Why ABELDent Is Your One-Stop-Solution For All Of Your Practice Management Needs

How much does your current dental software allow you to do? Does your current software provide you with all the tools you need to manage your practice? How many different programs does your practice use daily? 

These are some burning questions fuelling the growing number of offices switching to practice management platforms that provide more tools. 

In previous blog posts, we discussed some of the reasons Dentists, Hygienists, and Office Managers are opting for an all-in-one software solution. Whether it is because of the simplicity of automatic updates, or the surety of meeting compliance standards, many practices are moving to modern, comprehensive solutions like ABELDent CS/LS+.  

data security

How much difference would a comprehensive solution make in your practice?  

Implementing a “one-stop-shop” solution such as ABELDent could benefit your practice in multiple ways, such as: 

  • All-encompassing dental software in your office minimizes potential gaps in data that can result from having too many different platforms in operation.  
  • A comprehensive software eliminates the need to navigate back-and-forth between various programs, simplifying your team’s workflow and improving efficiency. 
  • An all-in-one package saves you money compared to multiple purchases and/or subscriptions.  

What is the problem with using too many applications? 

We have discussed various issues that can stem from using multiple applications in your daily routine, such as syncing problems between two or more platforms, which can cause data gaps. Syncing issues may mean that some applications display outdated information, such as allergies, medications, and other crucial information.  

If your office has technical difficulties, contacting different support teams from various companies can get overwhelming. Keeping up with multiple updates and patches may cause discrepancies between different applications and may lead to poor integrations.  

One of the primary benefits of using comprehensive dental software is that all-in-one solutions minimize problems caused by third-party platforms. ABELDent products are designed to work seamlessly, ensuring smooth and seamless usage.  

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The financial screen (left) and the patient’s charting screen (right) in ABELDent CS and LS+.

Keeping your practice data on one system is not only easier for you to manage, but more secure.  

Why? 

A single comprehensive solution is more secure for multiple reasons. The more applications your practice uses, the higher the chances of corrupted data, hole-poking into your practice data, and possible integration issues. A one-stop solution such as ABELDent mitigates these risks, letting your team operate worry-free.  

Are you looking to transition to an all-in-one dental software? 

Opt in for ABELDent CS or LS+. ABELDent continually improves and adds new time-saving features that help provide top-quality care to patients easier than ever. ABELDent’s capabilities have a wide range, hitting all, if not most, your practice management needs. Some of our most notable features include: 

Reach out to us today to request a demo or make the switch, or watch some of our videos to learn more about our all-in-one solution. 

Get Ahead of Outstanding Treatment

Have some of your patients fallen behind on treatment in the past two years? COVID-19’s impact stretches beyond a health crisis, causing job losses and lay-offs worldwide, especially in 2020. Perhaps some of your patients are just now getting back on their feet but have not had a chance to think about getting their routine cleaning at your office. Possibly, some of your patients have been apprehensive about coming in due to health risks, such as immunocompromised patients, elderly patients, or individuals with heightened anxiety. Maybe some of your patients have outstanding treatment such as restorations, pending implants, crowns, etc. Despite the possible reasons that patients have fallen behind on treatment, one major question stands: does your office have an efficient method for contacting patients who have outstanding treatment?­­ 

Dentist with Patient

ABELDent Patient Communication (APC) is a bundle of features that enhances your office’s patient communication abilities. For example,  APC is hugely time-saving and drastically reduces your administrative team’s time spent on telephone tag by helping your team focus on patients who are willing to come in quickly. 

With APC, your administrative team has more time available, as they no longer need to review expansive lists of patients who have fallen behind on treatment. APC is a streamlined solution for practices that want simplified yet effective communication tools. One of the most impactful features of APC is automated recall booking, which automates messages to patients and provides them a simple functionality for sending a response back to your office. Automated recall booking improves the efficiency of patient follow-up, ensuring patients that are overdue for treatment are quickly attended to. 

In addition to automated recall booking, APC allows for two-way texting, which has been shown as a communication method that patients tend to prefer. APC helps you keep your schedule full by keeping a shortlist of patients who have requested specific times, along with a general short-notice list for contacts who want to come in as soon as possible. This helps your practice fill last-minute openings to prevent unwanted downtime.  

