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Energize Your Reactivations

Posted July 25, 2017 by Natalie L.

One of the best ways to grow your active patient base is to create a plan for reactivating your inactive patients. These are patients who have already visited your practice and, for various reasons, have not scheduled their next preventative or treatment appointment. How can you let your patients know that you care about their dental healthcare needs and show them you understand how busy life can be?

Reactivations fill empty chairs1.  Creating a plan for Reactivation is key to making sure there is a consistent designation of “who is doing what” in this process. It’s a good idea to assign someone the task of making sure that the process is being followed, and the calls are steadily completed and communications are being generated and sent regularly. Part of this planning must include gathering accurate data to show where the practice is at, and what goals can be laid out for the next several months. XLDent Reports like the Scheduled Recall, Recall Due, and the Production Analysis Report can make this simple and quick.

75% of the practices’ treatment plans are created from a patient’s hygiene visit

2.  Automation simplifies all aspects of Reactivation. Lighthouse 360 helps reduce the amount of time office staff is spending on calling patients by 94% on average, with 90% of offices seeing an increase in reactivations of 25% or more. Lighthouse is fully integrated with XLDent, and can be customized with your message preferences, style, and frequency.

3.  Make it a team effort! Get everyone involved in making sure every patient is pre-appointed for their next visit, whether that is hygiene recall or for necessary treatment. Have a goal of making a certain number of calls per day, and let everyone know about progress toward that number. Offer a team reward, such as having lunch brought in once per quarter (or sooner), or closing a couple hours early one day, if the reactivation/recall goals are met.

4.  Social Media goes hand in hand with Reactivation! Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have been called a “Loyalty Platform”, and for good reason. For the most part, advertisers on these sites are “preaching to the choir”, in that people generally “Like” or “Follow” pages for products they themselves are currently using. The Lighthouse solution can help simplify the task of getting patient reviews and helps get those great ones published to all the top social media sites, attracting new patients to your office.

5.  Focus on your mission of caring and make it personal. Have the doctor hand-sign reactivation letters and use words like “The doctor asked me to call you…” when making phone calls, especially those calls meant to re-engage an inactive patient.

Start energizing your reactivations today! Check out how XLDent and Lighthouse can boost your active patient numbers.

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Referrals, Reviews and Growing Your Practice

Posted July 17, 2017 by Alexa S.

When it comes to growing your practice, there is next to nothing as effective as a word-of-mouth referral. A recommendation could be the reason why a patient chooses your dental practice over another. So, how do you increase your word-of-mouth referrals, and boost your practice to trusted sources such as google reviews?

Why not ask patients what they want? That’s what Dental Economics and Officite did to find out from over 100 dental patientsReferrals Blog graphic 1 how they decide on a dentist, and the methods they use to conduct their searches. “The branding-free survey was conducted through Facebook, e-mail, and other channels, and none of the respondents were dentists, hygienists, clinicians, or in any way affiliated with dentistry, aside from receiving care.”1

Based on their results, word-of-mouth/referral from friends dominated in the tools used to make a decision on a new dentist. Respondents also noted that when using search engines, 89% prefer to use Google. The respondents were also asked, “Do you take referrals from friends/word-of-mouth at face value, or do you do additional online research?”; 57% indicated they take it at face value, and 43% indicated that they do additional online research.1

While word-of-mouth is a noticeable step above the rest for being an effective tool, it is important to take note that 43% of theReferrals Blog graphic 2 surveyed still do additional online research even after a referral from a friend. Your practice will want to have a website that meets the content features that people look for when searching for additional information outside of their referral. Unsure what features people look for when searching for a new dentist online? Here’s a few of the responses from the Dental Economics survey.

When building your website with these important features keep in mind to have your hours clearly posted on your home page. Also, the images on your site ideally will be of you, your staff, and your office; keep stock images off your site, people want to see you and your beautiful office!

So, you have your website in “tip-top” shape and have patients who spread the word for you. What about online reviews? If you feel like your practice is lacking in your online review category, here are some tips put together by Dental Economics on how to get more 5-star online patient reviews, without nagging your patients.2 (see full article at link at the bottom of this blog).

