Remote working has proven to be an effective way to tackle many everyday and strategic business activities, particularly over the last few months. Whether your dental practice is closed, back to business as usual, or somewhere in between, there is value in the ability to conduct business from wherever you or your staff are.
Here are nine project ideas you can tackle when you’re away from the office to help keep your practice operating efficiently and ready for the year ahead.
Support Continuing Education
Companies that provide or encourage learning opportunities can generate more than 25% more revenue per employee. A challenge many practices face is keeping up with changes and regulations of payers. Consider encouraging your staff to attend educational sessions to address this area and allow them to select other training courses to attend.
Engage with Your Team
It is important to engage on personal and professional levels. Showing interest in each staff member’s personal wellbeing makes them feel like they matter beyond their daily role in the practice. Professionally, take the time to offer encouragement when things go well and even when they do not. While you might still have some staff that is working remotely full time, consider having some fun while keeping the entire team connected with a weekly catchup meeting or virtual happy hour.
Teledentistry was an important conduit for patient interaction and treatment when the COVID-19 pandemic forced practices to shut down for preventative, basic, and elective services. Now, it remains a valid form of triaging urgent versus non-urgent cases and can assist with current social distancing guidelines in some areas, allowing dentists to assess a case without having to bring the patient to the practice. There are many resources to help, like how to communicate with patients and conduct teledental sessions and Health and Human Services guidelines on teledentistry.
Connect with Your Ecosystem
Reach out to your vendors and patients to check on how things are going. You might opt to call your vendors and email your patient base. This is an immediate opportunity for relationship building and a future business-building opportunity as partners and consumers want to work with businesses that connect with the communities and people they serve.
Take some time to review and update your operations procedures. There is likely something that has been on your mind for weeks or even months that you can take the time to focus on. Consult with your staff to get their input on how things could be improved, making it a team effort that everyone can support.
This can often be a low priority when things are busy, but it’s an important topic. When planning for 2021, you need to think about how your practice is going to remain competitive and how you will work to build patient loyalty while attracting new business.
Tactics like social media, online reviews, and the company website take time and critical thinking to implement or enhance. Think about how you can better serve your market and what communications channels are the most complementary to your message. Then, create a marketing plan that helps position you as a credible dental resource.
Consider a Dental Subscription Program
There are millions of uninsured patients in our country. As a result of COVID-19 and subsequent job loss, the number of uninsured Americans has significantly increased. Consider implementing a dental membership program that allows patients to receive important dental care while providing your practice with the opportunities to differentiate your service offerings, help more patients, and increase revenue.
Review How You Collect Payments
With your practice back to somewhat of a normal schedule, you have likely been eager to book outstanding procedures and serve as many patients as possible to increase incoming revenue. Remember that it is always best to collect payment at the time of service rather than billing and potentially having to follow up to collect. Draft a new payment policy and create talking points for front office staff to ensure patients are treated with compassion and addressed consistently in the process.
There is no better time than the present to dig into any dental claims backlog. Not only does it alleviate future workload, but it also can help bring in quick revenue. Using electronic claims processing and attachments technology helps make the process timely, efficient, and easy.
Remote working has been a trend in the business world for years. This year, the benefits of remote working became clear to the dental industry as practices around the country had to close for an extended period due to the pandemic. The ability to work from anywhere allows your practice to keep business operations in check and facilitate more strategic, forward-thinking projects that will benefit the business in the future.
Mr. Roberts is the president of Vyne Dental. He has 20 years of experience in the dental industry, including leadership roles at Weave HQ, Henry Schein One, and Henry Schein Practice Solutions. He manages the day-to-day operations and leads strategic planning for the Vyne Dental product portfolio. Also, he is the founder of the Stepfamily Network online educational platform.