Two phone screens with APC on them. What your patients see

APC also brings enhanced security to your patient interactions, ensuring all communication data is encrypted and safely stored. In 2022, top-of-the-line cybersecurity is not only an asset for your practice, but it is a necessity. Cyberattacks were increasing in frequency prior to the pandemic, and with the added vulnerability of COVID-19, practices cannot afford to take any risks with their data.  

APC provides tools to help your practice bounce back from the negative impacts that COVID-19 has had on the dental industry. Spend more time providing top-quality treatment with patient communication software that makes daily activities easier than ever. Are you interested in using APC in your practice? Let us know and we can set you up with what you need. 

Managing Patient Treatment with ABELDent

Patients who miss their appointments or do not reschedule their next visit can “fall through the cracks”. Without a system in place to keep up with unbooked treatment, patients may go many months without important dental treatment. This can jeopardize your practice production and may lead to weakened patient rapport caused by long time periods between visits. 

Other crucial issues with patients “falling through the cracks” includes the risk of oral health decline, misinformed patients, and a potential rise of emergency visits from patients who neglect their oral health.

It can be a challenge to convince some patients of the importance of their oral hygiene. Oftentimes, patients do not realize how important regular cleanings are until they are facing issues such as decay, potential extractions, and endodontic treatments.  

ABELDent dental software provides dental offices with a concrete solution to this problem, helping you book patients who may have missed previous appointments to increase the likelihood of completing treatment. 

With ABELDent’s Treatment Manager, you can quickly search for patients that have unbooked treatment, filtering the search list in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Range of Dates: search by the patient’s appointment due date, follow-up date, or the date a treatment plan was created for the patient 
  • Treatment with specific providers: helpful for keeping providers busy and ensuring that treatment is booked with the desired provider 
  • Type of treatment: such as restorations, extractions, crowns, implants, or hygiene appointments, enabling you to focus on high priority procedures 
  • Cancelled appointments: detailed down to the way the appointment was cancelled, such as a no-show, forgotten appointment, or last-minute cancellation 
  • Location: helpful for practices with multiple locations 
  • Or any combination of the above 

Using Treatment Manager, you can find patients who missed appointments from a date range and remind them to rebook their treatment with your office. Rather than leaving the onus on your patients to rebook their treatment, your office can initiate contact to stay on top of unscheduled treatment.  

Treatment Manager is just one feature of ABELDent dental software that helps make practice management easier for your whole team. Watch our video to see how ABELDent’s Treatment Manager can turn no-shows and cancelled appointments into completed treatment, happy patients, and practice production. 

5 Ways Patient Communication is Enhanced in ABELDent CS and LS+

This blog post is an overview of the highlighted features that ABELDent users find most helpful when using our software. Watch our video to see these functionalities inaction and learn just how much simpler your office’s communication with patients can be. 

1. Simplified New Patient Intake 

New patients no longer need to fill out papers or use office equipment (such as tablets) to fill out intake forms. Once you set up a file for a new patient, your office can send an intake form to new patients electronically, where they can simply fill it out on their own devices. Want to see how this works? Go to 1:25 in the video above for details! 

2. Appointment Reminders 

With ABELDent CS and LS+, you can automatically or manually send emails, texts, or both to patients who have given consent to receiving alerts this way. Automatic messages are useful for sending bulk reminders, for example, giving one-week confirmations to various appointments. With manual messages, you have more specified control over who receives what at a given time. 

Instead of asking patients to call you back, which may yield poor results, or even result in no-shows for your practice, you can prompt patients to click the confirmation button in the email or indicate a confirmation via SMS. Not only does this method of communication help your front desk staff save time by minimizing outgoing phone calls, but your patients are also more likely to respond faster than traditional phone calls. To see this feature in action, go to 2:43 in the video above. 

3. Two-Way Texting 

As mentioned above, individuals have been proven to respond much faster to text messages than to emails or phone calls. You can quickly resolve appointment concerns (such as rescheduling or emergency cancellations) via text message in a matter of minutes, as opposed to waiting for a patient to call back, and possibly leave a voicemail. You can also quickly text a patient if you need to get an answer to an important question fast. To see how our two-way texting feature works in ABELDent CS and LS+, go to 3:36 in our video. 

