We all know the drill (pun intended).
Every quarter it’s time to treat our referring offices to a care package to thank them for referring patients.
But before falling prey to the same old marketing habits, perhaps we should ask ourselves how much impact giving donuts or cookies with a quick ‘thank you’ really makes to our referrers:
•Is it of meaningful, memorable value to them?
•Does it help you stand out?
•Does it increase their confidence in your skills or patient care?
•Does it help them feel heard, that you are always looking to improve the service you provide them and that they matter?
A thank you is always good, but if it doesn’t accompany anything of meaningful substance or value, is it really making an impact on them and influencing their referring decision?
We performed a brief survey to find out how referring general dentist offices feel about quarterly care packages. The results may surprise you.
We asked both general dentists and their administrative staff what they find most influential in their referring decision to an endodontic practice and endodontist. Care packages? CE courses? Personal visits from a specialist? Biannual parties?
General Dentists emphasized prompt referral follow-up reporting as having the most direct influence on their referral decision. They also indicated that specialists who provided thought leadership and educational opportunities through CE courses strongly stood out to them.
Administrative staff noted ease and efficiency in the referral process — having an easy, secure way to get information to specialists, being kept informed of progress of specialist care, and receiving prompt, proactive follow-up reporting — strongly influenced which specialist they prefer working with. They also indicated meeting a specialist office’s team in-person helped them build close, trusting, and long-term relationships between offices.
Your referrers are the source of your patients, the source of your business. Instead of mindlessly following the latest marketing lore, consider doing things that can bring them meaningful value and help your office really stand out.
- When visiting your referrers ask questions. “How can we make your referral process easier?” “How can we improve the care we provide your patients?” “How can we make it easier and more efficient for you?” Listen carefully to their responses, take note, then extend a personal email or phone number and take action to follow-up on their requests.When we asked general dentist offices what most specialists did when visiting, every participant answered “They gave us a care package, said thank you for referring patients, and left” and nothing else. Asking questions can help you gain valuable insights into how you can better serve your referrers, tells them powerfully that they matter to you, and can help your office dramatically stand out.
- You, the doctor, visit personally, and bring key members of your team along if you can. An appearance by the doctor strongly tells the referrer they matter. And even if the visit ends up being short, seeing you and your team in person helps the general dentist staff associate smiling faces and warmth with your office and establish stronger ties.
- Consider hosting a CE course by inviting a dental market professional to speak. Introduce your office and staff in the first part of the presentation, educating them on the latest technology and techniques you offer patients.
These simple ideas can make your marketing investments more impactful and increase your return. It’s not the ‘donuts’ that deliver the impact. It’s the substance that you provide when making the delivery.
General dentists are looking for endodontic offices to refer to. Patients are looking to see who does endodontic treatments in their area and who is best. It’s not enough to have a good website for your endodontic practice. Your customers also have to be able to find you online, and they find you by online searches.
Are they finding you?
In the past, websites would tell search engines how to be found by providing the search keywords they should be listed under, but those days are long gone. Now search engines regularly ‘read’ the content on each website and decide for themselves, based on each website’s content and other criteria, which websites should be included in search results for each unique user search.
Your website’s search ranking matters
Being included in results for searches by potential customers doesn’t, however, mean they can find you because the order of websites in results strongly affects their ‘visibility’ to searchers. Those at the top of the first page of search results, for example, are seen by the most searchers, whereas those farther down the list, especially on subsequent pages, are seen by far fewer. The order of results, or their ranking, also can affect their perceived credibility. Those ranked near first in order are often perceived as ‘largest’, ‘major’, ‘industry leaders’, and therefore potentially more ‘trusted’. Further, major search engines like Google also group local, similar businesses together then show only the first few business with the highest ranking.
Regular, new content improves ranking
While search engines use a complex set of criteria to determine search result rankings, a major determining factor is how dynamic each website’s content is. Adding fresh, relevant content frequently can improve a website’s search ranking.
How often to add fresh, relevant content to a business website to provide a meaningful boost in its ranking depends on the number of competitors that also show up in search results.
General dentists have many competitors in each local area. To meaningfully improve their search order ranking, it is not uncommon for them to have to provide fresh, relevant content to their website on at least a weekly basis.
In contrast, there are fewer specialty dental providers like endodontists in these same local areas. In fact, it is not uncommon for an entire mid-sized market to have a number of endodontic practices on the order of tens instead of hundreds. As a result, monthly postings of fresh, relevant content on an endodontic website can provide a meaningful boost to its search rankings, moving it towards being in the top few results.
