Why Do You Need to Integrate Software Solutions to Boost Patient Engagement Levels for your Dental Care Practice?
Since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made electronic health records (EHR) mandatory, healthcare providers have seen an influx of new software to their offices. A number of dental care providers have also started integrating software solutions in their practice because of the convenience they get along.
From standard personal medical records software to more complex programs for integrated care coordination, healthcare software companies are developing increasingly powerful software solutions, assisting dentists and hospitals in providing the best care for their patients.
That said, as healthcare practitioners, we all know that one of the most important factors for improving a patient’s well-being is increasing patient engagement.
Higher patient engagement results in patients feeling empowered to make decisions in their own care. When patients become invested in their treatment, they are more likely to track their symptoms, report problems early, and follow treatment protocols.
Software solutions can greatly help dental care providers in increasing patient engagement levels and improving care outcomes as a whole. How? Let us explore together.
1) Helping Providers Furnish Optimal Care Experiences
Enhancing patients’ oral care experiences means more than just providing top-notch clinical care. It requires care that addresses every facet of the patients’ journey with your organization – their understanding of what’s happening, their physical comfort, and their emotional needs.
In order to do that, dental care providers can easily leverage various state-of-the-art software solutions available in the market today.
For instance, by having an appointment scheduling software for your clinic, you can save up ample of your staff’s time which would otherwise have been spent running errands just to get patients their slots of choice. This time can then be spent executing tasks that directly contribute toward improving outcomes and increasing the bottom line of your practice.
The ease of logistics (getting to the appointment, parking, finding reception) also greatly impacts patient experience, especially when they are asked to visit a hospital or a joint facility to consult a dentist. Having a wayfinding app can help patients easily navigate through the endless corridors and huge complexes.
Dr Vinati Kamani, dentist turned tech author, explains in one of her recent articles how a specialized wayfinding application can help patients better than any other similar solution out there when it comes to locating their dental care provider within a hospital setting:
“Having dedicated staff to point the visitors in the right direction can turn out to be a resource-intensive activity. In large hospitals with higher footfall, the time and effort required in solving the visitor queries can be high. Physical signages can certainly help but are not foolproof and tend to be impersonal.
Wayfinding apps can bridge this gap. By simply searching for the destination within the app, the users can get full information about their destination and how they can get there.”
Apart from appointment scheduling and wayfinding software solutions, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) too is an exceptional software solution that has quickly found its way in dentists’ clinics because of the enhanced patient experience scores its implementation gets.
EHRs can help dentists offer better healthcare in a number of ways – right from reducing wait time for office appointments to improving appointment scheduling through integrated scheduling systems – these systems can do it all!
Due to all these reasons and many others, it can be rightly said that software solutions are definitely going to be of great help for dental care providers when it comes to improving patient experiences and enhancing care outcomes as a whole.
2) Making Care more Accessible and Convenient for Patients
One recent survey conducted by NRC Health for its 2019 Healthcare Consumer Report found over half of the patients surveyed (51.3%) were of the opinion that easily accessible, convenient care is the most significant factor in their healthcare decision making – so much so that convenience ranked even above care quality (34.6%) and insurance coverage (46.4%).
As healthcare providers, we all know that accessibility and convenience form an integral part of patient engagement, and oral care is no exception to this.
Thanks to the plethora of progressive software solutions available in the healthcare space today, dental care providers can easily look for ways to boost access and convenience for their patients.
Telemedicine software is one such solution.
Most telemedicine apps today embed important patient-centric features such as artificial intelligence, audio and video-enabled conferencing, push notifications that furnish treatment reminders, data security functions, self appointment scheduling, patient history management and analysis, invoice generation, etc that augment the entire care delivery experience by manifolds.
A telemedicine app can also be integrated with other software solutions such as EHRs. Telemedicine and EHR integration will help care providers access the patient’s history at any given point in time. It also makes patient data more interoperable across the organization.
Telemedicine apps make it trouble free for patients to seek basic and non-emergency dental care from the comfort of their own homes. This, in turn, boosts their overall satisfaction scores.
Dental care providers can also look to having a dedicated mobile app developed for their practice. This can be especially useful if you run a large facility with multiple partners. All patients need to do is download the app. It will give them the ability to self-schedule their appointments with the provider of their choice, get an ePrescription post their visit, and receive automated reminders for their next scheduled appointment among other things.
Mobile apps can help providers streamline communication and increase patient convenience at different stages of the care delivery process.
All in all, the various software solutions mentioned above only scratch the surface of the vast possibilities their efficient utilization can get along.
Forward looking dental care practitioners should constantly be on the lookout for software solutions that can help them streamline their workflows in a way that they can make patient experience more seamless.
Embracing technology and combining it with human touch is the only way to win patients moving forward.
Written exclusively for Emitrr by Dr. Chuck Le
Dr. Chuck Le is the founder of 7 Day Dental and is a recognized leader in the field of dentistry. For several years, Dr. Le has dedicated his personal time and resources to working with organizations and causes that help the less fortunate, as well as youth development and well-being, both internationally and here. His philanthropy has included his contribution to the disaster relief efforts after the 2004 tsunami in Thailand and the restoration efforts after major conflagrations in Vietnam.