Updated: Jan 17, 2022
When we think of opportunities in our dental practices, our thoughts often go to gaining new patients and retaining the patients we already have. But the goals of selling those esthetic cases and practicing the kind of dentistry we imagined in dental school still float in the recesses of our minds.
While we would love to say goodbye to COVID-19 and all of the coronavirus variants, the reality is that COVID-19 is here to stay -- at least during the time it takes to make or break a dental practice. But the good news is that dentistry is here to stay, too. In fact, according to recent surveys, dentistry is growing in areas where it had been stagnant.
Below are three opportunities to grow your dental practice in 2022.
1. Remote Outsourcing
Considering the turbulent ride of the past two or so years, it's a good time to reflect upon where we see growth opportunities. One of the most prevalent issues in the past year has been staffing.
Staffing has remained a constant issue due to fear of the virus and vaccine mandates, as well as school closures, which have forced many with young children to drop hours or quit entirely. Older workers with underlying health matters also quit to reduce their risk for exposure.
In a poll conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute, 10.9% of responding dentists had reduced team hours and 6.8% of responding dentists had downsized dental teams. If you lost employees or are not finding qualified employees for critical administrative areas, consider outsourcing to remote specialists for a percentage of collections.
Remote outsourcing with us, dentists have the opportunities for adaptation and change. Our staff don't worry about catching COVID-19 from your office because they don't come to your office. Working from home or an alternative base location allows remote employees to access your practice software from a secure connection and file your claims, post insurance payments to accounts, and follow-up on unpaid claims and patient accounts without the drama of coming into the office.
A clinical staff shortage causes issues in terms of seeing consistent volumes of patients. The strategic scheduling you used to employ with overlapping patients may no longer work. Additionally, many adults have avoided seeing a dentist during the pandemic because they're worried about personal safety and exposure to COVID-19 and the cost of care.
If you haven't yet, now is a good time to consider teledentistry as an alternative solution. Our team can bill dental plans following the protocol for teledentistry visits. Regardless, a televisit is vital to the patient's dental health.
3. Patient education
Fear of pain has always been a factor for patients, but dental technology has improved in this area and patient education is a must to demonstrate new techniques. These common fears must be addressed for patients to build trust and return to the dental practice in 2022.
There are many ways to ensure patient trust, including creating videos, blogs, and other educational content to inform patients about the latest care and advancements in your practice. You can routinely send email blasts about your latest technologies that include new patient comfort and security features.
Studies show that up to 89% of consumers read online reviews before scheduling an appointment or purchasing something. They also spend time reading blogs or information about offered procedures such as crowns and implants. Monitoring your reviews and updating your website content is vital to creating a trustworthy and efficient online profile.
As we go into the new year 2022, dentists must keep improving and finding new ways to serve their patients better. Join with All About Teeth LLC, give opportunities dental practices to build confidence in their dental team and pull together to overcome any obstacle that comes our way this year.