Climb to the Top and Be Seen
Winning customers requires both having the right message, then getting it to them. Help general dentists and patients looking for endodontists to find you by both being included in their search results and as close to the top of the results as possible. For your endodontic practice, adding new content on a monthly basis is usually sufficient to move you towards the top. After all, if you’re not at the top, someone else will be.
In order to compete in today’s healthcare market, dentists running private practices need to also think of their practice as a business, know the channels through which their business communicates with and reaches paying customers, then cultivate those channels.
Endodontics is a Referral Business
For specialists like endodontists, the vast majority of patients are referred to them by general dentists, who in effect act as their ‘sales agents’. However, unlike a typical sales agent, general dentists are not generally paid a monetary fee for referring patients. Instead, general dentists are ‘paid’ with the currency of service, care, and trust. Both the service provided directly to them as well as in the care provided to their patients. They need to trust their patients will be provided the utmost care, compassion, attention, and thoughtful followup.
Benefits and Costs of Referring
The value of service is the difference between benefits and costs. For a general dentist, the benefits of referring to an endodontist may be better equipment, additional chair capacity, or specialized skills. Benefits of referring to a particular endodontist over others may include the extra time and attention patients are given by the endodontist throughout their visits, their track record of successful treatment outcomes — both physical and emotional, their consistent and outstanding reliability in following up with patients after treatment, their ability to cultivate positive patient perceptions and online reputations, the particular ease experienced when coordinating treatments with them, the extra visibility they provide into patient status, and the ease experienced in communicating with them when needed. The costs considered when referring to an endodontist may include costs of disruption, risks of poor patient outcomes, risks of poor patient perceptions, lack of visibility into patient status, difficulties coordinating treatments and communicating with them when needed, and others.
General Dentists are Customers
To win in a competitive market , it’s important for endodontists to increase the value of their service to general dentists and their patients. Deliver more benefits and satisfaction at lower cost to general dentists. Provide the most comprehensive physical and emotional care and attention to patients throughout their office visit and after. To do so begins with a clear ‘customer orientation’ that guides the behaviors of every member of an endodontic clinic’s staff in how to provide excellent customer service both to general dentists and to the general dentist’s customers, their patients.
Your endodontic clinic practices both medicine and business. Orient your customer service to your referring general dentists. The better your endodontic practice works with your general dentists, the more everyone wins, including, most importantly, the patients you share.
NOW EXTENDED INTO NOVEMBER!
In celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month we are offering a $2000 refund* for signing up to our complete, web-based endodontic practice management software solution within the month of October. Your patients aren’t the only ones who deserve a happy smile!
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*Offer only with first-time purchase of a Dental EMR one year subscription contract or longer made within the month of October or November 2018. Refund made at time of payment of Setup Fee.
We get it. Your practice is a just one aspect of your life. So why let server compliance, limited remote access, inefficient workflows, complicated add-ons, and pressure to stay on top of innovations in IT keep you from focusing on what’s most important to you? Whether it’s improving your practice or making room for more personal time, you deserve better.
Dental EMR is an affordable choice that awards you flexibility to forget the server struggle, work outside your office, and spend more time doing what really matters.
- Simpler workflows.
- No Server.
- Cutting edge.
- Everything included.
With Dental EMR you also get an advocate who constantly keeps on top of innovations and brings them to you in ways that fit you. A partner looking out for you. Endodontic dental practice management, humanized.
Talk to Merideth about how you can have more time for what’s important to you.
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You have better things to do than IT. Simpler workflows. No Server. Cutting edge. Everything included. . . . . . . www.dentalemr.com . . . . . . #endodontics #endodontists #endodontic #endodonticspecialist #endodonticpractice #dentalsoftware #endodonticresidents #endodontics❤️ #dental #dentalemr #helpingyouthrive #reduceliability #reducestress #bemoreprofitable #forusbyus #affordable #solutions #practicesolutions #morethanjustsoftware #freeconsultation #breakfree #serverproblems #cloud #cloudbased #eprescription #referralmanagement #thrivingnotsurviving #haveyouplateaued #reputationmanagement #wecare
Ten or twenty years is a lifetime in software. Techniques and mindsets from a decade ago won’t take your practice forward.
Dental EMR is different. Designed from the ground up with modern technologies and a future focus, Dental EMR is simple, clean, and secure. Designed to keep your practice on top of technology innovations and trends. Ahead of the pack.
