Like many other dental practices, you’re likely feeling the direct effects of current market trends and still juggling busy schedules. That’s why, as your patients’ needs and expectations continue to evolve, it’s important that your dental practice does, too. Today’s patients have transitioned into well-informed consumers, looking for more personalized care, an engaging experience and convenient payment options that fit their specific budget. As their trusted provider, you want to deliver the level of care they need, but changing the way you do business may feel uncomfortable at first. However, with the right plan in place, it doesn’t have to!
By taking small, actionable steps, you can help provide your practice, and your patients, with impactful solutions.
Consider these steps below to start leading your path toward change.
1. Identify the want and need.
As you focus on setting goals to bring forward meaningful change, it’s important to begin by first identifying the needs and wants of your patients and your staff. Start by simply listening.
- Are patient payment collections challenging and time-consuming?
- Does your team want to simplify processes so they can spend more time focusing on patient relationships?
- Do your patients want treatments but often walk out the door without scheduling appointments?
- Does your team express frustrations over these missed appointments?
Considering challenges such as these is a great way to determine a way forward. Whenever you hear or see a need for improvement, make sure to always write it down. This could help you feel more inclined to act on it right away.
2. Create the vision.
After you have identified the needs of your patients and staff, the next step is to develop a vision of what it means to deliver the appropriate solution. It’s key to examine all possibilities and obstacles for different circumstances. For example, consider the following two scenarios:
- Some patients may ask for information about how to pay costs for recommended care, oral surgery procedures, or even orthodontic treatments such as clear aligners. They want to know as much information up front as possible so they can feel more prepared about what to expect. These discussions can help lay the groundwork for developing strong and trusted relationships, which can also factor into acceptance.
Do your patients have what they need to gain peace of mind and move forward with your recommended care?
- Meanwhile, members of your team may express concerns over using new practice management software or financing tools. They may be hesitant to change their habits or feel like the transition and training period is way too large of a task to manage. By walking your team through a step-by-step process, while highlighting how they can get the most out of the new tool, they may feel more comfortable to adapt.
Once you have created your vision for what you believe serves the best interest of your patients, staff, and practice, then it’s time to lay out a plan. Get your team involved during this stage so you can share great ideas and expertise to help piece together every part of the equation.
3. Make a plan.
It may only take a series of small steps to start putting an effective plan into action. What’s important is focusing on your main goals and how you can evolve to help:
- Meet patients’ needs and expectations.
- Make days easier for your staff and boost productivity.
- Get more patients to say yes to your recommended treatment.
CareCredit, a third-party patient financing partner, follows this same type of mission to help improve the financing experience and support practices. They understand current challenges and know that patients’ situations vary. That’s why, for more than 35 years, CareCredit has expanded to meet patients’ and providers’ changing needs by offering solutions that help bridge the gap between costs and care. Individuals can use the CareCredit credit card for a variety of dental treatments such as crowns, bridges, oral surgery and even orthodontic services.
Did you know? CareCredit patient financing features are also integrated into Open Dental as a streamlined solution. The patient financing integration is available to providers who accept the CareCredit credit card and use Open Dental software. It’s easy to use and can be a great way to help make the changes you want to elevate your practice and simplify workflows.
Discover other benefits of CareCredit, ways to save on merchant fees for clear aligners* and so much more by visiting https://www.carecredit.com/providers/.
*Merchant fee savings are only accessible through CareCredit Provider Center or the CareCredit integration in your practice management software.