Software for Dental Practices: 7 Things You Need from Patient Engagement Partners

patient satisfaction

When it comes to taking the best care of your patients, we know that staying engaged with them  is key. As dental practices get increasingly tech-savvy, practitioners and business managers are finding ways to make engagement  more efficient for their bottom line, as well as more effective for their patients. Finding the right dental software partners is a great way to achieve both business and care goals – but what exactly should you be looking for when picking the best partner for your practice? While this is true of any software partner, it is perhaps especially true of patient engagement software, since you rely on it every day to connect with your patients. 

What it comes down to, is a commitment to providing you with quality tools that make managing your practice easier – not more complex. You want an expert partner that has an end-to-end view of your patient’s journey, and the features you need to communicate with them every step of the way- so they are treated the way they want to be treated. Here are some of the critical elements that your patient engagement software partners should be providing.

#1: Automation

Automated messaging is the most basic, but arguably the most important, feature your software partner should provide to your dental practice. Easy implementation of messaging via email, text messaging, waitlist management, and voicemail, should mean that once you set up your preferences, your software runs smoothly- taking patient follow-up off of your plate. Automation makes your life easier, so you can focus on more important things!

#2: Customization

Customizable messaging is another critical feature in your tool kit. Each dental practice has its unique communication style, procedure needs, and patient demographic. The ability to customize your messaging to best reflect your practice, keeps you more sincerely connected with your patients. It also means you can make changes to your messaging as circumstances change and your practice grows. Customization keeps you connected with patients in a way that is sincere, and practical. Dental software can take a lot of different forms, but one thing that is always true is that customization is an important option to have in your patient engagement solution.

#3: Templates

While customization is a necessary option, we know that sometimes your practice might need guidance when it comes to drafting what to say, depending on the circumstances. Pre-formatted templates are an incredible convenience for both email and text messaging, to ensure that you have the basic messaging needed to communicate with your patients. Whether you use templates as a starting point for your edits, or you decide to use them as-is, messaging templates are a helpful resource that your communication partner should provide to make your communication smooth and straightforward.

#4: Language Options

Dental software can be a powerful tool in communicating across language barriers. A good patient engagement partner will  know that sometimes dental practices are caring for patients whose primary language might not be the practitioner’s first. Across Canada and the United States , dentists from big cities to rural communities are serving patients that speak a variety of languages. When arranging care for these patients, the ability to message important updates and instructions in the language that they best understand is another way to improve outcomes and show sincere care. Intiveo, for example, offers messaging templates in English as well as Spanish, French, Dutch, and Mandarin. 

#5: Timing Intervals

Another important feature of your patient engagement  software is the ability to pre-set timing intervals between messages, to ensure your patients are informed with the right message, at the right time, in the format they’re going to be most responsive to. Whether it be recall reminders for regular appointments, or pre-operative instructions to prepare them for a procedure, the timing of your outreach can be the difference between a successful appointment and an empty chair. You can use our recommended intervals, or set your own, with options for frequent, moderate, or infrequent messaging schedules. These cadences can be updated at your convenience until you find what works best for your practice.

#6: Accessible Tech

Your team has better things to do than fuss around with complicated tech solutions. Your software partners should be making things easier, not more complex! So consider software that is easy to implement, integrates with the solutions you already have in place, and is adaptable to changes. One of the ways that the Covid-19 pandemic changed both the dental industry and dental software, in particular in the case of patient engagement, was that it made it necessary for healthcare providers to communicate with patients remotely. This kind of accessibility is here to stay, allowing practices to share updates with patients in real time and reach them in their homes. For example, Intiveo’s program dashboard is intuitive and integrates with major practice management software solutions, to take the heavy lifting off of your team. 

#7: Consultation and Expert Advice

The final feature we recommend when selecting a patient engagement software partner is access to expert help and consultation. Questions are inevitable, and you should expect your partner to be just that- a resource that cares about your patients and your practice’s success. Find a support team that  is available both by phone and email, and assists clients from setup and throughout their ongoing relationship. Your commitment to improving patient care comes from a sincere desire to treat patients the way they want to be treated – starting with great communication.

Curious about how Intiveo can elevate your practice with patient engagement software? Book a meeting today!