5 digital strategies dentists need to strengthen their practice

Dentists graduate from dental school ready to serve patients as top-grade clinicians, but they may not be as prepared on the business side of things. However, maintaining engaging and efficient business practices is essential to the success of their practice in terms of revenue and patient satisfaction.

During an Oct. 20 virtual workshop hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Simplifeye, Dr. Ryan Hungate, DDS, shared how dental practices can strengthen their patient acquisition, retention and satisfaction. A practicing orthodontist, Dr. Hungate is Simplifeye's founder and CEO.

He discussed five ways dental practices can ensure their business operations are efficient and drive revenue.

  1. Marketing is always essential. Dr. Hungate said he wished dental schools would teach students the importance of marketing, as strong patient engagement and acquisition is essential to a successful dental practice. Investing time, money and effort into marketing strategies to garner more patients is something dentists should always have on their radar.

  2. Make sure your website is 24/7. Patients seek information about new healthcare providers at all times of the day, so dental practices need to ensure their website acts as a 24/7 open waiting room. Patients want the same kind of immediacy they experience in retail, so it should be easy for them to get all their questions answered on the website.

  3. Adopt live chat. The average response time for self-manned chats is 43 minutes. But Simplifeye's live chat model has an average response time of seven seconds, which better meets the needs of patients. When dental practices implement live chats like Simplifeye's, in which trained dental specialists answer questions in multiple languages and directly schedule within practice management software, patients appreciate the efficiency and convenience.

  4. Offer payment plans. Dr. Hungate said patients don't turn away expensive procedures because they don't want them, but because they can't afford them. Dental practices should provide payment options that allow patients to break up the cost over a period of time so that more patients feel like they are in a position to accept care.

  5. Establish a secure patient payment portal. Dentists should implement automated payment workflows and give patients the opportunity to pay their bills online. Dental practices can remind patients about their bills by sending text and email invoices.

To learn more about Simplifeye, click here.

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