|We are thankful for your business|
|Our offices will be closed November 26th & 27th for the Thanksgiving holiday.
If you need immediate assistance Monday morning, please contact us at
All of us here at Pact-One wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!
When you’re running a dental practice, there is nothing quite like having a negative reputation as the office where you “always have to wait”. We understand that the demands at a dental office are consistently high, and the technology needs are unique. With managed IT support your dental practice will become increasingly more efficient in all aspects of day-to-day operations. When your dental office is running more efficiently, you have time to focus on what is important; patients and giving them the proper care they deserve. Below we discuss how managed IT support can help you see more patients in your dental practice and give them improved care.
Optimize Technology for More Time With Patients
Managed IT services will integrate all of the current applications being used in your dental office with an optimal hardware infrastructure. By optimizing your technology, employees get to spend less time on overwhelming, time-consuming tasks and more time assisting patients and giving them the customer service experience they deserve.
Better Patient Experience With Managed IT Services
Managed IT services will provide you with the latest technology available. Because of this updated technology, your patients will spend less time in the waiting room thinking about how much they hate waiting. The latest technology eliminates tedious paperwork because patients will have the chance to fill out the necessary information from home on their own time. With the best technology for your dental practice, patients will be able to communicate more effectively with your office in a way that suits their lifestyle, making the whole experience quicker and more improved.
Faster Network With Managed IT Support
Everything is done on a computer today, in all aspects of the medical field. Practices use their online network to schedule appointments, bring up patient histories and use patient portals to interact with patients. When the network is slow, it can make everything go at a snail’s pace, reducing the amount of patients you could potentially see in a day. A managed IT support team provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week network support, which means your network is monitored for bugs that would slow it down. The issues are handled quickly and before they have a chance to slow down your system, enabling you to see more patients in a day.
Better Security and Trust from Patients
More and more confidential patient data is being stored online, which can greatly increase efficiency. Unfortunately, this opens up a whole new world of security issues that can destroy your practice if there is a breach. If your patients’ sensitive data is compromised, not only will you be liable for lawsuits, but also you will have lost their trust. Some practices may have been seeing the same patients for years, and this will ruin the bond they had with them and their families. Managed IT services for your dental practice includes constant monitoring and proactive support, including making sure you have a properly configured firewall and security software that is always up to date.
Contact us today with any questions about Managed IT services for your dental practice. Our knowledgeable team members are happy to assist you!
Let’s face it; most people don’t love a trip to the dentist. But what if you could change that outlook? What if your dental office was special, a fun place that patients love to visit? It’s easy to leave behind the scary clinical feeling of a stuffy dentist office and turn your office into a place that patients will be telling their friends about.
Transform the Environment
Nothing screams doctors’ office like walls painted in “hospital blue”, coordinated waiting room chairs, and outdated magazines scattered on end tables. Try brightening up your space! Use positive mood-lifting colors for the walls and furniture. Consider having some murals painted around the space, or have theme months and switch out the décor. Add some plants and flowers to cheer everyone up. Basically, do everything you can to take away those reminders that your dentist office is a place where unpleasant procedures might take place.
Perk up the Staff
Receptionists, hygienists, and assistants dressed in drab scrubs is not welcoming nor calming to patients. Let your staff have fun with how they dress. Encourage them to wear bright colors, dress to match your theme for the month. Have dress up days and office contests for the goofiest outfit. If your staff is having fun, your patients will catch the excitement.
Remind your staff that they don’t have to just be insurance takers and data entry clerks. Let them share a bit of their personalities with your patients with fun name tags that tell something quirky about them. Get them to have open-ended conversations with the patients and get to know them. If your patients feel special and connected to your office staff, they are more likely to come back.
You don’t need to play calming elevator music throughout the office. Consider some upbeat fun music, or more themes – country music Tuesday, or 80’s throwback Thursday. Perhaps give patients their choice of music in their treatment room.
Another fun idea is to install old-school video games. Many pediatric dental offices have fun games for the kids, but what about the adults? A few rounds of PAC-man or Asteroids while waiting is sure to loosen up any patient and make them want to come back for a re-match or to beat their high score.
Be Abundant with Technology
While it may not be “fun” per-say, being accommodating to the non-stop work environment we are all used to can be a relief for patients. Let patients charge their phone or laptop without feeling guilty for stealing your electricity. Advertise free WiFi. Consider a fun app for your office that has jokes or games, or even goofy dental tips and encourage patients to download it.
If patients feel like they can be productive in your office while waiting, they are going to be calmer and more receptive to all of the FUN you have going on at your dental practice.
