To boost your dental practice’s profits, you need to increase production by delivering treatments to more patients while controlling your expenses. This means you need to increase practice efficiency by optimizing the use of your resources and minimizing delays.
Not to mention, a practice that’s run efficiently allows you to be more responsive to patients’ needs and deliver better care so you can improve patient experience and clinical outcomes.
One important, and limited resource, is time. You need to make sure that your employees are making the best use of their time by eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks, cumbersome processes, as well as manual workflows that are time-consuming and error-prone.
As such, you should create systems and automate processes based on the specific needs of your practice. However, many people make the mistake of not examining their procedures before they invest in automation.
If you don’t optimize your processes before scaling up, you’d be compounding the inefficiencies that are hindering your current system!
The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can get started by identifying relevant best practices and incorporating them into your processes.
Improve Dental Practice Efficiency With These Best Practices
These best practices that can help you improve the clinical efficiency of your dental practice:
1. Conduct a Time Audit
By finding out which old, clunky procedures are costing you most, you can prioritize resources to improve or replace them.
List out all the workflows and tasks in your practice. Identify the objective of each process to help you focus on outcomes, instead of trying to do unnecessary steps faster. Then find out how much time it takes to perform each task. Take into account the time “wasted” when a task sits idle as it’s passed from one employee to the next or the efforts it takes to remedial mistakes.
After identifying where most time and resources are wasted, you can then redesign the processes. Adopt industry best practices to streamline workflows and identify technologies that can help you increase cost-efficiency. For example, by using an integrated cloud dental software, such as tab32, that supports online forms, you can minimize errors and delays associated with cumbersome paperwork and manual data entries.
2. Create EHR Templates
Set up templates specific to each treatment, which can easily be copied-and-pasted so you don’t have to format a new document from scratch every time you start a new file. With tab32’s dental EHR module, you can create templates for explosive codes, progress notes, auto notes, exam forms, and messages to start documenting treatments and taking notes with just a few clicks.
These note templates can be attached to patient records and specific treatments, making them easily accessible while you’re charting so you don’t have to switch from one application to another.
Besides saving time, these templates help ensure that you’re standardizing procedures by capturing all the necessary information so nothing falls through the cracks. They can also be used to facilitate patient communications. Not only can you save your staff from writing emails and text messages from scratch but you can also ensure accurate, timely, consistent, and on-brand communications to improve patient experience and treatment outcomes.
3. Set Up a List of Most-Used Billing Codes
The process of matching treatments to billing codes after each patient’s visit is tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone. You can eliminate this extra step by creating a list of most-used codes for easy reference and entering them into the EHR during treatment.
If you’re a tab32 user, you can simply use our customizable “explosive code” feature in the Dental EHR module -- it’ll automatically populate a chart with all the appropriate billing codes associated with each treatment so you don’t have to search for and enter each one manually.
Not only will you be able to save time by not having to look up and match each billing code but you can also eliminate unnecessary back-and-forths associated with errors, which can delay claim processing and payment.
Incorporating these best practices can help you improve practice efficiency. You can treat more patients cost-effectively to increase profitability while improving clinical outcomes of the treatments.
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