Welcoming in a new year is always an exciting time at dental practices. It’s the season for setting goals and envisioning growth, for re-evaluating, innovating and embracing new techniques and technologies for success. But how can practices ensure they actually follow through on their New Year’s resolutions?
Dental practice management software (DPMS), like Sensei Cloud, plays a vital role in planning for and monitoring progress throughout the next year. In this blog, we’ll take a look at 5 common practice resolutions, along with some of the key features driving growth for dentists in 2024.
5 Practice Resolutions for the New Year
Before we can dive into how a DPMS solution can help you achieve your New Year’s goals, it’s important to understand what exactly your resolutions are to begin with. While every practice will be different, we’ve compiled a list of common New Year’s practice resolutions we’re seeing across the industry:
1. Going Paperless
The first goal on many practice lists is to start or continue the transition to a paperless system. By adopting digital record systems, dental practices can minimize clutter, maximize efficiency and improve data accessibility and security. Not only will replacing physical documents with software streamline administrative tasks, but it also elevates the patient experience. With a paperless system, you get quicker, easier access to patient histories to expedite wait times and improve overall practice management.
2. Implementing Teledentistry
While many dental practices adopted temporary teledentistry solutions during the height of the pandemic, 2024 presents a new opportunity to integrate this technology more fully into your digital ecosystem. Embracing teledentistry as a standard feature expands patient care beyond the traditional office setting, allowing dentists to offer remote consultations, diagnoses and follow-up care. This enhanced convenience and accessibility opens up new avenues for reaching patients who might otherwise face geographic or mobility constraints.
3. Reviewing Your Online Review Strategy
It’s important to check your online review page at least twice a year, but the first of January is a good reminder to revisit your strategy as well. In addition to updating your website’s information, you’ll also want to check in on other online review pages, such as Google Reviews and Yelp, and respond to any you might have missed. Be sure all your information is up to date, including your address and hours, and don’t forget to encourage patients to leave their reviews throughout the year.
4. Adopting Automation Solutions
Whether it’s scheduling patient appointments, sending out reminders or expediting the billing process, dental practices are increasingly adopting automation solutions to streamline operations. Plus, without the need for staff to perform these time-consuming, repetitive tasks, dental practices can minimize human error and free up time to focus on patient care and other high-priority work. Not only does this increase efficiency and productivity, but it also improves patient satisfaction by delivering a convenient experience with minimal waiting.
5. Expanding Services or Specialties
As countless dental practices set their eyes on growth in the new year, they’ll likely be considering expansion—whether that’s opening a new location, introducing new treatment options or unveiling a new specialty like orthodontics or oral maxillofacial surgery. By expanding either physically or in your service offerings, you’ll not only be able to meet the needs of a broader market of patients but also position your practice as a comprehensive provider of top-notch dental services.
Driving Growth With a Dental Practice Management Solution
Did you notice a common theme among these resolutions? They can all be achieved with a single DPMS solution. How exactly?
Here are a few ways you can use a DPMS to fuel your New Year’s ambition:
Analyze Data and Track KPIs
A DPMS solution, like Sensei Cloud from Carestream Dental, offers comprehensive data analysis tools to understand the current state of your practice, as well as forecast its future. By tracking key performance indicators, like patient retention, treatment success rates, revenue trends and more, you can identify the strengths and areas needing improvement during the year. This data-driven approach is crucial for informed decision-making.
Using these data analysis tools, you can also benchmark your practice’s performance against peers, historical data or industry standards to provide a clear understanding of your current position. This is critical for setting goals, but benchmarking can also uncover gaps in service areas and other opportunities for growth and greater efficiency.
Expand Service Offerings
Not only does a DPMS help identify trends in patient demand for services, allowing you to tailor your offerings, but it also comes with the versatile features needed to support multiple specialties. Whether you’re interested in areas like orthodontics, pediatric dentistry or new cosmetic procedures, the right DPMS solution has everything you need to support your practice as it grows.
Manage Practice Finances
Effective financial management is another essential facet of daily practice workflows. DPMS systems assist by automating the billing and insurance claims verification processes. You can also use a DPMS to track revenue streams, manage expenses and revenue cycles and identify financial trends. With this comprehensive overview, you’ll have everything you need to make informed decisions and ensure your practice's financial stability and growth.
Elevate the Patient Experience
Whether your focus is on retention or attracting new clients, DPMS streamlines patient interactions and creates a seamless journey for them. From automated scheduling and appointment reminders to communication tools and follow-up features, these tools add convenience to the patients’ experience while accelerating back-office workflows.
Monitor Progress and Adjust
Finally, a DPMS solution enables you to keep track of your New Year’s goals and monitor your progress toward them. By collecting practice data and generating in-depth reports and analytics, your DPMS can identify areas where you’re excelling and those that require more attention. As you continue throughout the year, you can even use it to adjust your strategies in real time, providing the agility you need to stay on track for your objectives.