4. Touchless Health History & COVID-19 Forms 

Not only are touchless forms physically safer than traditional paper forms, but they are also safer via online encryption that ABELDent provides to keep PHI (personal health information) secure. Patients receive an email with a button that leads them to a secure webpage where they fill out their information. Once the patient submits their form, the data is encrypted and is sent directly into the patient chart. No one can click the link provided in the email once the form is submitted. 

Touchless forms are physically safer, protecting both your staff as well as your patients from unnecessary touching and transferring of germs. Your office does not need to use equipment such as tablets, which dozens of people may touch in a day. 

In addition to the physical safety and data security that ABELDent online forms entail, our touchless forms are also more convenient for both your team and your patients. Your patients can fill out their COVID-19 or Health History forms on their own time prior to their appointments, or even right before their appointments from their own devices. Your team does not have to transcribe any of the information into their patient charts, eliminating typing errors on your end. To learn more about touchless forms, go to 4:42 in our video to watch how they work! 

5. Regular Updates 

We are always looking for ways to improve upon our products, and we are actively listening to the reviews and feedback from our customers when adding new features. More helpful and time-saving patient communication features will keep coming your way when you choose ABELDent CS or LS+ as your dental software. Navigate to 6:28 if you want to see the point-form summary of ABELDent patient communication. 

If you are interested in upgrading to ABELDent CS or LS+ or are looking into switching practice management software, we are always around to help you. Contact us today with any questions you have! 

3 Ways Using Video Tools Benefit Your Practice

Video is more than just a promotion tool.

Has your dental practice made any videos in the past? Do you currently record videos for patients, or does your office have a YouTube channel? Even posting videos on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok can be effective in building an online presence.  

Whether your practice posts videos or not, it is helpful to know the potential impact videos can have on both your dental office and your patients. Understanding the outcomes that may come from creating a few videos is the first step in deciding whether or not to produce some video content, and also deciding whether it is worth it for your office, or not. In this blog post, we are going to cover some of the ways you can use videos as a dental clinic, such as: 

  1. To promote your practice online 
  1. To strengthen patient-provider relationships, even with prospective patients 
  1. To make oral healthcare information such as aftercare instructions more accessible for patients (and the general public) 

Using video for online advertising 

Person opening Youtube on a smartphone

When comparing text-based promotions to video ads, the latter boasts better results. The facts and statistics speak for themselves: using video content is far more effective than text-based content. If your dental practice needs some website content or you are looking to establish an online presence, consider using video.

If your office already uses Google Ads, using YouTube for video content may be a promising choice. YouTube, which is owned by Google, seamlessly integrates with other Google products (such as Google Ads), which can help make your promotion process easier; for example, you can promote videos as an ad if you want to reach more prospective patients and expand your practice.

Using video for strengthening patient-provider relationships 

Patient-provider relationships are one of the main pillars of dentistry, being the driving cause for fostering healthy relationships and keeping patients coming back for routine treatment. Videos offer a chance for you to personify your clinic’s online presence, making it easier to foster patient-provider relationships online by having a positive first impression. 

Videos are one of the more empathetic media forms, giving viewers a chance to emotionally connect with the person on-screen. Moreover, videos can build trust for the viewer, depending on the content. Even if your video does not show a person at all, (e.g. it may only contain text or pictures to explain a concept), video is far more engaging than text or images, allowing viewers to focus on your content for longer. 

Some examples of videos that practices post are: 

  • Virtual office tour – beneficial for prospective patients to learn what your clinic looks like beforehand, and gives you a chance to demonstrate any safety or hygiene precautions your practice may be taking 
  • Post-operative instructions – we will talk more about this in the next section (below) 
  • Announcements – for example, holiday hours or new team members 
  • Team introductions – shows that your office cares about prioritizing patient-provider relationships by offering a good first impression to any prospects 

There are hundreds of potential videos your office could make, depending on the needs you are trying to meet by using this format. 

Using video as a form of teledentistry – making oral health information accessible online 

Dentist on laptop screen

When utilized in certain ways, videos can qualify as telehealth, such as promoting good hygiene habits for patients when out of office, or providing relevant information to your patients. According to RCDSO, sharing a recorded video is a form of asynchronous teledentistry, as long as the material is being used to help evaluate a patient’s condition, or assist in treating a patient outside of a real-time interaction. In other words, sending a patient a video of aftercare instructions counts as teledentistry, which can be a useful tool in ensuring patients follow instructions correctly.  

