Embrace Technology to Combat the Labor Shortage in Your Dental Practice

January 4, 2022

At a glance

  • The main takeaway: The dental industry continues to face labor pressure and increase patient demand, but by embracing modern technology and investing in your employees, you can ease the burden on your team and practice.
  • Streamline operations: The key is to identify technology that will alleviate labor pressure and improve current workflows.
  • Get advice from experts: Aprio’s Dental team can help you incorporate the right digital solutions to overcome the labor shortage and increase revenue.

Schedule a free consultation today.

The full story:

It should come as no surprise to hear there is a labor shortage in dental healthcare as nearly every other industry is experiencing the same issue. The overarching cause for this shortage has been the pandemic with some employees hesitant to return to the office and others who desire more work-life balance.

The good news is, there are steps your dental practice can take to alleviate pressure caused by the labor shortage by implementing the right technology that saves time and helps you retain your employees. The key is to improve current workflows,  increase front desk efficiencies and invest in your employees’ wellbeing while creating a seamless patient experience.

Let’s face it, patients today are looking for convenient solutions that they can access from their mobile devices and your employees need similar solutions to improve their processes and work-life balance. Here’s how you can simultaneously leverage technology and increase your employee retention:

Online scheduling

Scheduling an appointment online is nothing new. People have been using online scheduling in a variety of industries and enjoy the ability to make an appointment wherever they are at any time of the day. So, it’s natural that patients would want the option to schedule their next dental appointment online. The convenience of online scheduling isn’t just for patients. It improves efficiencies in your office as well as streamlines your scheduling process. Your team will spend less time fielding patient inquiries and more time on high-level tasks that benefit your practice. There are a lot of online scheduling solutions available that can integrate directly into your management system. You can customize the data fields to include the type of service, times and days available, providers working, insurance coverage and more.

Go paperless and automate payments

If you haven’t gone paperless yet, now is your chance. Printed patient charts take up space and it can be a hassle to keep organized. Digital records save time and eliminate clutter. A few ways you can go paperless are with electronic patient records, x-rays, prescriptions and insurance cards. Take an even bigger step into the paperless route and stop mailing physical invoices. Give patients the option and ease to pay their bills online. Most people have automated payments set up for their own expenses, so why not for their routine dental cleanings and procedures. Offering automated payments can increase your case acceptance rate and streamline bill collecting.

Invest in Your Employees

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most companies and their employees have felt the rising pressures and challenges of a greater workload and understaffing. With an increase in daily responsibilities, employees are getting burnt out and are demanding more from their employers. They are even willing to look elsewhere for new opportunities. So how can your dental practice retain employees and attract new talent? Start by getting feedback from your staff to understand their pain points and create a plan of action that includes:

  • An increase in pay, promoting within and outlining career paths,
  • Creative flexibility in scheduling for a better work-life balance,
  • Level up your benefits packages by providing discounts for self-care perks and
  • Reevaluate your culture to demonstrate how you value your team.

The Bottom Line

Your team is one of the many keys to your dental practice’s success. In today’s new environment matching your culture with the right technology can increase employee retention in your office. There are numerous benefits that come from embracing modern technology, including easing the burden on your team, streamlining operations and increasing profitability. Your employees (and patients) want convenient solutions to existing workflows. Aprio’s Dental team can assist you in selecting the right digital technologies to overcome staffing shortages and increase revenue.

Schedule a free consultation with us today and get started.

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About the Author

Brad McKeiver

As partner-in-charge of Aprio’s National Dental Industry Practice, Brad McKeiver arms dentists with real-time financial data about their practices. He has helped numerous dental practitioners make informed business decisions that focus on driving increased practice profitability, growth and value.