Social media is a constant in today’s society. It’s become a key ingredient for any business marketing strategy and should be well planned and executed. It should always remain a two-way avenue of communication with the practice and the patient or potential patient. It’s a place where your brand is recognized and personified, a place where your best patient advocates can be ambassadors for your practice and your team. Ultimately, your social media campaign is a place where you engage current patients, acquire new patients and retain and reactive complacent patients.
In this 3 part series we will examine engagement, acquisition, and retention. We start with building the plan and discuss engagement in this article.
The Plan: Create or Refresh
Let’s start with the basics: building your plan. Start formulating your plan by having a meeting with your entire team. During the meeting, communicate your goals and ask for feedback on how your team uses social media now. Try having a team member lead this fun task. Ask for volunteers, you might be surprised to find your new Social Media & Marketing Director is right under your nose. Once you have your director, it’s time to build your campaign. Your Social Media & Marketing Director is ultimately responsible for the posts, however the entire team should participate by adding campaign content and ideas. A social media campaign should be active – having daily interaction with all your pages and accounts. With a great plan and an organized campaign, you are ready to start your engagement.
The first step in engagement is a well laid out, interesting campaign. A schedule of daily interplay will ensure successful, timely posts and the acquisition of new fans and patients. Set up a schedule for what content will be posted and when. The key to any great campaign is to have fun, make it interesting, and get your audience to interact.
Here is a sample campaign. Make sure you are always reflective of your brand, your mission, and your vision.
(inspiration quotes & videos)
(meet the team, the office, the art of Dentistry)
|Where in the World
(take photos of outings, monuments, local hot spots and ask your fans to guess where the picture is taken)
|Throw Back Thursday
(It’s not going anywhere, and people love it. Take it up a notch with old dental info and trivia)
|Freaky Casual Friday
(Showcase happenings in your town, events, other offices and local business you can co market with)
The next step to engagement is to find out who your fans are. There are great reports in your practice management software that enable you to capture patient demographics. Perform research on the demographics of your patients. Learn about the communities they live in and what age brackets are coming to see you. You should also run the financial report to find the percentage of insurance driven patients and private pay patients. You might be surprised to find your largest target audience is not what you had always thought.
Next, find out where your fans are hanging out online. Facebook and Twitter are a must, no matter where you are located. However, depending on your location and the type of dentistry you provide, you might want to look at Instagram for a child friendly office, LinkedIn for a more mature professional practice, and Pinterest for all those Moms out there. For your professional purposes it is best to keep your campaign to 3-5 different sites.
Your goal with engagement is to build a plan and assign your Marketing Director their new title. This is an exciting time. Give your new Director the reins to run the reports, gather the necessary data, and start penning your campaign. Finally, choose your outlets. Don’t get bogged down by too many; start with 2 if you are feeling overwhelmed. The key is to start.
Remember, this is how we market in today’s world. Your fans are out there. It is time to plan, organize and create. Join us next month for step number two: the Acquisition!
The dental practice is one that has evolved over the years. Instruments and X-rays have changed, and now it is time to replace the ancient filing and data collection system. If you are considering the switch to cloud-based technologies to take advantage of cloud benefits, Pact-One is ready to help. The time is now for your practice to move from traditional, time-consuming office management systems to cloud-based technology.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a system of moving essential programs, applications and data to an online environment instead of leaving them on a single hard drive or device. The problem with single-point access is in the name: access is permitted at a single device. Cloud computing allows employees and essential managers to access files on multiple devices, iPads, tablets, and smartphones. Currently, nearly 40% of small businesses in the US utilize cloud computing, and the number will jump to nearly 80%. What will those businesses gain?
- Controlled access
The cloud permits dental practice owners and essential management to control who can access what programs. Controlled access also allows owners to revoke access and privileges if an employee leaves the practice.
- Increased security
HIPAA compliance is a big concern—as it should be—and cloud computing makes it possible. Our cloud computing technologies and services are fully compliant because of their added security features and processes. Everything is encrypted, the company performs regular security audits, and the system is monitored at all times.
- Immediate data backup
Cloud computing has automatic updates, immediate security patches, and frequent software updates. Each occurs without interrupting daily activities or relying on someone to remember when to perform each action.
- Data recovery
Data recovery is part of every business’s continuity plan. The automatic updates and real-time collection of data ensures the information collected is not only the most recent and secure, but that it can be retrieved anywhere and from any device if something happens to one of the practice’s computers or devices.
- Reduced infrastructure costs
Dental practices don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to establish a new system. Cloud computing works with all of the devices you and your team have already. You can use your favorite device anywhere in the world to provide the best care to your patients. Fewer systems, devices and hardware also reduce the risk for computer failures, downtime, and software glitches.