For more information on teledentistry in Ontario, check out RCDSO’s informational page on the topic. 

Video creation is not as much work as you may think 

The great thing about using video as a medium in 2021 is that the process has become accessible for nearly anyone with a smartphone. Ultimately, video creation does not have to be high-effort or high-cost. Utilizing this medium can be as simple as recording a short video on your smartphone, and either uploading directly or using a cost-effective (or even free) editing tool.  

There are various platforms and tools that your office can use to create and enhance video content, some specifically geared towards people who do not have any video editing experience (e.g. CanvaVimeo, etc.) You can even utilize smartphone applications if you just need to do some simple enhancements to your videos, such as adding text or images to your projects. 

If your office is interested in producing video content for patients and prospective patients, setting up a process with an administrative associate may be required to produce quality videos. For example, few planning steps are always required before jumping into creating video content. As an oral healthcare provider, you may not have time to produce such content with your schedule full of patients. For this reason, we encourage having a pre-established process with team members, or maybe even a group outside of your regular dental team. Perhaps your clinic wants to opt for a few pre-recorded post-operative instructions to send to patients after their oral surgeries. There are various options for all types of practices, it’s just a matter of putting the time into crafting something that can be used time and again. 

Strategies To Get Patients Back In Your Office For Routine Appointments

The dental industry has undoubtedly been negatively impacted by the pandemic’s ripple effects worldwide. Oral healthcare was quickly identified as a risk due to the nature of the virus transmission, as well as the use of aerosols in many dental treatments. Dental providers have adapted and implemented many new processes to keep patients and dental teams optimally safe from the virus. 

Despite this, many dental patients have deterred their appointments and treatments (such as restorations, implants, endodontic treatments, etc.) While dentists (in Canada) have reopened for routine treatment a few times, many patients are still only going for emergencies. Articles from multiple sources have discussed whether it is safe to go to dental visits, making groups of people anxious about exposing themselves, even if their provider goes above and beyond in risk-prevention.  

dental check up

On top of the existing health risks that we are facing, with a rise in misinformation due to various sources referencing different sets of regulations, it’s inevitable that patients are largely confused about visiting dental offices for routine appointments. In this blog post, we will be going over some strategies your office can use to take charge of communication to fill up your chairs once again. 

Ways you can put your patients at ease and generate interest in routine appointments 

1. Make an announcement on your webpage or social media profiles 

Announce on your social media banners, or even your website homepage, that your office is accepting patients for routine appointments. Consider leaving your announcement up for a while (e.g., a few months), or until your practice sees an upturn of patient interest. 

2. Reference reputable organizations 

Along with your webpage or social media update, as mentioned above, you can strengthen your message by referencing groups such as CDC or ODA’s affirmation that dental visits are currently encouraged. Ensuring patient knowledge is one of the starting points towards bringing them back to your office. 

3. Make things as touchless as possible, and let patients know this beforehand 

Look into having touchless payment options (such as credit card, or Interac), and have touchless forms available for your patients to fill out. Patient intake forms, COVID-19 screening forms, health history forms, x-ray forms, and other various treatment consent forms can be digitized to optimize patient and staff safety and comfort. Additionally, informing patients of these features beforehand may encourage them to come in since your office is taking pre-emptive measures to be as safe as possible. 

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Features to look for that help keep your chairs full 

1. Automated recall booking systems 

Having a system like this allows your hygienists or reception team to fill your schedule months in advance without scrambling last-minute at the end of an appointment. Intelligent automated recall booking should recognize the interval that a patient is set up for and show availabilities for the given appointment type when they are due.  

2. A treatment manager 

Having a built-in treatment manager helps you know who to contact to fill your schedule. For instance, if people missed their appointments, haven’t come for a few years, or have unfinished dental treatment, treatment managing programs should be able to identify and recommend contacting these patients.  

Putting information online to ease patient concerns, as well as having tools in your office that help you fill your schedule more efficiently are two key methods you can fill up your chairs once again.  

