A Look Back and Ahead, Part 2

Posted December 26, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018In the first part of this blog, we discussed how XLDent helps Administrative staff gather year-end totals, review practice metrics, and maintain the patient database. These areas can demonstrate trends, and inspire new ideas for increasing loyalty from your patient base, and further engaging your office team in the everyday goals you lay out.

For the Clinical Team, we look at different factors: Patient acceptance of treatment plans and consistent hygiene production are good indicators of practice growth. The Treatment Plan report allows you to see all plans that were created for the year, and the current status of each case. Hygiene production on the Production Analysis report can be generated with a comparative date range, so you can see trends in production increase (or decrease). You will want to see how many new patients you attracted over the past year, and how many of them have become repeat customers. Looking forward, you can be thinking about how best to market your practice and attract more patients next year, using the Referral reports as guidance.

Perhaps you will note that there are unfavorable trends that point to changes needed to increase success in a particular area. Your case presentations can always be improved, on tablet pc’s, using XLDent’s patient-friendly clinical features. You can present a treatment plan to a patient, answer their questions, and have them sign their acceptance (and financial arrangements) right on the tablet.

Wondering how effective overall your team’s efforts were for the past year? The Clinic Production and Collection Report as a Summary totals production, collections, debits and credits for each month with grand totals when run for the year. It’s much easier to set goals for the new year when you have a clear, reliable picture of the overall successes and trends that occurred over the past twelve months.

If you really want to keep a finger on the pulse of your practice’s growth and progress, the brand new KPI Dashboard gives you an analysis of key practice areas, is compiled and presented in easy to read graphics, and is updated in real-time. This dashboard works with mobile devices, so you always have a window of access into the health of your Practice’s performance.

While taking a look back at 2017, now is the perfect time to think about the New Year that is upon us. What areas of your practice would you like to see improve? What goals did you meet that you want to continue into the New Year? XLDent has solutions to meet all needs; to help you be completely paperless, bring your patient experience to the next level, and tools to better understand and manage your practice performance. Here’s to a prosperous 2018!

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A Look Back and Ahead, Part 1

Posted December 12, 2017 by Jennifer G

2017_2018Happy 2018! Well, almost! Are you ready for a fresh start, cleaning up your books, and setting new goals for the new year? There are so many features embedded right in XLDent that it’s the perfect place to start.

The Administrative Team can dig into wrapping up your year by running reports and reflecting on what worked. There are many tools in XLDent that help you analyze, clarify, and set new goals going forward. Which Marketing ventures were most successful? How many new patients did the practice gain each month? Which insurance plans are no longer in use? Which key demographic saw the most growth in your patient database?

Start this process by running the Production and Collection reports for the year. The XLDent Production and Collection Analysis Reports easily break out details for types of procedures completed, and serves as a comparison report for this year against the previous.

Thinking in terms of your ‘Patient Experience’, what improvements could be made for the new year? Almost every new patient who wants to come to your practice will start by calling for an appointment. Are they hearing dead silence or scratchy music when you put them on hold? XLHold could just be what you need to turn that around and create a better first impression on potential new patients. Pleasant music, information about your practice, team and services offered, or even advertising your new whitening special could make the difference of whether they stay on the line or drop off.

How paperless is your office? XLDent has paperless forms and digital treatment consent forms all in one easy to use system. And, we can digitize any custom form that your office currently uses. Start off 2018 right by eliminating your paper forms or old-school signature pads. Start streamlining treatment plan presentation and capture paper-free forms and signatures – all with one solution!

Perhaps you need to step-up your Accounts Receivable collections. XLDent has a patient web portal, which allows patients to access their account online, make payments, see treatment plans that need to be scheduled, and view the most recent statement they have received. You can offer a helping hand to busy people with this online access, right from your practice website. To top it off, the Doctor Portal is included free to give your doctor access to review patient records and appointment schedules on a mobile device, any time.

Is your patient database in need of some cleanup? Take a look at patients who should be inactivated. How long has it been since they’ve been seen? Have they responded to any of your recall efforts? Patient statuses can be quickly changed to inactive, or auxiliary (if they are still the subscriber for another patient’s insurance plan). This will help streamline your recall system, so you are focusing effort on patients who are engaged in their dental health.

If you want to learn more about XLDent or about turning on any of the eSolutions already embedded in your software, contact us today. Consider gathering your staff for a team building day of shared learning, and use the library of webinars to optimize and maximize XLDent’s powerful tools to give you a great start in 2018.

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Three Reasons Your Practice is at a Standstill

Posted October 5, 2017 by Natalie L.

One of the very first things you learn about the rhythm of a dental practice is how certain days are super busy, and others are a bit slower. There are frequently shifts that follow the change in seasons, weather, the economy and school holidays.

