The primary goal of any dental practice is to provide exemplary dental care services to its patients. However, their dental practice must remain operational to accomplish this objective. The day-to-day running of a dental practice can be compared to the inner workings of a piece of machinery. Every cog and wheel must work efficiently for the whole system to perform optimally.
The dental care market is a lucrative and competitive industry, which is why your dental practice must stand out if you want to succeed. However, having the best medical personnel isn’t enough to guarantee success.
Check out the following steps to build a secure and well-managed dental practice.
A dental practice faces unique risks during its operational lifespan. That’s on top of the usual risks that most businesses face—from lawsuits to loss of property. Getting insurance for dentists will help you protect your practice from these risks.
However, not all insurance policies are created equal and your practice may have its own set of challenges. That’s why it’s important to choose a policy and provider that’s right for you. Here are some of the core coverages that you’ll need:
- Public liability
- Burglary, theft, and crime
- Business or practice interruption
- Loss of money
- Tax audit cover
- Machinery and equipment breakdown
- Building and contents
Creating A Brand
Brand recognition is the first step towards ensuring a secure and successful dental practice. Your practice should have a strong and memorable identity to leave a mark on potential patients. Apart from coming up with a good practice name, you also need to come up with a unique logo that perfectly represents the values you stand for.
Boosting Brand Recognition
How will your patients find you? What are they saying about the dental service you offer? A strong marketing strategy will help you reach more people and get them knocking on your door.
When marketing your practice, make sure your branding is consistent and cohesive across all platforms. Here are some other helpful tools to help you boost brand recognition:
- A user-friendly website that offers comment, review, and referral options
- A proactive social media presence on platforms with high traffic, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- An automated email with a survey link will be sent to every patient after receiving your services
Good reviews and positive comments on your socials generate online traffic. Furthermore, publishing content related to dental care on your official website will attract more people to your practice.
Installing Security Measures
Having an online presence is crucial for your practice’s success, but it also exposes your practice to cyber threats. In fact, the healthcare industry is particularly prone to security threats and cybercriminals. According to IDX, 89% of healthcare organizations experienced an external data breach between 2019 and 2020.
Seeking out the services of a cyber security firm is a priority when setting up your website and system. The firm should conduct a security assessment for your network’s data, devices, computers, systems, and applications.
Your entire staff should also undergo security training so they can respond to security threats in time. Make sure you have an automated monitoring protocol that operates 24/7. Security safeguards should also be set up to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from attacks.
Automating Appointment Scheduling And Reminders
A dental practice with a steady string of patient appointments is a good indicator of success. However, getting swamped with patients can lead to reduced productivity and poor patient care. To avoid these, set up an automated scheduling system for patient appointments.
Paperless systems reduce the time spent on entering and filing patient information and prevent costly mistakes due to human error. You can offer SMS and email options for reminders to ease the workload of your administrative staff. Furthermore, you can also set up multiple online payment options to make it more convenient for patients to pay their bills.
Observing Good Customer Service
The reputation of your practice lies in the hands of your customers. Good customer service goes a long way in ensuring your brand is positively represented in the public eye. Therefore, it is essential to set up and implement a customer service training program for your staff.
This requires creating customer service protocols, patient checklists and written scripts when interacting with different demographics of patients. After all, receptionists are the face of your practice. How they receive patients and visitors will make or break your reputation.
Another crucial point to consider is whether your clinic or office space is conducive to accommodating patients. According to a study from the Dental Research Journal, 60% of dental patients suffer from dental anxiety. This disorder is often induced by the fear of pain, the sound of medical appliances such as drills, the smell of chemicals and the standard, white-walled room designs.
Once your receptionist receives a patient, they must be directed to a calm and welcoming waiting area. The waiting areas should have the following amenities:
- Neutral colors that induce a calming effect
- A well-ventilated space void of chemical smells
- Soothing music playing in the background
- Magazines or books on the waiting area table/shelf
Fostering A Healthy Office Culture
The machine cogs have been bolted in and are ready to turn; however, they have not been greased for smooth running. A healthy office culture is the grease to the moving parts of your dental practice. Office culture exists based on your leadership, office values, and team member interaction.
Building strong relationships is the best way to achieve a healthy office culture. One way to do do this is to hold regular office or outdoor meeting and team-building events where your staff can share their day-to-day experiences and set personal goals.
It’s easy to get caught up in the logistics side of building a dental practice. However, a secure and successful dental practice always relies on a healthy balance between the technical side of business management and quality patient care.
Always keep in mind that meeting your profit goals is highly dependent on prioritizing patient experience. If your patients are happy with the quality of care you provide, they’re more likely to keep coming back and refer you to their friends and family.