Guiding Your Patients: How To Minimize Disinformation From Online Sources

One of the crucial roles of a healthcare provider is to ensure patient understanding, whether by dissipating false information for patients, or educating and explaining topics to patients. As of 2021, we are growing increasingly reliant on social media platforms and various websites for our social interactions, news consumption, and other major facets of our lives. While our growing connectedness via the Internet fosters an age of understanding, there are also more opportunities for spreading disinformation. Some statistics, tricks, tips, or other forms of media that may initially be harmless can be altered, or flat-out harmful practices can be shared. Some examples of this include skewed statistics, or “dental DIY” tricks that can cause repercussions.  

A concerning number of patients get their health-related news from scrolling through social media. Based on findings from Referral MD, 90% of surveyed individuals between the ages of 18 – 24 indicated they trust health information shared on social media platforms.  

COVID-19 has resulted in a lot of misinformation and confused masses. Different municipalities, locations, and sources have varying regulations and protocols, and many people are unsure of what is safe and unsafe anymore. Fortunately, your dental practice’s team can work to minimize confusion in your patients by utilizing emails, social media platforms, and in-person appointments. Keep reading to find out how to utilize these three methods to benefit your patients. 

Opportunities to educate your patient-base: 

1. Emails  

emails
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com
  • Use emails to your office’s advantage by reminding patients of what they can expect when they come to their appointments. For example, if your waiting area is closed, remind your patients to wait in their car, or be prepared to wait outside. Remind patients of necessary pre-appointment duties, such as filling out a pre-screening form, and wearing a mask. 
  • If your office participates in patient newsletters, consider adding a portion dedicated to sharing accurate information and facts for relevant topics.  
  • Using a messaging software that lets you send automated emails with areas for personalization is a great way to connect to patients on a large scale, while also remaining time efficient. 

2. Social media 

social media
Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com
  • We have touched on the ways you can use social media in previous blogs, such as encouraging healthy habits, and keeping up patient relations during lockdowns. 
  • Using social media prevents can help prevent harmful trends from occurring in your patients, depending on your practice’s following. Keeping on top of “dental DIY” trends and similar patterns can help your practice make relevant social media posts, as well as guide followers, and your patient base, in the right direction. 
  • Ensure that any information you post is appropriate and truthful. This may go without saying, but sometimes, unclear information can be misinterpreted, which can result in further confusion. 
  • Try to keep any posts simple, clear, and most importantly, trustworthy. Getting your information from reputable sources (such as collegiate institutes, trusted healthcare providers, government websites, etc.), or using your own knowledge as a dental professional, are good practices for ensuring you are doing your best to mitigate disinformation. 
  • Share useful information from trusted sources (examples above) as resource hubs for your patients.  

3. Appointments 

  • Encourage your patients to be aware of ongoing dental trends that tend to pop up every few years – for example, at-home whitening, at-home “braces”, etc. In addition to just being aware, patients should also know the dangers associated with participating in these trends, and the damage they could cause to their mouth and overall health. 
  • Be aware that younger patients may feel inclined to try these trends more than older patients, generally. Younger patients may not know these trends are as harmful as they seem. 
  • Answer any questions your patient may have, and if they indicate that they are interested in specific cosmetics (I.e., bleaching treatments), be sure to educate your patients on the dangers of at-home treatments. Any way you can educate your patients about the best practices for continuing their oral hygiene at home is valuable and will help mitigate disinformation. 

3 Tips for Dental Receptionists in 2021

The role of the dental receptionist is a complicated one, and it differs from office-to-office. There are varied job descriptions, tasks, and duties established by each practice. Something consistent, however, is that dental receptionists are always on the “front lines” in a practice. Fielding patient and team inquiries, managing patient issues, and keeping all records organized are just some of the tasks receptionist’s handle. For many prospective patients, receptionists and front-desk workers are the face of the practice.  

In 2019, we wrote about things every dental receptionist needs to know for maximum patient satisfaction, efficiency, and organization. With COVID-19’s implications on the dental industry, we thought it was time to update our list to address current social issues that you may encounter in your practice. In this blog post, we discuss the top three things to know as a dental receptionist in 2021.  