When there is a sudden production downshift in the practice though, it’s only natural for a wave of panic to come over an otherwise cheery group of team members. How does this happen? And, what are the best ways to weather the storm?

Office systems and processes

Inadequate or absent systems is a leading cause of stagnant practices. Establishing a process for every part of your practice, with clearly defined duties and responsibilities, helps it run like a well-oiled machine, and in turn provides greater patient satisfaction, stronger referral Sample of Dental Practice SOPrates and higher recall retention. A bit of data gathering and analysis will tell you where the gaps are, and suggest ways to create structure, or eliminate extraneous steps in the process. A well-documented process or SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) will be especially beneficial when bringing on a new team member or when review current processes for improvement. We understand the importance of establishing processes, so the XLDent new client experience includes a set of SOP templates to get the practice started.

New Patient Growth

Does your practice participate in Social Media? There’s no escaping the pervasiveness of social media and its ever-expanding reach into our lives. Your business will be missing out on the current word-of-mouth that brings in new patients every day, and helps you retain the ones you already have. How does it do that? By building your online presence, 24/7! Today’s consumer is more likely to choose your office if they can easily find you on social media, and get a sense of your style and see the reviews your current patients have posted.

Have you stopped taking certain insurance plans or are considering participating in new ones? One study showed that 42% of people would leave their current dentist if they were no longer in network with their insurance plan. In fact, 59% said that was the number one factor in whether or not they would make an appointment at a new dentist! The number two factor was the physical location/proximity to where they live and work.1 Be sure that everyone knows how close and convenient your office is for their needs.

Integration of new technologies

Don’t underestimate the importance of being on the cutting-edge! Especially to the millennial or younger group of patients, your first “technology” impression can make all the difference. Are you sending automated reminders to your patients? Do you have an online portal so that your patients can login anytime, anywhere, and verify appointments or make payments on their account? Go paperless as soon as possible (if you are not already). Do you still present needed treatment on paper, or can you show treatment right on a TV or Tablet PC, then email a copy to the patient? All these ideas add to your image as a modern, tech-savvy office, that meets their patients’ needs.

If you have more downtime right now, you can use it wisely by updating your software, attending educational courses, and allowing time for staff to become fully trained on your computer software, so they are ready to go when business rebounds and the schedule overflows again.

These may seem like minor changes, but in a practice facing sluggish times, they could make the difference between two or twenty new patients next month. When you see a few blanks in your schedule, look at them as opportunities to prepare for the next big wave.



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Social Media and Your Practice

Posted September 7, 2017 by Alexa S.

Social Media is everywhere, and the best part is it’s free! But before you dive into these powerful platforms, it is important to determine your objective. It’s too easy to get lost in the sea of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Some reasons to start up a social media strategy include:Social Media Smartphone

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) so new patients can find your practice.
  • Patient education (to boost treatment case acceptance).
  • Improve referral business.

There are a variety of social media tools or platforms you can use depending on your strategy. It’s easy to start small and add additional platforms as time allows, or you can try all at once to get your name out there quickly.

To start, the most common or perhaps frequently used, is Facebook. Facebook has become a platform for all types of individuals to connect both on a personal and professional basis. This social media tool makes it easy for a business to share photos and videos, post updates, and keep customers (patients) up to date on the latest news with the office. Facebook is also a great tool for prospective new patients to see a more personal side of your office, and can help them start thinking about becoming a patient. This is a chance for you to show some personality while still keeping your Facebook business page professional.

But, wait – you don’t have an audience yet. In order for a Facebook page to be successful in helping you grow your practice, people have to see it. Start by building your audience on Facebook, this can be done by simply asking people to “like” your page. When checking out patients, have your front desk team remind patients that you’re on Facebook and to give you a “like”. You could also add your social media links to your appointment reminders. If you are not getting “likes” fast enough, try doing a simple contest to boost awareness. This could be a guessing game like how many packs of dental floss are in a jar, to make it interesting for your patients and prospective ones.

Another social media tool is adding a blog to your website. A blog is an excellent outlet to share information about your practice whether it be news, events, or new employee photos. Keeping a regularly updated blog is a great way to promote your brand and share some of your expertise with patients and for others to learn more about you and your practice.

Twitter! We have seen a lot of mention of Twitter in recent weeks and it is a powerful tool if used properly. This is a much shorter way to get your message out since you are limited to 140 characters per post. However, it is relatively quick and easy to post which makes it a great option for quick or on the go messages or updates, when you may not have time to write a full blog. Similar to Facebook, this is a great tool for your patients to see more of your personality. Keep an eye on your newsfeed and follow your industry peers and even other local businesses so you can retweet as desired.

