In today’s digital age, technology plays a crucial role in enhancing various aspects of business operations. The dental industry is no exception, as dental service organizations (DSOs) and dental partnership organizations (DPOs) are increasingly leveraging technology to improve patient experience and streamline their operations. In this blog post, we will explore the insights shared by Will Alexander, the SVP of Enterprise Operations and CIO at Benevis, a leading dental organization, on the role of technology in the dental industry.
One of the primary goals of leveraging technology in the dental industry is to reduce friction and make it easier for patients to access high-quality care. Alexander emphasizes the importance of implementing self-scheduling and online appointment confirmation and modification systems. These features allow patients to conveniently schedule and manage their appointments, reducing wait times and improving overall patient satisfaction.
Additionally, technology can streamline the check-in process at dental clinics, making it more efficient for patients to provide necessary information. Follow-up appointments and hygiene recalls can also be automated, ensuring that patients receive timely reminders and personalized communication.
Technology not only benefits patients but also supports dental practitioners and staff by automating repetitive tasks and improving overall efficiency. Alexander highlights the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in call centers to streamline processes and provide a consistent experience for patients. AI can automate routine calls, such as after-hours inquiries, allowing for faster response times and reducing the burden on call center staff.
Furthermore, AI can be utilized in dental practices to assist with decision-making processes, such as analyzing x-ray images or validating chart notes. By automating these tasks, dental professionals can focus on more complex and valuable aspects of patient care.
While technology offers numerous benefits, it also presents challenges. Alexander acknowledges the need for flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing business conditions. The ability to pivot and adjust strategies is crucial to ensure that technology aligns with evolving needs and goals.
In terms of staffing, Alexander emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive and engaging work environment, particularly in call centers. Offering work-from-home options and competitive compensation helps attract and retain talented individuals. Additionally, promoting diversity of thought within teams allows for a broader range of perspectives and innovative solutions.
As we approach 2024, Alexander expresses excitement about the potential of leveraging the strong teams and technology infrastructure built during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With adequate capacity in clinics and talented support departments, dental organizations can focus on delivering value to patients and achieving their strategic goals.
The dental industry is embracing technology to enhance patient experience and streamline operations. By leveraging self-scheduling, online appointment management, AI-powered call centers, and automation, dental organizations can reduce friction, improve efficiency, and provide high-quality care. As technology continues to evolve, dental professionals must remain adaptable and open to new possibilities to stay at the forefront of the industry.