1. Remain adaptable  

Adaptability, even in ordinary circumstances, is a valuable skill in reception. As mentioned in our previous blog on this topic, receptionists are the first to greet patients and the last to see them out. Being such an integral part of the team, front office team members must be able to adapt to new technologies, organization systems, and communication approaches. For instance, many dental practices have adopted digital communications, especially since lockdowns minimized dental appointments. Using texting software to send automated or ad-hoc messages may require an adjustment period but adapting to new (and often more efficient) systems ensures that your office remains ahead of the technological curve.  

Patients can keep you on your toes, especially if they are particularly apprehensive about receiving dental treatment or care, or if they are very thorough and inquisitive. Some patients may require more in-depth responses, or even an approach that you do not normally use. The ability to adjust your approach to different situations is highly valued in this position, as unique individuals can raise issues in your office that can’t always be solved with a generic solution or a solution developed during more normal times.  

2. Look ahead to fill your schedule  

fill your schedule
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Under the best of circumstances some patients will look for excuses to avoid proceeding with dental treatment, whether it is for financial concerns, dental anxiety, or other reasons. COVID-19 added another reason for patients to delay their treatments. With all the mixed messages from official and unofficial sources, and changes in guidelines over time, cuments released , many patients are legitimately confused about whether it is safe to visit their dentist for regular appointments, and when they can see their dentists.   

With vaccinations being rolled out worldwide, receptionists are looking ahead. While still taking the necessary precautions such as spreading out the waiting area (or making patients wait outside/in their cars), leaving gaps between appointments, and using paperless forms, receptionists should continue reaching out to patients who need recare appointments. Call lists, email lists, and contact sheets can result in a lot of manual work, especially if the lists are long, and perhaps growing longer. Having a system or tool to help you quickly send many messages at once helps your front-desk team when working to fill the schedule months in advance. For example, ABELDent’s Treatment Manager is built-in to our LS, CS and LS+ software. Whether you use a system is as simple as a customizable email template and manual sent emails, , a more efficient, built-in recall manager, or a third-party application that helps with recall management, such a solution can help to keep you organized and on track during these especially challenging times.    

Looking months ahead helps you in the long-run by having a structured schedule month-by-month, as well as keeping patients’ recare appointments on track for their own health. Scheduling appointments early will help you to uncover patient concerns that can then be addressed in advance to establish patient commitment. Getting patients back on track will be a big job, but booking appointments and dealing with patient concerns early will reduce the likelihood that you will be scrambling at the last minute to fill a providers’ column or day.  

3. Practice professional empathy  

pexels cedric fauntleroy

In 2020 and 2021, thes impact of COVID-19 on organizations resulted in large number of layoffs and heightened Canada’s unemployment rate. Financial troubles will undoubtedly reduce the priority of dental treatment for some patients. While there may not be anything your office can do in some of these cases, providing a professional, empathetic tone may make an enormous difference when communicating with upset patients. Professional empathy can be conveyed through word choice, tone of voice, and body language. If you are communicating virtually, using keywords and phrases such as “we understand” can help to diffuse anxiety caused by financial concerns.  

The importance of empathy extends past financial concerns. Ashton College highlights the difference that using empathy has in a difficult situation with a patient or even a team member. Additionally, being able to understand another perspective will aid you when problem-solving, strengthening the quality of patient care.  

These three tips are just a few of many things dental receptionists should know to maximize their office’s potential in 2021. With tools and technologies evolving, the dental industry is getting more efficient while simultaneously becoming more complicated for new hires. Going forward, we look forward to speaking more on this topic and providing content that helps your entire dental team. 

Scaling Back and Preparing for What is Ahead

The end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 has been a difficult time for everyone with COVID-19 cases steadily rising throughout December and January. With lockdown continuing in various areas, we are turning our focus back to making the most of your practice’s downtime and preparing for the future influx of patients.  

While the first province-wide shutdown did not alter the scope of dental services, Ontario’s current stay-at-home order has resulted in many dental offices scaling back once again to taking in fewer patients than usual.  RCDSO urges dental offices to take additional precautions when providing care to patients. For instance, deferring non-essential appointments to a later date or offering remote appointments for these cases as a precaution to avoid the risk of in-person contact. 

man having dental check up

While dental appointments are minimized, there are still opportunities for your team to participate in online training, e-learning, and other important tasks that help maintain your practice. During your office’s downtime, your team can learn how to use your practice management software more efficiently, especially new hires that still need to get used to your software. ABELDent users can use ABELDent Mastery, for example. There are also webinars and online courses you and your team can take to help maintain best practices, and even to earn potential CE credits. 