  1. Organic method — Make sure your practice is listed on as many third-party sites as possible. This ensures patients can find you if they feel like writing reviews spontaneously.
  2. Links or clickable images on your site — Have something that patients who return to your site can click to write reviews.
  3. Single-page handouts — Prepare a sheet of instructions you can simply hand to patients that walks them through how to post a review.
  4. Personal e-mail — A simple e-mail with a polite request and a link can be effective. But personalize it—none of that “Dear Valued Patient” garbage. Also, consider a review link in your e-mail signature.
  5. Autoresponder e-mail — If you have your patients on an e-mail list through a service such as Demandforce or Solutionreach, you can have an e-mail request that goes out automatically.
  6. Snail-mail request — Although it involves a bit more work, people generally pay more attention to snail mail, especially if it’s personalized and from a practice they know and like.
  7. Video — A short walk-through video showing how to leave a review can be effective.
  8. Social media — Patients can write CitySearch reviews using their Facebook usernames, making it that much easier for everyone.
  9. QR code on a postcard — Hand out or send patients a postcard that asks them to review you by scanning a QR code. The code is linked to your Google Places or InsiderPages page.
  10. QR code as a sticker or decal — The sticker or decal can be placed anywhere in your office or store. Patients can scan it with their smartphones to review you on the spot.
  11. Phone call — It’s kind of old-fashioned, but effective with the right kind of patient.
  12. Part of a little gift you send patients — For example, you give out a pad of paper or fridge magnet with your logo and phone number…plus a request to leave you a quick review. The gift has to be something people see daily and actually use, making it a subtle but persistent reminder.

XLDent, with Lighthouse 360, gives you the ability to easily collect and post reviews from happy patients directly to all the top sites including your social media pages. It also includes utilization of RateABiz, which helps you showcase reviews and boost your practice’s rank in search results.

Once you have built a solid foundation of referrals/word-of-mouth and online reviews, you can use your XLDent software to track how your hard work is paying off. XLDent easily lets you be as specific as you want about where your referrals come from. There are reports to tell you the number of referrals you are seeing each month, such as:

  • Referral Source Listing
  • Referral Source Detail Listing Report
  • Referral Source Summary Listing Report

All of these reports have different features and views, we suggest looking at each and finding what works best for your practice. If you find that these reports are not showing exactly what you want, give us a call and we can create a custom report for you.

We hope these tips will help you build your patient referrals and online reviews! Stay tuned for more tips on growing your practice in our upcoming blogs.

SOURCES:

1Dental Economics, “How to attract new patients (according to new patients)”, By: Kevin Rach, April 19, 2016
http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-106/issue-4/practice/how-to-attract-new-patients-according-to-new-patients.html

2Dental Economics, “Get more 5-star online patient reviews without bugging or nagging your patients”, By: Graig Presti, February 8, 2017
http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-107/issue-2/practice/get-more-5-star-online-patient-reviews-without-bugging-or-nagging-your-patients.html

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Connecticut Governor Pushing for Opioid e-Prescribing Come 2018

Posted April 24, 2017 by Jennifer G

medications-342462_1920This past Valentine’s Day, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the crowd in a rather somber tone. He went on to explain that he experienced yet another unfortunate morning passage – reading the obituary of a young local who has tragically passed due to an opioid overdose. However, he’s now taking action and has outlined several steps to fight this drug crisis.

Not only did state funding increase to further address the disease of opioid addiction, but in January he introduced a series of legislative proposals, including one that will require all opioid prescriptions to be electronically prescribed in Connecticut.

In 2015, Connecticut experienced 900 deaths because of opioids. Currently, prescribers in the state have a choice whether to prescribe opioid medication electronically or on paper, but Malloy said going completely electronic will “reduce the potential fraud and create a system of trackable data.”

Governor Malloy also realizes the insight electronic prescribing provides as a means to increasing patient safety. “A pad of paper doesn’t come from a particular site. It is hard to trace,” Malloy said. “If you do it electronically, you can instantaneously trace, and it’s easier for us to document who is getting the drug, and who is prescribing the drug.”

Paper prescriptions which are the alternative to e-Prescriptions leave room for translation errors by the pharmacy, but also opens the door for patients to alter, lose, steal, or sell handwritten prescriptions.

In addition to increased patient safety, opioid e-Prescribing will:

  • Combat the rising issue of prescription fraud within a dental practice, including misuse of a dentist’s DEA number, forged signatures, and stolen prescription pads by patients or an Insider Threat.
  • Add to patient convenience by reducing wait times in pharmacies.
  • Allow a prescriber to query a patient’s medication history at point of care in order to determine if they are “doctor shopping”, or visiting multiple prescribers strictly to receive opioid prescriptions.
  • Increase patient medication pick-up adherence. Between 28% and 31% of all paper prescriptions either never make it to the pharmacy or are not picked up at all.

To put it simply, opioid e-Prescribing is one of the most effective solutions that is being rightfully viewed by Governor Malloy as a necessary tool in the state’s arsenal to combat the ever increasing opioid crisis.

For the protection of patients across Connecticut, Governor Malloy is urging for this imperative legislation to be effective as of January 1, 2018.

Click here to read the proposed bill. [See Sec. 3. Section 21a-249.]

Get more information about ePrescribing and start protecting yourself and patients today!