- Increased case management and collaboration
Users can share patient files, labs, and images on multiple devices. This permits seamless, increased collaboration and attention to detail while working with a patient, specialists, and any other healthcare providers who are assisting in treating your patient.
- Increased patient attention
Lost time dealing with technology maintenance, glitches and failures increases the amount of time you can focus on the patient. The in-demand access to your patient and his/her files makes the process easier and more efficient for the both of you. When you utilize cloud computing strategies, you will have more time and resources to provide the best dental experience for each patient who visits your office, clicks on your site, or calls your office on the phone.
Just as technology has become more sophisticated over the past several years, so have the viruses that plague users. These viruses show that not all technological advances are welcome ones.
One of the older viruses on our list, the ILOVEYOU virus is also one of the most prolific viruses, infecting an estimated 10% of all computers in the world and creating an estimated $10 billion in damage. The virus posed as an email attachment which, once opened, sent copies of itself to the first 50 addresses in the user’s contacts. Though the creators of the virus were identified as two Filipino computer programmers, they were unable to be charged as no applicable laws were in existence at that time. As a result, the E-commerce law was enacted by the Philippine Congress shortly thereafter.
CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan who’s first appearance is traced back to September 2013. Spread through infected email attachments, once opened the malware infected files on local and networked drives and turned them into encrypted files. Though the malware could be removed from the infected systems, the encrypted files could only be unlocked with a key obtained by paying a ransom. If you were lucky enough to have an offsite back-up unattached to your current server, you could restore your system after removing the malware. Not all victims were so lucky – it is estimated over $27 million was paid by infected users.
Traced back to 2009, Zeus is a trojan horse designed to pull passwords and other personal information from infected machines. Typically spread through phishing or by drive-by download, the creators of this virus managed to infiltrate numerous multinational companies. Using stolen log-ins and passwords, the perpetrators of this virus were able to take an estimated $70 million from victims.
A worm for Windows, Mydoom is an email attachment that masquerades as an email delivery error. Once installed, the virus propagated by sending itself to users in the email’s address book and launched denial of service attacks on multiple search engines. The end result was over $38.5 million in damages. Though started in 2004, it is believed to still exist in some form to this day.
One of the most notorious viruses, Conficker infected nearly 15 million computers by detecting a weakness in Windows security. Once installed, the “super worm” can effectively lock the user out of their computer, as well as infect any vulnerable machine networked to that computer. The worm blocked access to anti-security programs and sites and installed additional code to seize personal information from the infected machine.
Our last entry sounds like the plot of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Stuxnet was designed for cyberwarfare and was the first virus to cause actual physical damage to systems. It is believed the virus was created through a joint effort between Israelis and Americans to negatively impact Iranian nuclear efforts by damaging centrifuges used at an Iranian uranium enrichment facility.
Many of us are reasonably happy with the way our favorite clothes make us look. They cover up flaws and sometimes even make things look better than they really are. Well, the same is true for dental practices across the country, where most practices look pretty good from the surface. However, as we look past the surface there are almost always things that we wish we could change or things that need to be changed for the good of the practice that we simply aren’t aware of, all of which can cause undue stress, anxiety and inhibit overall performance.
People call me the Naked Dentist, yet I am not a dentist nor do I practice dentistry naked. We will be removing all the clothing, those items that cover up the flaws as well as opportunities hidden within the practice. But not only will we uncover these flaws and opportunities, there will be solutions – what can be done to improve so that the practice looks good throughout, not just on the surface.
This month we are going to tone the office of a good friend in Maryland. He has been practicing for 18 years and was staying up all night, for the same reason that other dentists stay up. When we discover how to fix this problem, he is going to sleep much better.
Many of you are staying up way too late at night. I continue to see that my dentist friends are opening emails from me between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. After doing a poll with the question, “What keeps you up at night?” to my surprise the answer was the same every time: employees, team members, and staff. So let’s get this Maryland practice naked and find out how to solve this problem.
It is another Monday morning and the staff meeting is about to begin at Dr. Maryland’s office. As the owner, this doctor has stayed up all night worrying about what to say to his team.
- How can he let the staff know how much he appreciates what they do every day in the office?
- How does he motivate them to do more?
- What does he train them on to increase performance and get rid of bad habits?
- How does he know if he has prepared the right subjects to talk about?
