Since the start of 2022, dental practices have shown a remarkable recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, with the ADA reporting increased economic confidence and steady patient schedules. However, dentists now face new challenges in rising patient expectations. Not only must practice owners offer exceptional convenience with every experience, but they also need to optimize office workflows to better support their staff members.
Automation is becoming a huge part of this new dental landscape. By streamlining administrative workflows, it can improve efficiency and productivity across any practice while enabling doctors, assistants and staff to provide high-quality experiences throughout the patient journey.
What Can Workflow Automation Software Do for Dentistry?
Daily dental practice operations are often filled with repetitive, time-consuming tasks that slow down office staff, including:
- Patient intake
- Appointment scheduling
- Sending reminders
- Billing and insurance verification
- Following up with personalized content
- And more
While these tasks are essential to keep things running smoothly, that doesn’t mean they require manual labor. Practice management software offers workflow tools designed to automate these processes, saving time for higher-value functions, like building patient relationships. These innovative solutions can help providers enhance the overall experience for patience and staff alike by offering tools, such as:
Customization capabilities are essential for any practice management solution. While many come ready to use out of the box, dental professionals should have the ability to tailor their platform to their daily operations rather than the other way around. Full customization also means the software offers seamless integrations to external equipment like imaging technology and centralization features to connect disparate data sources. This flexibility is essential, especially for dental support organizations (DSOs), which must unify information and processes across multiple locations.
Digital Patient Forms
Creating, storing and filing through physical charts and records isn’t just a hassle for dental professionals, it’s also a problem for patients who have to wait long periods as staff search through files. Digital forms solve these issues by eliminating inefficiencies in paper-based systems. Cloud-based software also allows dental professionals to access, update and securely share patient health information anywhere and at any time.
Patient Engagement Tools
From online appointment booking to two-way texting and automated reminders, patient engagement solutions offer an easy way for dental professionals to convert prospects and keep in contact with existing customers. Online self-service tools like chatbots also provide a convenient way for patients to find the information and personalized content they need without having to call the front desk. In addition to boosting patient satisfaction, it also saves practice resources and improves productivity.
Top Five Benefits of Using Automated Workflows
It’s important to remember that workflow automation doesn’t mean reducing face-to-face patient interactions, nor will it replace practice staff. Instead, dental providers can use automation to optimize resource utilization and enhance the patient experience.
Here are five of the top benefits you can expect from workflow automation:
1. Streamlined Intake, Scheduling and Billing
If your practice’s intake and scheduling processes involve a pen and paper, you’re likely ready for a digital transformation. With electronic forms and online booking, you can automate these tedious tasks to save time at the reception desk and minimize human error. Not only that, but new patients will also appreciate the added efficiency, feeling impressed before they even visit your office. And once they complete their first appointment, automated workflows can add the patient to the virtual checkout queue in real time to streamline the payment process.
2. Automated Appointment Reminders
Missed or late appointments are an enormous and costly pain for dental practices, affecting up to 80% of booked appointments. But automated reminders can keep your chairs filled, reducing no-shows by around 29%, according to WebinarCare. Ahead of their scheduled appointments, patients will receive a text message reminding them to confirm the date or reschedule as soon as possible. That way, patients don’t forget and your practice stays on track with minimal disruptions.
3. Follow Up with Personalized Content
After a successful treatment plan, it’s easy for patients to forget about or misplace important information about ongoing at-home care. Automated follow-ups eliminate this issue while showing patients how much you care about their dental health. In addition to sending patients home with paper instructions, providers can send automated emails with personalized information and relevant content to ensure they have everything they need once they leave your office.
4. Increased Patient Satisfaction and Better Online Reviews
Throughout the end-to-end patient journey, automated solutions work behind the scenes to improve the overall patient experience by reducing wait times, improving convenience and increasing engagement. All of this results in greater satisfaction that translates directly to referrals. According to Oral Health Group, “word of mouth is still ranking as the best way to attract new patients.” At the same time, you can use automated follow-ups to request feedback in the form of reviews. With glowing testimonials displayed on your website, you can spread the word online and continually grow your practice.
5. Revenue and Practice Growth
Beyond patient benefits, automated workflows can also bring significant advantages to help you manage and expand your practice. Revenue cycle management is a particularly useful feature that allows you to monitor the financial health and performance of your practice by tracking patient revenue across their journey. Electronic claims integrations and digital billing further expedite the payment process to boost your bottom line. Between increased patient referrals and automated workflows, practice management solutions provide you with a plethora of opportunities to grow your operations.
Automate and Optimize Your Dental Practice with Sensei Cloud
Sensei Cloud is the most comprehensive, cloud-based practice management solution on the market. Designed by and for dental professionals, this modern solution simplifies and automates practice workflows from beginning to end. With a centralized platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing digital ecosystem, you get a full view of your practice from both a business and clinical perspective.
Want to learn more about how Sensei Cloud can automate your practice workflows? Schedule a demo today.