How to: Improve delivery of general dentistry with SOE
This week, GDS practices in Northern Ireland were notified of a new Revenue Grant Scheme for 2021/22 aiming to help practices tackle the results of the pandemic with allocated funding from a total sum of £5 million in addition to the existing GDS budget.This grant presents practices with a huge opportunity to ‘improve patient safety, practice efficiency and ultimately their resilience in order to mitigate against future transmission of other infectious diseases’.
With a variety of allowable expenditures outlined, practices are being encouraged to use the grant towards an ‘improvement to IT connectivity and functionality’, with already digitised practices encouraged in ‘Annex 2’ to:
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness of the patient pre-arrival arrival process
- Upgrade IT to limit paper usage and microbial transmission
- Streamline patient management
- Enhance connectivity with patients ensure timely communication
In today’s blog, we are going to be looking at how we can support you in futureproofing your practice not only to respond COVID-19 but to ensure you are well equipped for whatever challenges may still be to come.
Introduce a contactless patient journey
At Software of Excellence, we don’t just want to just help you streamline the patient pre-arrival process - we want to help you elevate the workflows at each and every stage of the patient journey, so you can deliver the standard of service and care they expect throughout their entire time with you. Doing so will not only increase patient satisfaction rates but will allow you to rest easy knowing that cross-contamination is minimised at every touchpoint. We recommend you apply this approach to all 7 stages of the patient journey:
- Finding a Dentist - Utilise your website and social media platforms to reassure potential patients that you’re following government guidelines and that they’ll be safe in your care. A great way to do this is to harness the power of reviews from your most valued patients - streamline this process with Online Reputation Manager.
- Booking an appointment - With less and less time for your patients to fit in that phone call to book their next dental check-up, it’s essential that you’re offering them an efficient solution to book out of practice working hours. Online Booking from Software of Excellence is simple to use and accessible on the go from the patient’s preferred device, allowing you to feel confident that your patient’s oral health remains a priority both now and for the future.
- Before the appointment - Enable patients to complete essential forms at a time that suits them using Patient Portal - Minimise paper usage, frustratingly long queues, busy waiting areas and engaged phone lines with the ability for patient’s undertake their own data collection, safely and remotely. Integrating seamlessly with EXACT with no need to manually scan in or input patient details onto the system, you will feel on top of your patient management without even having to lift a finger.
- New practice environment - Is your in-practice technology at the same standard as your pre-appointment technology? From booking online to filling out forms before they even arrive at your practice, your patients expect a consistent, modern approach throughout their entire journey with you. Allowing patients to check-in using a QR code, view dental imaging in real-time or sign treatment plans on a tablet-based solution should be key considerations as to how you operate your practice during the current climate.
- Contactless departures - Once your patient has attended their appointment, it’s time to receive payment. Introducing EXACT fully integrated payment solutions to your practice will make this process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Openpay for example, allows patients to spread the cost of their treatment interest-free over two, four, six or nine months to best suit their financial and budgetary situation whilst you get paid the very next day. In turn, maximising treatment uptake and overall practice revenue.
- Post appointment communication - ‘Enhancing connectivity with patients’ is extremely important and as mentioned previously, outlined as a key consideration in Annex 2 of the Revenue Grant Scheme. Introducing automation into this workflow is what will save your admin team crucial time and ensure your messages are being delivered at the optimal moment for maximum results. From automatically recalling patients to reminding them of their next appointment, establishing a clear line of communication between your practice and patients will keep your appointment book full and your patient’s oral health maintained. Have you considered this approach for your marketing material also? We can help you deliver professionally designed practice updates via email, SMS and post!
However you’re looking to upgrade the IT in your practice, we have a solution for you. Not sure where to start? Get in contact with our team today and we’d be happy to guide you along the path to excellence - give us a call on 01634 266800.