and cleanings. And you’re perhaps also aware that many patients avoid hygiene appointments because they prefer the “no news is good news” approach to their oral health.
Not knowing, of course, causes delays and ultimately can require more costly treatments.
- Create incentives for proactive patients who value their hygiene appointments
- Track your hygiene department’s production and how it specifically optimizes your revenue stream with production
3-Empower your patient’s oral health decisions with financing solutions
As you know, postponing diagnosis and/or treatment can increase the severity of your patient’s dental issues. They will eventually return to your office…but the price tag will likely have increased.
Limited income for out-of-pocket costs doesn’t leverage treatment…it delays it, avoids it, or causes patients to “shop” elsewhere for a less expensive solution.
- Augment your reliance on dental insurance with creative financing options. Provide incentives for patients to stay and receive treatment by giving them long and short term financial packages.
- Design an in-house dental membership plan to avoid the insurance “game” completely and/or to give patients an affordable care option.
- Research the best third-party financing options and provide them for patients who can spread payments over a period of months or years (in some instances).
Indeed, dentistry has a future. As long as people (and teeth) exist your dental practice(s) has opportunity for a lifetime of care provision.
Plan, be flexible, and persist into whatever the future unfolds.
Begin planning now by…
Aligning your future-focused initiatives with the perspective in the following related resources:
Patient-facing solutions will continue to drive the future of practice management and patient engagement
- Manage your practice workflows with cloud-based practice management software. Experience secure anytime-anywhere, remote access to your patient information.
- Consult with your patients using teledentistry. Cloud-based technology enhances your ability to provide initial diagnostic appointments. Patients will value the convenience and contactless option prior to a potential next-step, in-office treatment.
From contactless options to cloud-based solutions Planet DDS is a leading technology provider among emerging and sustained dental trends now and in the future.
Planet DDS’s Denticon is the proven cloud-based Dental Practice Management Software in today’s market among solo private practices, private group practices, and top DSOs.
Contact us for more information about how Denticon can streamline your workflow systems and operational tasks that can help you stay productively on trend now, in 2021, and beyond.