Starting a dental practice is an exciting new chapter of your career, but careful planning is required to set realistic expectations and future growth. Whether you are starting your practice from scratch or purchasing an existing one, our guide will help you get started.
5 Ways to a Successful Dental Practice
Do Your Research
Building a brand is no easy task; it is an investment. A huge factor when it comes to branding and managing your business is understanding who your demographic and audience is. One too few dentists think of research as the backbone to their business decision. For example, some choose to locate their practice near their homes. They fail to research each potential location and its invaluable properties.
Competition. Research and consider how many other physicians are in the area.
Economic Factors: Does it support industries, schools or government offices? What is the income bracket of the neighborhood (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid population)?
Demographic: Understand your community and market (i.e. population, age, sex, race and educational factors of the area).
Availability of Space: What is the real estate available for medical office space? Will you have to lease non-medical space?
Build an Online Presence
The internet is an invaluable resource for both your dental practice and your patients. It is the digital hub of information, knowledge, and communication. Consider an agency to create a website, manage social and content marketing services, optimize your site to ensure it ranks in the best possible positions. Make sure your site is informative, intuitive, easy to navigate, and also provides potential patients with a means of communication.
Digitize your services and communication portals. Innovative medical professionals value and understand that most patients use the internet to research services and medical concerns. They are also savvy about how their patients use smartphones and tablets, so stay updated and connected with your patients and community with a touch of a screen. Create a personalized portal to provide patients with sensitive information about lab results and prescriptions. Allow patients to book appointments straight from the app or website for more convenience.
There are numerous ways to expand your practice with the use of digital services. Before you decide which strategy to implement, assess your competitors and their strategies. Identify what features and services are lacking on their end and build upon that for your practice.
If time is of the essence, you could outsource the work to trained professionals. Consultants and third party professionals can focus on the technical side of the practice as you continue to work on it operations and patient services.
Hire Good Staff
A dental practice is a delicate ecosystem. Every person and environment impacts the efficiency, service, and quality of a patient’s experience. Your staff, for example, is the front line of your medical practice. Patients will choose you or lose you based on who you hire. A rude front-office receptionist can devastate and stump the growth of your practice.
It is also important to evaluate your resources and decide if your additional hires are necessary. While your staff is one of your greatest assets, they are also one of your biggest expenses. Take time to review and analyze your current IT capabilities and see if adding additional staff is necessary and/or if new software can improve your patient service and efficiency.
Build Authentic Relationships
Going to the dentist is scary enough without feeling like the person with their hands in your mouth is a complete stranger. To reduce patient anxiety, get involved at local events, sponsor a youth sports league or hold your own charity drive. Let your patients get to know you, your team, and your passions. The relationship you build with your patients can help relieve any barriers and negative concerns.
If time is limited outside of the practice, connect with your patients in-office. For example, you may decide to share a recent weekend outing with the family or chat about a favorite TV show. Discussing these seemingly insignificant topics builds a connection with your patient, thus breaking down — or at least, lowering — their feelings of anxiety or stress.
Incorporated business has tax benefits, such as deductions in medical insurance, travel expense and daily business expenses. You can also deduct your business losses, which is more difficult if you are a sole proprietor. Income earned as a corporation is not subject to Social Security taxes, only the portion you take home as salary. Lastly, corporations tend to be taxed at a lower rate than self-employed business owners.
Schedule a Consultation
Starting your own dental practice is an exciting new chapter in your life, but planning, research and execution is vital to your success. Whether you are starting from scratch or purchasing an existing one, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you. Contact us today.
Smart technology is increasingly popular, and it is not new to healthcare either. Although it may not be as prevalent as it is commercially, smart technology is a major topic for medical suites and hospitals today. It’s all about gathering, sharing and using information with the lofty aspirations of improving care while also cutting costs.
The emphasis is on functional interoperability of medical devices and systems to develop a fully interconnected medical institution where data is seamlessly linked and readily available among devices and systems, particularly in electronic health records. But the question lingers, is it worth the investment?
4 Benefits of Smart Technology in the Medical Industry
An intelligent medical suite is based on a combination of existing technologies that are designed, set up and integrated to share data in real-time; and ultimately to provide an enhanced level of clinical information to enable diagnosis, to monitor treatment, and to provide data to see how your practice is performing. 4 key ways adopting smart tech can help are:
1. Increase Medication Compliance
Mobile technology can help patients adhere to their medication orders. It can provide patients with pertinent information on why medical adherence is necessary, especially prescription adherence. The technology can send patients messages and updates, providing them easy, convenient access to readily available information.
Smart technology can calculate when a prescription will run out and send the patient a reminder to get a refill. When the patient refills their prescription, smart tech can send dosage reminders and ask the patient if they took their medication or not.
These capabilities offer medical suites a resource to help lower medication noncompliance and to reduce readmissions.
2. Improve the Post-Treatment Process
Smart technology is a medium for patients and medical suites to monitor hospital discharge instructions and double-check prescriptions. This convenience helps improve medication accuracy and patient safety.
Patients receive a lot of paperwork and instructions upon discharge from their in- or out-patient care. This is not conducive to patients remembering detailed treatment and post-evaluation care (i.e. prescription requirements). Tech can help patients recall the information they receive at discharge by sending post-treatment instruction reminders.
3. Granting Patients Access to Health Information
Given many people now tend to Google possible causes of health issues, embracing smart technology that provides accurate information is a must. Current technology can help medical suites and healthcare professionals realize the value in storing and monitoring a patient’s historical information. Making information that is already accumulated and stored about a patient readily available improves evidence-based practice standards.
4. Bigger Data for Improved Healthcare
Smart technologies can provide physicians information on the newest and greatest evidence-based medical best practices. Mobile applications can be developed to track health outcomes and evaluate where deviations from expected outcomes occurred and why; allowing medical professionals to identify areas for improvement.
Big data may improve the healthcare system’s ability to assess population health. Mobile technologies can use applications to track health trends as an early indicator of emerging health issues.
Things You Should Consider before Investing in Smart Tech
Smart tech is revolutionizing the way patients and physicians connect, access and analyze information, and communicate.
While this technology has many great implications, it also raises red flags among some practitioners. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued and amended their oversight to specific mobile medical applications and how they are used to perform diagnostics. This evolving legislative landscape highlights the dangers associated with use of mobile technology:
Data Privacy. Free and paid apps may send unencrypted data to advertisers and third party data analytics firms. This information is used for behavioral tracking, transmitting detailed personal information to advertisers.
HIPAA Concerns. Many medical practices are aware of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, many app developers haven’t considered the importance of HIPAA compliance as required by the medical profession. Up to 50% of health apps have vague or non-existent privacy policies. Some fail to use encryption technology to protect data breaching during the transmission and storage of sensitive information.