You’ve worked hard to stand out and be the best. Don’t let old software hold you back.
Talk to Merideth about the difference modern endodontic dental software can make for you.
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You’ve worked hard to stand out and be the best. Don’t let old software hold you back! . . . www.dentalemr.com . . #endodontics #endodontists #endodontic #endodonticspecialist #endodonticpractice #dentalsoftware #endodonticresidents #endodontics❤️ #dental #dentalemr #helpingyouthrive #reduceliability #reducestress #bemoreprofitable #forusbyus #affordable #solutions #practicesolutions #morethanjustsoftware #freeconsultation #breakfree #serverproblems #cloud #cloudbased #eprescription #referralmanagement #thrivingnotsurviving #reputationmanagement #bethebest #standout
You’re out with your family and you need to see tomorrow’s schedule. Or your son is sick, and while he sleeps you want to get some paperwork from the office done. Or your last two appointments cancelled and you have time to get out for a ride.
With Dental EMR you can. Without installing any special software. From any device. Mobile friendly. Any time.
Untie yourself from the office.
Talk to Merideth about how Dental EMR is something different.
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Untie yourself from the office. •Mobile accessible •Browser based •Available from anywhere, anytime . . #endodontics #endodontists #endodontic #endodonticspecialist #endodonticpractice #dentalsoftware #endodonticresidents #endodontics❤️ #dental #dentalemr #helpingyouthrive #reduceliability #reducestress #bemoreprofitable #forusbyus #affordable #solutions #practicesolutions #morethanjustsoftware #freeconsultation #breakfree #serverproblems #cloud #cloudbased #eprescription #referralmanagement #thrivingnotsurviving #haveyouplateaued #reputationmanagement #wecare⠀⠀⠀⠀
Dental EMR compliant with DEA’s electronic prescriptions for controlled substances rules
SEATTLE, WA, April 21, 2018 – Dental EMR, the company pioneering a patient-centric revolution in dental practice management, announced today that its software application has completed an Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) audit verifying that it complies with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rules and now supports dental e-prescriptions of controlled substances. The audit was performed by the Drummond Group, a global software test and certification body approved by the DEA to audit EPCS applications.
“The EPCS certification enables Dental EMR to deliver trusted dental e-prescriptions EPCS services to its customers through its partnership with DoseSpot, a SureScripts-certified e-prescribing platform,“ said Russell Morley, CEO of Dental EMR. “By providing EPCS services fully integrated into our practice management software, Dental EMR customers can prescribe both controlled and non-controlled substances securely and accurately, reducing risks associated with paper prescriptions.”
Dental EMR customers will now also be ready to prescribe controlled substances in states mandating e-prescribing, a national trend. “Dental EMR is committed to providing dental practices with solutions that are both complete and future facing, and having full dental electronic prescription functionality fully integrated into our comprehensive solution is a huge win for dental practitioners,” added Morley.
About Dental EMR
Founded in 2015, Dental EMR is pioneering patient-centric dental practice management that helps dentists thrive in the new ‘customer centric’ dental market. Dental EMR provides an eponymous cloud-based, fully paperless practice management software system along with training, customer success, website, reputation management, SEO best practices, and other services as a complete solution for small to medium sized dental practices seeking to free up staff time, better use information technology, and reduce their risks so they can focus more on succeeding with their patients — and thrive as a result. For more information, please visit www.dentalemr.com and follow @Dental_EMR.
About Drummond Group
Drummond Group is a global software test and certification lab that serves a wide range of vertical industries. In healthcare, Drummond Group tests and certifies Controlled Substance Ordering Systems (CSOS), Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS) software and processes, and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – designating the trusted test lab as the only third-party certifier of all three initiatives designed to move the industry toward a digital future. Founded in 1999, and accredited for the Office of the National Coordinator HIT Certification Program as an Authorized Certification Body (ACB) and an Authorized Test Lab (ATL), Drummond Group continues to build upon its deep experience and expertise necessary to deliver reliable and cost-effective services. For more information, please visit http://www.drummondgroup.com.
Can you believe it’s been another year already? Dental EMR will be at the AAE 2018 Annual Conference in Denver, CO this year in booth 200. Stop by and tell us about the challenges and aspirations you have for your practice and join us in pioneering patient-centric dental practice management. Go from just managing to thriving.
- Booth #200 in AAE Denver April 24-28th, 2018
- Easy 15 minute ‘no wait’ consult: https://bit.ly/2H2doRL