Technology Is The Key To Building A Successful Dental Practice
Building a successful dental practice that involves advanced technology for patient care is an admirable goal, and will attract a solid patient base. What is the best plan for a successful launch?
Stepping into an office with wireless keyboards and giant flat-screens at the check-in area, in the waiting room, and in the patient rooms, plus sleek tablets in the arms of the staff, and sophisticated processes for moving patients throughout the visit, you might be surprised to discover you’re in a modern orthodontic or oral surgeon’s office.
With a focus on technology and innovation, launching a new practice starts with a vision. Every practice is unique and strives to achieve a set of goals, varying by specialty. Have you made your list yet?
What are your ultimate goals for your practice?
- How you talk: What kind of telecommunications will you use?
- How you work: How do you envision your network design?
- How you protect: Will you have security cameras?
- How you share: What kind of sound system or audio/visual system will be used?
Planning how to build your practice with these and other goals in mind seems like a solid outline, but even the best-laid plans can go awry.
From Vision To Victory
Do you have a vision for the most cutting-edge, enviable – and profitable – practice anywhere around? Beyond basic x-rays and orthodontic braces, you see a practice that offers 3D imaging diagnostics and dental implants. Yesterday’s limits don’t apply.
Where do you start?
Start with the end in mind! Identifying your goals and defining a clear outline of how to achieve these goals defines your roadmap to success. After all, in this case, the end unquestionably justifies the means. Archimedes said, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” Your first step is identifying the steps to take to achieve these goals with positive results
How You Talk
How will your team talk to each other and to your patients? The most modern practices utilize data network connections instead of legacy telephone lines for telecommunications. Voice over Internet protocol, commonly called VoIP, is more economical and more easily configurable than traditional landline systems. VoIP also has the added flexibility that allows systems to use mobile phones to make and receive calls, based on configuration.
With all the same features that conventional desk phones offered, like voicemail, caller ID, and call forwarding, VoIP systems have a more extensive list of features for busier modern offices and can handle the higher call volume.
How You Work
Your infrastructure will dictate much of how your practice operates. Practices planning to use sophisticated software and state-of-the-art architecture are great candidates for thin client technologies, using lightweight and low-profile devices that connect remotely into servers, where the server is the super-powerful machine that performs the functions rather than the software and processes being housed directly on the desktop or device. More organizations that rely on this technology are migrating to cloud solutions that are flexible and scalable, offering a dynamic environment that adapts to a growing practice.
This cloud-based network design offers advanced security measures, as well as the ability of care providers to access data from anywhere. Once a practice grows into multiple locations, the network can both grow with the practice and support communication between staff, between locations, and between providers with the same speed and productivity as a single entity.
How You Protect
Both physical security and network security should be priorities. Physical security can protect your technology investment and digital security will protect your data, your brand, and your business. Security cameras that link together, with video feeds that are accessible and record activity. Also, professional mounting solutions are a great option to secure computers, devices, and both desktop and wall displays
You’ll want to establish an extremely secure network through methods like data encryption, complex passwords, firewalls, and even working with a managed IT services provider (MSP) that offers 24/7 remote monitoring to detect and respond to threats immediately, offering the most secure environment possible. Not only will these measures protect a business, but also the information of its customers – and health data.
Protect the practice in every aspect as though it were the Taj Mahal of the oral world!
How You Share
A practice with a “high-tech” display in the waiting room, patient areas, and treatment areas commands attention and is an effective tool for communicating with patients in a low-cost manner. Whether it’s marketing or administrative, or even educational in nature, large screens with eye-catching graphics and programming convey information in an elite presentation.
What kind of sound system or audio/visual system will you use to showcase your messaging? Using a quality system implies patients visiting the office can expect quality care from experienced providers who incorporate the most advanced technology
Starting with the end goal in mind is the best way to make it from Point A to Point B and connect all the dots along the way. Do you have a timeline for launching your orthodontic or oral surgery practice? Partnering with an MSP well-versed in your industry can ease the process tremendously, including creating a general timeline and a path to successful launch, achieving your vision and maintaining it at every step
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As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.