Sources: New Haven Register; CT News Junkie; WNPR

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What World Backup Day Means To Me

Posted March 27, 2017 by Ryan S

A Day in the Life of an IT guy.

It’s Tuesday, 8:22am, and I just got a call from a panicked office manager. She’s having problems getting into her system and things are not working right. Nobody in the office can get into their software to start their day. Unfortunately, as an IT technician, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen. A virus attack, hard drive failure, or even something as simple as accidental deletion of a file can quickly create chaos for a business. My first question…Do you have a backup?

The next part of our conversation can go one of three ways. 1) There is no backup. 2) There is a backup. But, it wasn’t working properly or backing up the right stuff. 3) There is a backup and it’s good, it’s recent, and we’re on our way to restoring the data and getting them up and running. What path would you be headed down?

Backups can mean the difference between picking up where you left off or starting completely over from scratch. Backups should be one of the most important decisions a dental practice owner makes. They can be done multiple ways. It may be as simple as plugging in an external hard drive and manually copying the files you want. Or, it could be a fully automated, encrypted, secure backup to an offsite storage location.

What type of backup is right for me?backup

The answer to that question all depends on the type of business you’re in, the amount of data backed up, and how quickly you need that data back if it’s taken away. More often than not, dental software and digital imaging relies on hundreds or thousands of files and folders and even multiple databases. Your day to day operation depends on all of them to be there and working. Considering anything less than a fully automated offsite backup solution is a gamble you don’t want to take.

Putting your data at risk each day at the cost of a cup of Starbucks isn’t worth it. It is far too easy to accidentally open an email and get hit with a ransomware virus, for a hard drive to reach its end-of-life, or for any number of unforeseen things to happen. Data that is held hostage or even damaged can leave you with a business that is brought to a screeching halt. If you have a good backup and a reliable service partner who makes it a priority to get you through a crisis, you can recover with relatively little pain and interruption.

Let’s get back to where my call started on Tuesday morning. Fortunately for her and the practice, we headed down path #3. They were doing a secure offsite backup. I was able to clean the virus from the computer, reload the operating system and programs, and get the data restore underway. Soon they were back to their business of taking care of patients.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice on this World Backup Day, consider your data. Consider its value, the role it plays in your everyday, how hard it works for you from scheduling to clinical notes, planned treatments and taking x-rays. Electronic dental records are amazing and I don’t know of anyone who wants to go back to paper chart days. But those records need to be protected and a reliable, secure, offsite backup is the first step in doing so.

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Pennsylvania’s Recent e-Prescribing Legislation: What You Need to Know

Posted March 21, 2017 by Jennifer G

Video Courtesy of Penn Live

Pennsylvania experienced an astounding 3,264 opioid overdose deaths in 2015, a 20.1% increase from 2014. With the rising, devastating numbers in tow, Pennsylvania has decided to take further action and follow suit with New York and Maine.

On February 6, 2017,  Pennsylvania State Senator Richard Alloway and Pennsylvania State Representative Tedd Nesbit announced the introduction of legislation that will require all opioid prescriptions such as OxyContin®, Percocet®, and Norco® to be electronically prescribed (e-Prescribed) in Pennsylvania.

This legislation was initiated shortly after Pennsylvania introduced a more robust Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and is meant to help reduce opioid drug diversion, decrease opioid overdose deaths, and increase overall patient safety.

“In 2017, it just plain makes sense to prescribe the most addictive, but necessary, medication through e-Prescribing.” – Penn Live

Paper prescriptions which are the alternative to e-Prescriptions leave room for translation errors by the pharmacy, but also opens the door for patients to alter, lose, steal, or sell handwritten prescriptions.

In addition to increased patient safety, opioid e-Prescribing will:

  • Combat the rising issue of prescription fraud within a dental practice, including misuse of a dentist’s DEA number, forged signatures, and stolen prescription pads by patients or an Insider Threat. Get your copy of the Insider Threat eBook here.
  • Add to patient convenience by reducing wait times in pharmacies.
  • Ensure that any drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions based on a patient’s medication history are found and reported to the dentist before the prescription order is completed.
  • Increase patient medication pick-up adherence. Between 28% and 31% of all paper prescriptions either never make it to the pharmacy or are not picked up at all.

To put it simply, opioid e-Prescribing is one of the most effective solutions that is being rightfully viewed as an optimal tool by the state of Pennsylvania to combat the ever increasing opioid crisis.

For the protection of patients, the General Assembly is being urged to pass this vital legislation before June 30, 2017. Click here to read the proposed bill.

Get more information about ePrescribing and schedule a demo today!

Sources: OpenPR; Penn Live; PA State Legislation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Pennsylvania Department of Health

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