As a dental practice owner, you know all too well how expensive it is to run your office. Between equipment and supply purchases, payroll, lab costs, and advertising, you may worry if it's possible to maintain your profitability with all these variable costs.
While you are used to adapting your processes to new dental technology and products, you reducing the overhead that inevitably comes with this territory is somewhat challenging. There are several ways to tackle wasteful spending, such as going with new vendors for your supplies, but it's always best to evaluate how efficiently your dental practice is managed.
Below are our top strategies to manage overhead that is impacting your bottom line and impeding practice success:
Does your practice have a VoIP phone system with SMS messaging capabilities? If so, get the most out of text communications with your patients by automatically sending out scheduling requests and reminders. This can innovate your entire recall process and save your front desk team time and sanity. That's because of the reduction in phone calls they will have to make throughout the course of their day.
Patients can simply click an embedded link to your online calendar or respond back to set up or confirm their upcoming visit. Adit's automated scheduling features enable your practice management system to automatically book treatment dates based on our software interpreting patient text responses.
Most dental offices rely on several methods of communication to reach out to potential and existing patients about the latest treatments and special offers available. From traditional postcard mailers to radio ads and billboards, the cost to engage your market audience using these channels is costly. When you add in secure two-way messaging, emails, and digital marketing, it's easy to find your communication strategy disjointed and inefficient.
A state-of-the-art VoIP system that integrates with your practice management system, like Adit Voice, can bring all of these channels into a centralized communication hub. This means substantial time savings for your team because of smart routing technology, call recording, and auto populating a caller's information. These features keep your team up-to-date on everything, from upcoming appointments, treatment history, account balances, and more.
COVID-19 sent many dental practitioners scrambling to find viable options for continuing patient care during a major global health crisis. If you were one of the thousands of U.S. practices that dealt with temporary closures, stringent exposure prevention measures, and limited office hours, teledentistry was probably a lifesaver.
With mobile applications, dental professionals and their staff can continue seamless communications and complete day-to-day administrative tasks while still providing quality dental treatments while out of the office. This saves time on supplies, patient travel costs, and operational expenses associated with office visits.
In just the past ten years, digital marketing has transformed how dental practices engage their market audience. This is mostly because people primarily search online for their dentists. Reviews left on sites like Facebook or Google My Business are crucial to a prospective patient's decision to book an appointment with your clinic. The more positive reviews you have, the better your search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
Make it a priority to get this feedback from your patients at the end of every visit by scheduling automated texts to trigger once an appointment gets marked complete in your PMS. Not only is it a convenient reminder, but you can embed a link in your message for quick access to your preferred review site.
Reduce overhead from payment processor fees by consolidating your bill pay options under a single platform, like Adit Pay. With this type of convenient application, your patients can still settle their accounts via a secure link or through their patient portal at their convenience. You can have your current practice management system seamlessly integrate with this software, which can automatically update patient account balances.
You should also consider investing in this platform option to go virtually paperless when it comes to billing. Imagine the time saved if your team isn't constantly printing and loading invoices into envelopes to mail each month.
How often do your employees need to track down another team member to get answers? Does this happen in the middle of a patient's treatment experience? Ineffective communication leads to distractions, mistakes, and organizational failures that impact patient experiences. Internal chat integrations can make a world of difference in these areas and reduce the time lost trying to track down a team member.
This option also provides an innovative way to improve collaborative efforts, allowing your employees to keep up-to-date on important matters discreetly when attending to a dental patient. All these benefits translate into saved production time and happier patients thanks to reduced distraction. Your bottom line will love these advantages.
One of the quickest ways to identify inefficiencies in your office that lead to high overhead costs is by using practice analytics. Dental companies have quickly discovered the invaluable nature of data collection and analysis like every other industry. Using an intuitive practice analytics tool to evaluate everything from treatment trends, scheduling efficiency, and patient communication can help you take actionable steps to address any issues impacting your monthly spending.
This feature is especially helpful when it comes to staffing decisions. Learn what times of day are your busiest and save on unnecessary variable costs, including payroll. Use this same tool to determine which patients have become inactive and actively work to recall them. This can offset your overhead expense.
If you have a VoIP system in your dental practice, make the most out of it and limit how much time gets wasted on preparing and mailing physical paperwork. Instead, send electronic patient form requests via text message and receive important intake paperwork sooner than later. This allows your team to identify any insurance or previous medical history issues that could delay treatment and/or collection.
Using a platform like Adit Voice takes electronic form submission to the next level of efficiency. It integrates with your current PMS and automatically routes received information to the patient's file. This means shorter wait times and less workload on your front desk. The savings you will earn from using less postage supplies and streamlined productivity will put a significant dent in your overhead.
Dental practices often spend thousands every month on ad campaigns in hopes of capturing quality leads that will convert into booked appointments. Regardless, if you're a new startup or have multiple branches throughout your state, reducing marketing costs is always top on the list of spending cuts.
Email marketing may be a great alternative to the high cost of PPC ads. Consider optimizing your email outreach to take on some of your advertising goals. This approach costs just a fraction of pay-per-click ads, and their customizability offers you the same targeting capabilities.
Cloud-based practice management platforms like Adit offer advanced email marketing tools that make composing email campaigns a breeze. Use pre-created templates or create your own with an intuitive dashboard. Need to send out a batch or have segmented lists? No problem! Save time by importing patient information with just a few button clicks.
To truly address overhead spending in your dental office, you need the right practice management tools. It takes more than buying fewer supplies and being conservative with energy to address this costly inevitability of running a practice. You should take a big picture approach to how your clinic runs and the methodologies used to achieve your financial goals.
Adit offers over 15 tech-forward practice management tools that will empower your dental business to run more efficiently. From digital file management to billing and teledentistry, our team of expert developers continues to innovate technological solutions to help you meet the ever-growing demands of the dental industry.
Learn more about how Adit practice management software can help you gain control of your business overhead costs by requesting a free demo today.
Angela is a former English teacher turned marketing content specialist. Over the past 10 years, she’s developed marketing strategies to forge enduring bonds between B2B, B2C and SaaS companies and their clients through holistic education, effective communication, and captivating storytelling that moves audiences to act.
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Read this before you dissolve positions or sacrifice quality patient care to keep up with the rising operational costs of running a dental practice.