It’s a well-known fact that dental clinics are going digital. But you might not be aware of it if you don’t have the time to keep up with the latest news in dentistry. You see, the industry is shifting rapidly toward digitization, and there are many ways for your clinic to catch up. Here are five ideas on how you can bring your dental clinic to the 21st century:
1. Invest in New Dental Equipment
You might be asking yourself why digitalization matters at all. After all, digital X-rays provide the same high quality as regular film X-rays. Other digital tools can replace other equipment you have in your office. One of the easiest and most effective ways to digitalize your dental clinic is to invest in digital dental lab equipment.
Digitalization is a good idea for several reasons. One example would be digital impression systems. These systems allow for a more effortless transfer of digital images to the lab and reduce your time taking impressions from patients. Another example is digital panoramic X-ray equipment that eliminates the need for a digital capture device. These machines take the digital picture themselves and transfer it to your computer, eliminating the need to scan or send digital images from film X-rays.
2. Create an Email Account to Communicate with Patients
In today’s digital age, it is more important than ever before to communicate with your patients digitally. Why? It’s simple: Digitization is the future of almost all industries, and people are used to sharing with businesses online.
This should be common sense, but it seems that many dentists still send out paper newsletters every month or year. Try sending an email instead. You can send your newsletter electronically to patients who signed up for your newsletter. An email is also helpful when you want to remind patients about their appointments, inform them of significant changes in their treatment plans, or ask them to complete an online patient satisfaction survey.
3. Create an Online Patient Portal
If you haven’t already, it might be time to create an online patient portal. Patient portals are websites that allow patients to communicate with their dental clinics in many ways, including scheduling appointments, sending messages, and reviewing treatment plans. This is an efficient alternative to regular email or faxing information back and forth.
Patient portals even allow you to provide 24/7 access to your clinic’s digital records. This can be very useful because patients no longer need to make an appointment to review their X-rays, treatment plans, or billing information. Your patients will love you for it. They’ll also send more people by word of mouth since patient portals allow them to communicate quickly and easily with your office.
4. Invest in Digital Marketing
If you haven’t created an online patient portal yet, it might be time to create a website for your dental clinic. A well-designed website is not only good for SEO (search engine optimization) but will also help bring new patients into your office through referrals and online promotions. However, your online presence is not just limited to your website. This is why you should also invest in digital marketing, including social media management and digital advertisements.
Social media pages like Facebook and Instagram allow your patients and potential clients to see what services you offer. Advertisements are also beneficial for promoting your dental clinic on search engines such as Google, Bing, and others.
5. Review Your Payment Options
One of the big reasons patients choose to visit the dentist more often these days is because they know it’s affordable. If your clinic is not providing your patients with easy and affordable payment options, it’s time to start.
Many dental clinics offer their patients the option of paying via cash, credit cards, and checks for routine appointments and services. You should also invest in a more advanced point-of-sale (POS) system that accepts online payment systems such as PayPal or Payoneer. Furthermore, many also accept third-party insurance companies such as Delta Dental and Cigna. You must research the dental insurance plans currently in the market to determine which ones your patients might be interested in.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve and provide your patients with a better dental experience, it might be time for you to bring your clinic to the future. You’ll need to invest in new lab equipment to provide more services to your patients. You can also harness the power of email and digital marketing to reach out to your patients in new ways. And finally, invest in an online patient portal and new POS systems. That way, your patients have a one-stop shop where they can find their information, pay their remaining balance, and check whether their insurance covers whatever procedure they get.