YouTube is a social media tool that will take a little more time and effort if you want to be sure you are posting quality and fun video content. However, don’t give up on it yet! You can use YouTube to post a video tour of your office, do regular “meet our staff” videos, and even film patients or procedures to share on your social media platforms listed above. You don’t need to make a movie masterpiece to have fun and post on YouTube. Give it a shot and see if it is a hit with your patients.

Now that you have your strategy, and a quick snapshot of the tools available for you to develop your social media strategy – here are a few tips for how to get off on the right foot.

  • Make sure this is a mix of topics and interest. Try to keep your content industry specific, but don’t be afraid to share local events or information, weather, or even an update on your favorite sports team. Don’t forget people love pictures of family, even your fur family – who doesn’t love a puppy picture?
  • Referral focus. Work to build your audience in hopes of boosting your visibility which will ultimately lead to more referrals. When a patient interacts on your page, that activity will show up in their friends’ feed. This is free advertising! Keep your practice top of mind for your patients, and their friends and family will be able to see that. This is another reason to keep your content industry-specific while throwing in fun, personal, and local posts.
  • Contests and campaigns. If you feel like your audience isn’t growing the way you’d like, generate buzz by starting a contest. You can also look into campaigns to target specific patients, while this isn’t free, it could give your page a boost and be money well-spent.
  • Keep an eye on your metrics. Facebook has a great insights tool that gives you a snapshot of how effective your social media strategy is, including your reach and engagement. This can help you see what posts are getting the most traction so you can focus your efforts on delivering more of that content.

If you aren’t already following XLDent on the social front, start now by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, connecting with us on Google+ and LinkedIn, and watching us on YouTube. Happy sharing!

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Technology Can Make It Grow!

Posted August 31, 2017 by Natalie L.

There are thousands of articles written about how to grow your practice, expanding your patient base further into your community. Referrals are your best source of new patients, but when they walk into your office, will they feel that your care is top-notch and state-of-the-art?

The modern dental practice has seen remarkable advances in technology in recent years, but which ones make the most difference to your patients? And how much can new technology add value to your business?

Here are the technologies where you can expect the biggest bang for your money:

  1. Digital X-Rays
  2. Intra-Oral Cameras
  3. On Hold Marketing
  4. Online Access
  5. Tablet Computers

Digital x-rays have probably been the biggest game changer for offices in the past 10 years. X-rays have become portable, enhanced images that are easy to duplicate, and eliminate the handling of chemicals during maintenance. Of course, patients are getting up to 80% less radiation in the process, which is always a great selling point! ImageXL provides a seamless view of digital images from the patient chart. ImageXL includes enhancement tools to view images in a variety of ways and the ability to integrate most any digital technology. Cone beam x-rays have changed overall case management, taking a 3D approach to the teeth and jaws’ relation to the rest of the skull, though they are still a hefty investment for a practice.

Along with x-rays, intraoral photos have had a tremendous impact on both insurance approvals and patient case acceptance. “A picture is worth a thousand words” holds true here, and showing the patient the crack in their molar is so much more powerful than telling them it’s there, especially when it’s not hurting at the time. Patient education is the best tool we have toward fewer dental caries overall and raising awareness of the critical role that dental health plays overall.

Instead of sitting on hold with dull, muzak versions of old songs, your patients should be hearing about your services and approach to caring for their oral health. XLHold is a customizable solution that is designed to allow your style of dentistry to shine, while at the same time educating patients about the importance of their dental health. A simple piece of equipment that plugs right in to your existing phone system can get your practice started. A very small investment and a little technology with huge rewards!

The largest population group in this country, the “Millennials”, have come to expect 24/7 access to all the services they need for their busy lives. Add to that the challenges of starting their families and the need for an interactive presence; online becomes critical. XLPortal gives patients access to make payments, review their statements and treatment plans, and verify their next appointment, anytime, day or night. Almost all (93%) of Millennials in a recent poll said they preferred to work with the latest technologies, businesses with a strong mission statement, and great word-of-mouth referrals, which are also shared online.

Technology-Tablet-XLChartTablets are becoming ubiquitous in medical and dental practices these days, and with good reason. Simple to use, and so much easier than managing all the paper files of previous years. Information is at the ready, and the Microsoft Surface Pro offers your dental office multitudes of information at your fingertips, while allowing a paperless practice the ability to capture digital forms, a patient’s handwritten signature, and treatment plan acceptance, all chairside!

What technologies have you already invested in? With just a few short months to finish off 2017, if you haven’t taken advantage of any or all of these technologies, consider making the leap to grow your practice and set the stage for a running start to 2018.

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