By Robert McDermott; President/CEO, iCoreConnect

Technology’s long played a role in improving patient diagnoses, treatment, and care. But what’s just now being realized is its potential to revolutionize the business side of dentistry.

With so many challenges facing practices—staffing shortages, for example—offices absolutely must implement digital tools to simplify practice management—as well as aid with efficiency, speed and accuracy in workflows. A bonus: these often lower costs.

This process is called a digital transformation, which often includes technology upgrades and software solutions that streamline, simplify, and often automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Automations can save tens of hours a week.

Automation is often the first place to look when it comes to improving efficiency. Simply implementing modern cloud-based software for everyday tasks to fully automate parts of your business workflow can save tens of hours a week.

If your already-stretched team is working on outdated computer systems and performing manual procedures that should be automated, you’re facing compounded inefficiency at your practice. You’ll see some examples of automation in the next few sections.

ePrescribing speeds prescribing time, increases patient safety.

Different ePrescription softwares provide different features. But in addition to sending a prescription to your patient’s pharmacy, a solid solution will increase your speed and efficiency by:

  • Autofilling patient information
  • Offering “favorites” for prescription combos and pharmacies
  • Connecting with your practice management software
  • Enabling you to prescribe from any location on any device through cloud-based access

Streamlining your clinical workflow is gold. But with nearly a quarter of prescription errors attributable to illegible handwriting, a primary benefit of ePrescribing is its ability to improve the accuracy of prescriptions. Additionally, ePrescribing increases patient safety by:

  • Checking the state’s PMP database, TX PMP AWARxE, to ensure you’re safely prescribing controlled medications
  • Providing alerts and warnings for interactions and contraindications

Automated analytics can reveal revenue opportunities, help you improve care.

If you’re not monitoring patient analytics such as available insurance coverage, you may miss opportunities to provide better care and increase revenue. But manually keeping track of the data you need is an overwhelming job.

Technology that integrates with your practice management software can pull the information for you in near real time.

The solution should offer easy-to-access, automated reports based on your goals, and track key practice performance metrics. A robust analytics dashboard can even:

  • Identify patients in need of procedures or with unscheduled treatments
  • Reveal untapped insurance revenue, i.e., identify patients who have insurance that will at least partially cover those needed procedures

With this information, your team can confidently book appointments with patients before they leave your office—and increase acceptance of treatment plans without post-visit communications. An analytics dashboard can also maximize your staff’s time by:

  • Including staff prompts and functionality to close treatment plans
  • Highlighting scheduled patients that have open AR to be collected

These features will streamline your team’s workflow and untie them from handling increasingly complex insurance verifications and scheduling patients over the phone.

HIPAA-compliant email ensures security and protects PHI.

Setting your practice up with fully HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based email is critical. This is different from providers like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail; even though some have a few HIPAA-compliant qualities like encryption.

A fully HIPAA-compliant email service will protect your patient data and practice from cybercriminals and enable you to meet the requirement to ensure data security and privacy as you:

  • Store and share electronic health records
  • Collaborate and refer with other dental or health professionals
  • Securely communicate with your patients

You want an email service built on HIPAA compliance with added security to prevent your inbox from receiving spam or phishing emails. Look for an email service that:

  • Transmits across a private encrypted network with end-to-end encryption
  • Encrypts email in transit and ‘at rest’ in your inbox
  • Meets all required HIPAA technical safeguards

Also look for practical features that will increase efficiency:

  • Provides a broad referral network
  • Enables you to send large files and images without file-size restrictions or limits on the number of attachments.

With all the demands placed on dentists, practice managers, and the entire team, it’s critical to leverage every available tool to improve and simplify dental practice management. A digital transformation is a paradigm shift that could substantially secure and boost your revenue streams.

TDA Perks Program endorses multiple iCoreConnect cloud-based software products, including revenue analytics dashboard, iCoreHuddle; cloud ePrescribing solution, iCoreRx; and encrypted, HIPAA-compliant email, iCoreExchange. TDA members receive a substantial discount.