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Is this the year you mean to grow your practice, build accountability, and usher in a transformation? Perhaps you’re focused on attracting new patients, expanding your social media engagement, or improving profitability.

Whatever goals you may have for 2021, it’s wise to ensure they’re SMART. That stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Setting SMART goals will help you boost dental practice productivity, eliminate inefficiencies and enjoy higher revenues.

Here are seven power-packed strategies to incentivize your staff, innovate your dental practice management and up your productivity. 

1) Discover new ways to motivate your team 

It’s natural for your team’s productivity to fluctuate. But how can you promote a motivated and focused team that firmly believes in your goals for your practice? It starts with finding creative ways to incentivize and motivate team members.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to motivation. While some staff members will be motivated by authority and delegation, others will be by financial rewards or recognition. Employee of the Week and Month awards are age-old and traditional strategies that remain popular today. You can also explore (COVID-protocol-friendly) team-building exercises, luncheons, and activities to create a strong team spirit and a sense of community. 

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Several experts believe a daily huddle is an excellent strategy to boost motivation levels and productivity. Before the working day begins, call your team for a quick meeting or a short session. You can revisit the week’s or day’s schedule, suggest changes, and take feedback for improvements. If an early morning huddle isn’t possible, you can schedule one right after lunch or at the end of the day. 

It’s also essential to build one-on-one relationships with employees and help them actualize their true potential. 

2) Master new marketing channels 

Dental practices rely on social media and digital marketing tools to acquire new patients and maintain client loyalty. More importantly, potential patients seek social verification to establish the credibility and credentials of a dentist. For instance, a patient looking to find a dentist will perform a Google search to explore directories, Facebook listings, and more. (Typically, Facebook introduces users to reviews from existing patients and clients.) 

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If you’re still struggling to master digital marketing in 2021, you’re putting your dental practice at a significant disadvantage. So, what should you do? Aim to master one social media channel each quarter. It’s a SMART goal, and you can gradually work toward embracing multiple marketing channels over the course of a year.

For instance, start by revamping your Facebook layout and boost engagement on your website. Facebook is an excellent platform to generate leads and uplift your overall SEO game. In the next quarter, embrace email marketing to cement loyalty across new patients you’ve acquired through Facebook.

Mastering new marketing channels and tools will help you increase dental practice productivity by creating a dynamic marketing mix. 

3) Embrace paperless intake and treatment plans 

What’s one of the best ways to make your office more efficient and well-organized? Go paperless and embrace the numerous digital tools available to store and manage patient records. It’s a strategy that offers numerous advantages, such as making dental practice management eco-friendly and well organized.

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If you have multiple employees to manage and handle paperwork, you’re wasting resources and resisting innovation. Today, many patients (especially your younger ones) seek digitized and paperless interactions, given the rise of telehealth and e-health records. Some patients may feel more comfortable filling out online forms or using apps to make a dentist appointment

Additionally, going paperless eliminates the clutter and promotes a well-organized and healthy workplace. Cloud computing, ehealth records, and digital tools also eliminate the possibilities of human error and boost efficiency. Digital check-ins and records also improve coordination and save loads of resources and time. 

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Once you start reducing (and ultimately eliminating)  office stationery, printers, and storage costs, your dental practice can save thousands of dollars annually. You can spend all that money instead toward innovating, embracing new dental technologies, and revamping your practice. Efficient paperless transactions and communication will also help you win over patient trust and confidence. 

4) Promote transparency 

Be up front with your patients. It’s the first step in building their trust and confidence in your practice. Adopt a transparent and upfront method of presenting treatment costs.

You can print out brochures or pricing plans that patients can explore online and in-person while visiting your clinic. Outlining the costs without any hidden charges proves immensely effective at securing patients and increasing revenues. 

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Patients fear dental services are likely to cost more than general healthcare services. You can build trust by shattering this belief. Maybe use your first consultation session to discuss treatment costs and insurance coverage. Walking your patient through their insurance coverage is instrumental in acquiring new patients and establishing loyalty. 

5) Use revenue cycle management processes

An efficient revenue cycle management system can help you expand your dental practice’s earning potential. Most dental practices struggle with claims management, EOB reconciliation, aged claims, and verifying insurance. Luckily, today there are numerous management tools and processes that offer superior convenience and ease. Find out more here.

You can explore revenue cycle management to innovate claims submission using your existing management software. You can also hire a trusted third party to verify the benefits and eligibility of payors on your behalf.

Worry-free insurance verification

Opencare takes the guesswork and effort out of insurance verification.

Employees often struggle to review and manage aged outstanding receivables and follow-ups. Luckily, you can outsource this sensitive responsibility by engaging a competent third party for an accounts receivable analysis. Essentially, revenue cycle management helps increase dental practice productivity by allowing employees to focus on core operations. 

6) Embrace the power of automation 

In 2021, automation powers some of every industry, be it healthcare, entertainment, tourism, or energy. Automation is the key to enhancing the consumer experience, building a powerful brand identity, and emerging atop the competition. 

As a dentist, you can’t ignore the potential automation offers to reduce expenses and drive dental practice productivity. You can automate numerous processes, such as financial bookkeeping, customer service management, appointments, and much more. There are multiple automation tools and solutions designed to automate marketing, accounting, employee salaries, and other activities.

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Embracing these tools will free up your business resources and save up more money for core business innovation. Automation will also help promote efficiency and make dental practice management more effortless and straightforward. For instance, you can automate patient appointments through online forms and maintain an efficient digital schedule. 

These small but meaningful innovations have a far-reaching impact on boosting dental practice productivity. 

7) Revisit goals and progress

Ultimately, you can increase dental practice productivity and stay steadfastly focused on your goals by holding yourself and your team accountable. And doing that doesn’t have to be hard. Start by  organizing weekly and monthly meetings to revisit goals and examine the team’s progress. The key to boosting dental practice productivity is setting achievable milestones, evaluating progress, and celebrating growth. 

These goal evaluation meetings will help you motivate your team and ensure everyone is on the same page. Evaluate the contributions made by each employee, recognize their potential, and underscore their weaknesses. As a leader, you must increase dental practice productivity by identifying outdated practices and ushering in innovation.

It is also essential to get feedback from your team members, value their opinions and incorporate them effectively. If your team members feel unheard, they’re unlikely to align their goals with your ambitions. 

Final thoughts

Besides ensuring patient safety and quality treatments, you must also strategize to ensure profitability and dental practice productivity. This agenda requires you to adopt the mindset of a leader and innovator. In 2021, you can deploy multiple technological tools to boost efficiency, eliminate human errors and improve the patient experience.

Worry-free insurance verification

Opencare takes the guesswork and effort out of insurance verification.

If you’re just starting with a private dental practice, these SMART goals will help you create a well-organized foundation. It’s vital to prioritize digital marketing tools because potential patients rely on digital media to find credible dentists. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but with some dedication and energy, you can make your practice everything you want it to be.