The best way to figure out what is going right or wrong with the team members in the office is to track and monitor! Does that sound like a pain? It can be if you do it manually. But it doesn’t have to be if you have the right Practice Intelligence tool where you can monitor all of your relevant numbers with ease and act upon them to drive performance. You will never know what is truly going on with your practice and your team members unless you effectively monitor and track.
Here are just five of many benefits that come from effectively monitoring and tracking the performance of each individual team member:
- The employee knows exactly what is expected and, at the same time, performs at a higher level.
- The dentist is able to visually see the progress of each team member, not to mention being able to sleep at night.
- The office is able to exceed far past set goals.
- The office manager or doctor can now train on areas that improve the team, instead of doing boring meaningless trainings.
- The whole team is happier, which leads to patients being treated with better care.
When the office is running smoothly, it is easy to have a team meeting and offer cheers and congratulations for a job well done. When the office is not doing well, the first thing we do as humans is blame others: “Jane is not collecting from the patients,” “The doctor doesn’t care about us or the patients,” “Sarah didn’t order enough 2 by 2’s.”
Everyone in the office feels it, yet all the weight is on the owner-doctor to figure out what needs to improve.
For 18 years, Dr. Maryland has blamed the hygiene department for a stagnant office. He told me that patients really like his hygienist, but felt she was not reappointing her patients. So we took three minutes and installed our Practice Intelligence tool (Dental Intel). Turns out that his hygienist was doing much better than he thought, she was reappointing more than 60% of her patients.
With excitement, he took this number to the hygienist. She looked at that percentage and she was shocked that it was only at 60%, thinking it was much higher. So, she started to track her patients daily. By simply tracking this small number, for just one week, she was able to raise that percentage to 90%. When she showed this to the doctor, he was floored! With her taking an extra two minutes a day, a domino effect happened.
- She was stoked about her job.
- She was treating patients better.
- The doctor stopped worrying about her performance.
- The whole team was energized about the success.
- The doctor-hygienist relationship improved.
Dr. Maryland’s practice was able to reach its goal of 90% of hygiene reappointments, up from an initial reappointment level of 60%.
What is even more exciting is that the office was able to produce an additional $46,000 in hygiene alone. Instead of Dr. Maryland stressing about his hygienist, he now feels as though she is underpaid. Currently, he is looking at ways to show his appreciation.
This is just one metric. With a Practice Intelligence tool like mine you can see exactly what is happening within your practice, what is working, what isn’t working, and what can be working even better. When you monitor and track these numbers your office performance will improve, your lifestyle will be healthier, and the future will be secured.
Here at Pact-One we want to make sure that all of our clients have access to this highly impactful tool and have made special arrangements with Dental Intel for you to have such access to what we believe you will find to be a life-changing tool. To see what Dental Intel can do for your practice email firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is one industry you want to stay abreast of new technologies and advancements, it is dentistry. I shudder to think about the state of our teeth if dentists were not progressive and always adapting to the times. Now, technology has improved dentistry far beyond oral care. Technology is improving the overall operations of the office and itself. Technology is allowing dental practices to accommodate new and existing clients, it is mainstreaming the process, it provides better office management solutions, and it cushions budgets.
Technology Success in the Modern Dental Practice
Integrating technology is helping dental practices a number of ways, and many of the solutions just make life easier for the practice and its patients.
- Digital imaging provides instant access
Digital imaging allows dentists to review patient X-rays, labs, and study models directly with a patient and on any device. Instead of printing everything, all digital images can be accessed in the cloud and on any device. Digital imaging also allows the images to go directly with a patient’s file.
- Cloud services eliminate paperwork and redundancy
As we mentioned, dental practices do not have to print images, but there is more to that. Digital files are stored in the cloud as well. This allows referrals to be seen, it eliminates paper costs, and it collects real-time data, encrypts it and stores it for swift and remote recovery from permitted users.
Data backup does not require an extensive multi-step process that must be initiated by someone in the office. Data backup is automated and it provides offices with the most current information. This allows for disaster recovery, office growth, and data integrity.
- Unified communications boosts communication, efficiency and productivity
Unified Communications and VoIP services improve communication within the practice and with the patients. Call management is much more efficient, patients do not experience an interruption in communication when they call in to the practice, and employees within the office can be connected at all times. Imagine having the capability to view a patient’s medical history as soon as he/she calls. VoIP allows dental offices to prioritize important calls so that the office can provide the best service to the patient instead of wasting time and resources on calls that should have just gone to a managed voicemail system.
Unified Communications improves scheduling, consultations, calendar sharing and collaboration among professionals, which results in a critical improvement of the patient’s overall experience.
