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Getting to the root of good communication

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  Posted by: The Probe      24th February 2019

Smart data and communication technology systems are allowing modern dental practices to overcome the challenges of managing outbound communications, freeing up time to sharpen business in other ways. Jeremy Hutchins of Paragon Customer Communications gives an insight. 

Tasked with managing care for a growing patient list, whilst at the same time transforming administrative procedures in dental services in a bid to create an enhanced patient experience, practice managers are increasingly seeking ways to reduce errors and deliver a marked improvement in the three-way communication between dentists, non-clinical staff and patients.

The dentistry world is far, far more competitive than it once was. Practices now have to compete effectively in the world of business to attract new patients and keep existing ones, meaning excellent communication has to be the way forward for practices to thrive.

For today’s dental practitioners operating against a backdrop of cuts to public health budgets – with The British Dental Association (BDA) criticising news that the government will proceed with £85 million of cuts to public health grants[1] – employing an enriched communications strategy can have a substantial impact on both the operational efficiency of practices, as well as the associated costs – making it an enticing prospect for dental surgeries.

Whether it is sharing digital patient files, confirming appointments or processing information for referrals to specialists it is paramount that patients and other professionals get the right message at the right time, written and delivered in the ideal format.

Drilling down into multi-channel communications

Communicating with patients whose age range often spans numerous decades, for instance, requires a truly multi-channel communications strategy that integrates a multitude of channels, both print and digital. The ensures that patients remain engaged at every stage of the treatment pathway, from initial contact to the consultation and post-appointment follow-up.

Leading edge technology for outbound communications is already delivering enhancements in the exchange of information both in the private sector and the NHS, allowing practice managers to keep patients well informed and build trust through clear, timely and continuous correspondence.

Innovative communications technologies can be deployed across multiple practices and departments, making it possible for dental surgeries to provide a truly multi-channel mailing strategy for patients that includes a mix of printed correspondence, digital communications or even SMS push notifications that remind them of upcoming appointments.

In the fast-moving pace of modern life, where patients are inundated with electronic communications, this can prove an invaluable tool for managers.

By harnessing innovative technologies practice managers are able to efficiently streamline patient liaison and daily operations, from managing patient appointments to sharing information for referral treatment or correspondence between technicians and clinicians. Such enhanced communication is going some way to delivering not only a marked improvement in attendance rates and patient satisfaction, but also in the wider patient experience due to speeding up response times and follow-up.

Easy to install and set up on internal networks, state-of-the-art systems allow dental practices to reduce the time non-clinical staff has to deal with administrative tasks associated with the fulfilment of letters such as the printing of documents, putting them in envelopes and sorting them for postage. This, in turn, frees up employees to focus on core business activities such as patient liaison and critical day-to-day administration tasks.

What this means is, by deploying such systems, dental care teams can regain control of print, mailroom and postage costs, whilst increasing staff productivity levels when it comes to outbound communications.

These systems allow practice managers to take back control of their operating budgets and free up staff time to concentrate on the important core business activity of excellent dentistry and patient care. This then results in increased productivity all round. As a consequence there is a more positive customer experience with quicker follow up and a marked improvement in appointment attendance rates.

Partnering with an experienced customer communications expert, such as Paragon Customer Communications, can help practice managers to formulate the most effective solution for transforming their surgeries outbound communications. 

Paragon Customer Communications combines generations of expertise with the latest innovations in technology and smart data. The company is ideally placed to improve all aspects of communications in the healthcare sector, with services developed around the latest in print technology and data use. For more, visit: www.paragon-cc.co.uk

[1] http://www.the-dentist.co.uk/articles/bda-savage-public-health-cuts-perverse/

 


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