How to: Safely achieve your practice targets in this final quarter
As we continue our ‘how to’ series addressing how practices can navigate the current challenges within dentistry, today we are taking a look at the new NHS England reform that states ‘NHS practices will be obliged to meet 85% of their pre-COVID activity levels from the 1st January 2022’ 1.
With an increasing number of COVID-19 related cancellations and staff shortages, the overarching priority for your practice at this time, regardless of your region, should lie with increased efficiency. Achieving this will not only mean that your staff and patients are protected from the risk of infection, but you will be able to optimise your workflow to meet demand and any new/potential practice targets. Here’s how:
1. Instil confidence with a strong communication strategy
Make sure your patients are made aware of safety measures with message automation tools such as Campaign+.
Keeping your customers in the loop not only enhances patient experience but will give them the reassurance they may need to book and attend their next appointment. Automating this process with your practice management software will allow you to push targeted communication through SMS and email whilst eliminating any unnecessary time spent on admin - instead freeing up your phone lines to receive inbound calls with any urgent queries, something that is on the rise during the current climate.
Whilst increased patient retention and loyalty goes hand in hand with consistent communication, it’s important to not forget the impact that recalls and reminders have on this also. Automated reminders/recalls could be the prompt your patients need to complete that treatment plan they may have started or if it’s been a while, to choose you over a potential competitor. As an additional benefit, you can feel confident that following a reminder if a patient needs to make an amendment to an existing booking, you will be made aware of this in enough time to fill the gap appropriately and continue delivering dental excellence to those in need.2. Manage your NHS contracts with our Predictive UDA Manager
With NHS targets at the forefront of our minds once again, it’s important to review your current performance to understand what’s possible. EXACT’s Predictive UDA Manager makes this process quick and easy, compiling all key KPI’s in one user-friendly graph - cutting down on the excessive time that would have previously been spent on sifting through data and managing contracts, instead allowing you to quickly identify any actions that need to be implemented to stay on track for the entire contract term. Having access to this data at glance makes reporting, tracking and optimising performance easier than ever, giving your team the confidence and accountability they need to stay engaged towards key practice targets.
For NHS practices based in England, drilling down on your 85% for the final quarter can be done by running a simple UDA/UOA Report through EXACT. Once the report is run you will have access to your claimed/confirmed numbers for the period which can then be divided by the contact target to get the % achieved. If you would like to seek further support in relation to tracking your UDA performance within EXACT please do get in touch on 01634 266800 - our team would be happy to help.3. Streamline your workflow
With staff shortages you should be ensuring that admin tasks are automated, allowing your in-practice staff more time to do dentistry and your absent staff to rest easy. Workflow Manager will ensure all daily tasks are visible to the relevant staff members and that they are being managed efficiently and effectively. Prompts such as completing a patient’s contact details on file whilst they are in practice will ensure you are equipped to send effective recalls in the future. This may initially seem like a task to be overlooked in such busy times, but should remain a priority as it is what will contribute to a full appointment book, completed and therefore successful treatment plans and ultimately a loyal patient base.
This alongside patient based tools such as Online booking and Patient Portal, that were touched on in our previous ‘how to’ blog, will also aid this process. Empowering your patients in this way is what will form the basis of a streamlined workflow and is now what patients expect as part of a safe, well-rounded experience.
To further this discussion, join Ross Drynan and Josh Wren on the 18th January at 1:00 PM where they will be sharing some of the key efficiencies that can be implemented to achieve best practices during these times - sign up here!
In the meantime, if you have any further questions please contact our Best Practice team today on 01634 925726 where they will be happy to guide you through any current challenges your practice may be facing, whilst providing you with the support and tools you need to secure a bright future.