- Fewer hardware glitches and security threats
When offices think about new technology, the threat of security intrusions and software failures instantly come to mind. A lot rides on the office’s technology. Fortunately, many hosted services and remote IT solutions perform a technology audit to learn about where the practice’s IT solutions stand. This allows dental pactices to identify problems, reduce redundancy, patch security concerns, and adopt a system of remote monitoring and support to reduce risk. Technology can take a proactive approach to security threats and software management, and dental offices do not need to a ton of cash to establish an effective practice management solution.
The best part about all of this is that practice management solutions provided by Pact One enable dental practices to see more patients without diminishing the quality of care, and all of it is HIPAA-compliant.
Culture impacts your business daily. From employee decisions to client loyalty, culture has major influence on your overall reputation and, ultimately, the future of your organization. Creating a strong culture that resonates from the very top of your organization to the very bottom is extremely important. It’ll help keep your business successfully aligned with your goals.
Make sure everyone knows the bottom line
If you’re not sure what your company culture embodies, no one else will either. Make it a point to clearly identify what it is you want your culture to say about your business. What is it? What does it incorporate? And, lastly, how do you expect your staff to properly implement it? After you’ve established these points, outline, display and promote.
Hire to fit
When you’re about to hire someone, ask yourself whether or not they ‘fit’ into your company. Do they have the personality and skills that directly correlate with your culture? If not, they may not be the right person to hire. Even if they’re more than qualified for the position in question, they may only end up hurting your business. A lesser qualified, yet more fitting applicant, may be the better choice.
Everyone is responsible
Shout it from the rooftops; everyone is a culture ambassador of your company. All employees are in charge of promoting and upholding your company culture. If you don’t see this on a day-to-day basis, then you have a problem. And, don’t shy away from letting them know it either. If you notice an issue, tell them right there and then that they’re failing to exemplify company values. Make it known that this behavior is inappropriate and that it won’t be tolerated. You can even include it in your employee evaluations. Just ensure that culture has a role in every aspect of your business.
From the top to the bottom
If your top executives, managers and supervisors are failing to positively represent your company culture, you might need to consider restructuring your chain of command somewhere in your near future. Those who manage your employees are supposed to be an example. If they aren’t promoting the right example, you can’t expect everyone else to know what’s expected of them.
You can’t please them all. Unfortunately, business isn’t that simple and your clients don’t all hail from the same planet. Even if you and your staff do everything absolutely, 100% right, you still might miss the mark. Clients are volatile. Depending on what kind of day they’ve been having, how many red lights they hit on the way to your business or if your walls are the wrong color, you may never have had the chance to please them in the first place.
So, when it comes to online reviews, sometimes a negative review is simply unavoidable. In fact, you may have a string of bad reviews currently tainting your business reputation. Because of this, you should have a plan of action, a constructive method of dealing with those disgruntled reviewers.
There are four things your company should always keep in mind when dealing with negative reviews: monitor your reviews, respond to all negative claims, avoid an argument and leave it to the public.
Monitor your reviews
Make sure you’re monitoring the internet for reviews. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, just make sure you do it. Some websites allow you to sign up for automatic notifications when a review is posted on your business; however, not all sites do this. Make a list of the most common review sites such as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local and Angie’s List. Preferably weekly, maneuver through these sites and search for reviews on your business.
Respond to all negative claims
Don’t sit back and allow the negative reviews to take over. Respond to them but, do so calmly. Don’t allow the public to only see the negative side of your business. Shed some positivity on the matter by being an example. Make your business look professional by remaining pleasant, apologetic and informative.
For example, a healthy response would resemble something like this:
Wow. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Here at Company & Company we make it a point to always provide our clients with quality customer service and high-end products. We never want our clients to feel like they’ve received anything less than that. Please, next time you come in, share your experience with our staff and we’ll make sure to rectify the situation.
Avoid an argument
If you respond to a negative review and the customer retorts in a not-so-friendly manner, ignore and avoid at all costs. Your one response was more than enough and no further input is needed. The last thing your business needs is to come off as argumentative and immature. Other people that come upon this review will notice your positive response and your ability to avoid confrontation. They’ll appreciate this.
Leave it to the public
Some websites can smell a self-review miles away. So, do yourself a favor and don’t review your own business. Some of these websites will make it known to the public that you’re self-reviewing. That’s probably just as bad as receiving a negative review.
However, you should also try to avoid a series of bad reviews. While it’s true that it’s more difficult to receive a positive review (anger is a definite motivator), it’s not entirely impossible. It’s okay to ask your loyal customers for a good review—promote it through a loyalty program, perhaps. But, please remember to never shove this in their face. Don’t take their hand and lead them to your office computer. Make it subtle.