In the past, an outstanding reputation may have been enough for prospective patients to give your practice a try. Technology will be the factor that determines which businesses flourish and which don’t.
You may leverage state-of-the-art solutions for exams and treatments, but patients expect innovation to play a role in all aspects of their experience from scheduling to follow-up care. This isn’t limited to new visitors, multiple surveys have found that patients have no problem switching providers if they feel someone else is utilizing the latest technology.
Better practice management
A recent survey by NexHealth found that only about half of all U.S. dental practices have implemented a practice management solution. If you’re part of that half, now is the time to reconsider. Utilizing this type of software empowers you to more efficiently communicate with your staff and your patients, as well as manage records, process insurance claims and handle payments.
Additionally, it allows you to implement critical features for improving the patient experience. For example, HealthGrades found that 77 percent of patients would prefer to schedule appointments online. In fact, when presented with the choice between two dentists with similar experience, availability, ratings and proximity, but only one offers online scheduling, the majority will make a decision based on that alone. Despite this, NexHealth found that only 26% of dental practices offer this service.
Furthermore, practice management software can provide valuable insights into patient behavior and trends. By understanding the needs and demands of your patients, you can be better prepared to meet their needs.
Improved data security
Given the value of patient data, cybersecurity must be at the forefront of all technology decisions. Maintaining compliance and protecting your patients requires regularly caring for your IT. Not doing so can be the downfall of your practice through costly fines, operational disruptions and reputational damage that could come with a data breach. Many dentists are turning to the cloud, as it is a cost-effective, secure way of storing information.
The cloud offers greater flexibility when accessing data, ensuring that regardless of what is happening on-premises, PHI remains private and accessible. Additionally, you can allow patients to access their records via a secure portal, another feature that’s highly in demand. It also facilitates collaborative care by allowing you to share records with other providers in a way that is secure.
Before investing in any new solutions, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The first is compatibility. Will it work with the hardware and software your office is already using? Not double-checking could cost you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Second, consider support. Some people opt for older versions of solutions because they may be more affordable, however, this is typically due to the fact that they have met their ‘end of life,’ and are no longer being supported. Although it may seem more cost-effective, going for an unsupported solution can lead to vulnerabilities that provide cyber attackers with access to your systems. Plus, if something goes wrong, you’ll want to know that someone is available to help you troubleshoot the problem.
It is also important to consider scalability. Don’t opt for software that will meet your needs today – choose something that will continue to meet them for the foreseeable future. As your practice grows, you’ll want to be able to add additional users and features without having to start from scratch.
In order to maximize your practice, technology is essential. Remember that if you’re struggling to determine what type of solution you need, there is no harm in seeking professional help. Just as you’ve received extensive education into the intricacies of the human body, IT experts have in-depth knowledge related to cybersecurity and technology. The majority of us who specialize in healthcare and dental are more than happy to take the time to answer questions because we care about protecting your patients, too.