When you became a dentist, you may not have realized all the business aspects you'd have to manage when taking on your own practice. The good news is there are many business solutions for dental practices that can help alleviate the pressure of knowing how to do everything. From business intelligence solutions to dental specific CPA's, there are multiple resources out there to help you run a profitable dental practice. Let's breakdown the different dental practice solutions, what they are, and why you need them.
Dental Practice Management Software
You can't run a practice efficiently without a practice management system. A practice management system has many features that help the day-to-day operations in your practice. Different systems have different ways of organizing, displaying, and automating data but any practice management system you choose should have the following basic features:
- HIPPA Compliance
- Patient Appointment Scheduling
- Patient Records Management
- Treatment Planning
- Note Taking
- Billing/Insurance Database
- Inventory Management
- 3rd Party Integration Capabilities
The top 3 practice management systems are Dentrix by Henry Schein, Eaglesoft by Patterson Dental, and Open Dental. There are many other systems out there but these are the most widely used among dental practices.
Who likes to do accounting? Probably not you...but a CPA does! One of the best things a dentist can do is hire a dental CPA. When choosing a CPA for your dental practice there are a few things to consider:
1. Are they dental specific? It's important to hire a dental CPA that has experience with the dental industry, specifically in the area of accounting for a dental practice. There are many nuances, as you know, to dental accounting so you need someone who is an expert in that field.
2. Do they have a good reputation? Ask around. Read reviews. Get personal references when searching for a CPA. You need to have someone you can trust. After all, your livelihood and the livelihood of all who work at your practice depend on it. Don't just look for the cheapest option. We recommend that you find a reputable CPA that you jive with!
3. Do they see the full picture? You need a dental CPA that is with you through every stage of your practice's lifecycle. From purchasing, to growing, to selling your practice. You need someone who not only can do your taxes, but can help you plan for the future. Do your research and choose wisely!
Financial Advisor Solutions
Finding a good financial advisor is a must, not only for your practice but for you as an individual as well. The difference between a financial advisor and a CPA is generally more tax based. They also help with financial planning specifically for your business. A financial advisor, on the other hand, helps you see the big picture beyond just your dental practice. They help you plan out the financial future of your practice, guiding you on investments and savings to help you retire when you want...and how you want.
Dental Consulting Solutions
A dental consultant can help you in the daily operations of your practice. They advise you on the following:
- Team Efficiency
- Goal Planning & Accountability
- Practice Analytics
- Buying a Dental Practice
- Selling a Dental Practice
A dental consultant can help connect you to great resources that you may not know about or haven't considered before.
Business intelligence for dental practices is a must have these days! There are many technology solutions for dental practices that can integrate with your practice management system or be a stand alone solution. Practice management systems, alone, cannot always give you a full picture of what is happening in your practice when it comes to goals. A dental KPI dashboard solution is just one of the technology solutions you should be using in your practice.
Here are a few other solutions you should look into:
- Patient Communication System
- Dental Recall System
- Task Management System
- Marketing Analytics & Demographic Analysis
Dental Marketing Solutions
Marketing is 100% necessary for dental practices and any business for that matter. New patient acquisition success depends on your marketing strategy. As a dentist, you most likely have zero experience with marketing. After all, it's not what you went to school for. Hiring a marketing agency is a great solution for getting marketing done well and producing ROI.
When hiring a marketing agency for your dental practice, make sure to ask them the following questions:
- Do you have specific experience with marketing for a dental practice?
- Can you show me proven ROI and examples of marketing you've done for dental practices?
- What would your marketing strategy be for my dental practice?
- What are the initial and ongoing costs?
- When should I expect to see results and what are you projecting those results to be?
Make sure you do your research. Many marketing agencies promise big things but deliver inadequate results. Find an agency who has specific dental industry experience and verifiable results. Ask your colleagues who they've used and if they were successful.
You can't do everything on your own! Know what areas of your dental practice you need help in. Know your own strengths and weaknesses and that of your team as well. Find business solutions for your dental practice that line up with your vision and goals. Reach out to people for help in finding proven solutions that will help you manage and grow your practice.