How Can Dental Practices Benefit From IT Services and How Much Should They Cost?
Could your dental practice’s computer, mobile devices, and other tech equipment and software be holding back growth and profits? Up-to-date IT and seamless managed support can not only help you increase efficiency and improve reimbursement, but it can also free up time to deliver stellar patient service and grow your profits.
Can Benchmarks Help Determine How Much Dental Practices Should Spend on IT Services?
Dental practice growth consultant Linda Drevenstedt offers solid advice for practice management and growth. She suggests that dental offices can compare their own annual revenue growth rate to the consumer price index (CPI) for practices nationwide. She recommends that dental IT services should fit in an overall practice administration/overhead range of 8 to 13%.
Regarding benchmarking, dental practice revenue nationwide has gone up an average of 3.56% per year since 2008 — except for the three months of August-October 2018 when it experienced a 1% average decline. In northern Virginia, the economy has grown steadily at 2.7% since October 2017. Practices that aren’t growing more than 2.7% a year in Northern VA probably have room for growth.
Could Outdated IT Equipment and Software Be Holding Dental Practices Back?
Dental practices are in an increasingly competitive environment. The steps they need to take to grow and thrive rely on data and tools that only current, well-managed dental IT support can provide.
High-impact strategies that can grow dental practices include:
- Increased procedure efficiency and time-needed appointment plans for hygienists.
- Current, quality images for treatment plans and patient information.
- Regular evaluation of fees and reimbursement rates.
- Just-in-time supply ordering plans.
- Assessing PPO pays and dropping lower-paying ones if necessary.
- Emails and newsletters geared toward your patients’ needs.
Practices that are getting by with outdated technology and software not only can’t afford to waste time with break-downs, low-quality images, or outdated financial and billing reports, they will lose opportunities to practices that benefit from these tools and IT services.
How Much Should IT Services and Technology For Orthodontists, General Dentistry, and Oral Surgeons Cost?
Orthodontists, general dentists, and oral surgeons have some different needs in IT services and support, but they all need reliable equipment, appropriate HIPAA compliance, and efficient, provider and patient-friendly software.
Some practices use a Break/Fix approach for IT services. A practice with up-to-date equipment and software and tech-savvy staff may choose the Break/Fix model for IT assistance. Fees for this approach are based upon access to IT technicians and help desk support.
NOVA focuses on managed dental IT support. NOVA is a managed IT service provider with years of dental practice technology expertise. For one monthly price, NOVA will provide managed IT services for dental practices based on the following factors:
- The number of computers/mobile devices in a practice.
- The number of peripheral devices (phones, cameras, printers, fax machines, monitors/screens).
- The number of users.
- HIPAA compliance and security/safety best-practices.
- The level of expertise of practice staff and owners.
Implementing “best practices” to grow and manage dental practices requires up-to-date technology. Keeping track of services and maintaining the practice efficiently also requires up-to-date IT consulting and management. NOVA Computer Solutions has more than 15 years of experience serving dental practices, including installing, configuring, and seamlessly supporting dental office technology. From communications solutions to digital imaging and practice management software, NOVA can offer a managed IT solution on an as-needed basis, or with a single monthly cost depending on practice size, type, and needs.
As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.