We have compiled our blog posts throughout the past year as a resource bank for our readers. To read more in-depth about some of our tips for making the most of your office’s downtime, please see our list: 

At ABELDent, we are continuing to support dental professionals by working from home. We are hopeful for the future and are still available 24/7 for any of your dental software needs. 

Why Should You Use Patient-Facing Features in Your Practice?

What is ‘patient-facing’?  

Patient-facing systems are tools that provide patients with the opportunity to actively engage with their healthcare practitioners virtually. The dental industry has been evolving towards patient-facing solutions in recent years by implementing auto-scheduling, downloadable forms, and live chatting functionalities. The demand for these systems and methods have escalated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Practices are incorporating patient-facing solutions because patients can easily interact with dental providers or access resources online. Patient-facing systems are accessible, simple solutions that prove useful for a variety of reasons. For instance, the touchless aspect of online solutions reduces face-to-face interaction and the sharing of paper, pens, or devices, thereby minimizing COVID-19 related health concerns.  

Makes open communication between dentist and patient easier, faster, and more accessible 

communicate easier with patient

Clear communication is a crucial aspect of dentistry. Ensuring patient understanding, as referenced by CDA, results in increased patient satisfaction, increased procedure efficiency, and fewer negative experiences and reviews.  

Patient-facing features provide patients with the opportunity to share information more easily via online resources to learn about their treatment. This also allows patients to actively participate in virtual care. Some examples include patients filling out consent forms prior to treatment, completing health history and COVID-19 screening forms, updating their standing patient form, and prefacing appointments with video consultations. These features ensure patients can gain a deeper understanding of their treatment prior to their physical appointment without having to be physically present in your office. Providing an online format for these tasks rather than in-person is convenient for patients, reduces COVID-19 concerns, and saves your practice a spare operatory. 

Provides a good opportunity for easing anxious patients 

Additional benefits of patient-facing features include the accommodation of safe (touchless), convenient, and fast communication between provider and patient to preface appointments. In addition to quick communication, virtual care allows the use of visuals the same way you would be able to show patients in your operatory how a procedure will go. Screen-sharing capabilities that are included in most video conferencing tools allow this, limiting the setbacks that an online consultation would have in comparison to a physical consultation. 

Pre-treatment appointments can be beneficial for patients who are apprehensive, as you can suggest patient calming techniques, discuss whether nitrous oxide is a viable solution for their needs, or discuss other options that may help to calm anxieties. Doing all this in an online setting benefits your practice and the patient, and helps strengthen the practice-patient relationship. 

Lightens the workload for your team and minimizes chances of manual errors 

dec 9 blog

Forms that are hard to read, faxed, or scanned to your office, or rushed can often result in team members interpreting information wrong and inserting incorrect information in a patient’s chart. Allowing patients to fill out their forms online eliminates these potential errors on your office’s end. Patients may still make a typo or fill in an area incorrectly, but these errors can easily be fixed in your office by editing the file. Removing the chances of your team members getting information wrong is a step in the right direction towards great recordkeeping. Additionally, allowing patients to submit their forms online allows your team members to be more productive with their time. 

Overall, patient-facing solutions are a great practical tool to have in your office, not just during health crises, but long-term. Many patients and practices, having been introduced to the benefit of these methods, will come to prefer and expect them.  

The various benefits mentioned throughout this blog post are reasons for investing in online solutions, which will prepare your practice for the upcoming decade when virtual care and patient-facing systems will be the norm. 

If you are interested in finding out more about ABELDent’s touchless patient-facing forms, we are available 24/7. Feel free to fill out our contact form below, or give us a call at the phone number mentioned below. 

Resources: 

Jensen, R. E., Gummerson, S. P., & Chung, A. E. (2016). Overview of Patient-Facing Systems in Patient-Reported Outcomes Collection: Focus and Design in Cancer Care. Journal of oncology practice, 12(10), 873–875. https://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.2016.015685