Does Your OMS Practice Need Specialized Software?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery can be a challenging specialty, especially with its intricate procedures and lengthy pre-op and post-operative instructions. 

And while all branches of dentistry have similar administrative tasks like billing or scheduling and confirming appointments, the requirements for managing an OMS practice can be more complex due to the higher level of communication required for the entire patient process.

In today’s article, let’s discuss how the dental industry has evolved in the last 10 years, the ways in which OMS practice management differs from general dentistry, and in classic Intiveo fashion: the role that software plays in it. 

 

Technology: A Force in the Dental Industry 

It comes as no surprise that technology in the dental industry has changed drastically over the past 10 years, with software playing a key role in both patient care and practice management. 

A decade ago, there were still 23.5% of dental providers that utilized traditional paper charts as a means of record keeping. The hesitance to migrate may be due to the fact that dental management software was only offered by larger companies at a hefty cost, or it could be just plain old resistance to learning new technologies. But now, dental software has become so commonplace that there are dozens of tech companies offering dental management solutions at every price point.

 

Noticed a Shift in Dental Focus Lately?

The dental industry seems to have changed their focus in the past 10 years. Back then, it was quantity over quality and the more patients that came to your dental practice, the higher your credibility was. Now? Patient experience is the top priority. 

Today, technology is driving an evolution in how we communicate with patients, and it’s so much more than just phone calls and text messages. With software, your dental team has access to patient communication tools that can provide a personal experience where patients can feel heard, understood, and respected. And in turn, patient satisfaction scores improve along with, you guessed it, your online reviews. 

 

Online Dental Reviews

online forms

In 2012, Facebook and Yelp were the main players in online business reviews, which had little to no service industry presence. Back then, it was rare to find a dentist who offered online reviews, and today, it’s almost impossible to find one that doesn’t. 

With the rise of social media, it’s now easier than ever for patients to share their experiences with others. Reviews have become such a central part of the online experience that it can be a powerful tool to boost your dental practice’s search engine visibility. 

Wait… what does that last sentence even mean? 

Well, let’s just say that online reviews now have a significant impact on the dental industry. The key to getting positive reviews is to provide great patient experiences. And an abundance of positive reviews will help your practice’s online visibility, increasing the likelihood of a patient being referred to your dental practice. 

 

Importance of Software in Providing Detailed Patient Care

The importance of software in the dental industry can be easily underestimated. With dental practices constantly gaining new patients – each with their own unique needs -it can be difficult to update and keep track of all their details. 

This is particularly true when it comes to OMS practices. OMS procedures require a great deal of trust between the dental provider and the patient, making it even more important for the practice to have detailed records in hand. Without this information, it’s impossible to provide top-of-the-line care and ensure that patients receive the proper treatments they need. 

 

Here Are Some Ways Software Can Benefit Your OMS Practice: 

Diagnose and Examine Test Results Easily 

Dental imaging software makes it easy for you to get accurate and effective digital images of your patient’s teeth. These images can be used for diagnosing dental issues, evaluating treatment plans, and performing intricate OMS procedures. 

The benefits don’t stop there, these digital images can be a powerful tool in educating patients about their oral health, and for communicating with the referring practice about possible treatment options. 

Speedy Insurance Verification

Receiving an OMS procedure bill can be quite the burn in your patients’ wallet, especially if your practice doesn’t offer direct billing. 

Save your patients the headache, and your staff some time by streamlining an insurance verification process for your practice. In fact, electronic claims reduce the chance of human error, and increase efficiency by automating many of the administrative tasks involved in processing dental insurance claims. 

Access Your Patient Charts with Ease

Cloud-based charting systems are especially important for patients who see various dental providers. This software will allow you to track patient information efficiently, providing better dental outcomes. Plus, you and other dental professionals can easily access one platform so that each dentist can coordinate their treatment plans accordingly. 

Increased Practice Productivity With The Big Two: 

There are many types of software that can increase the overall productivity of an OMS practice, but here are two types that we think would streamline your workflows best:

Practice Management Software

A practice management software makes it possible for your practice to keep track of everything from payments to appointments. Typical features include appointment scheduling, patient record keeping, and billing! 

Patient Communication Software

An excellent patient communication software should be able to integrate seamlessly with the PMS of your choice. This can help increase the efficiency of your administrative team by automating tasks such as confirming appointments, sending out health questionnaires, generating feedback and reviews, and providing pre-op and post-operative instructions.

A fair question to ask is, why bother with patient communication software if you already have an OMS patient management software? To put it simply, in order for your business to survive the patient experience revolution in dental care, you need both. 

A patient management software is an essential tool used by dental staff to manage the ins and outs of their day-to-day administrative needs such as patient information, insurance details, health history- you get the point. 

The communication needs of your patients are complex and each stage of the treatment journey requires a different communication step. That’s why the patient communication software focuses on enhancing the patient experience. 

Easily Manage Documents and Correspondence

Struggling to keep track of patient files and back-and-forth correspondence? It may be time to look into a referral management software that can help your practice manage files and keep track of all communications. 

One of the most important functions of good dental software is to document patient records and history. This is an important tool because a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan can only be properly determined with the help of accurate record keeping. 

And with a specialty like OMS, there can be a lot of communication between you and your referring practice. When looking for the right referral management software, be sure to look for one that gives you the freedom to communicate with referral senders and transfer patient files securely between practices with ease. 

Improve Patient Engagement and Satisfaction

One of the many challenges of an OMS practice is that you have to be able to provide great experiences for both the patient and the referring practice. The question then becomes “How do we know if we are providing state-of-the-art dental patient care?” 

Well, there are many ways to find out, but one of the most effective is to ask them directly. According to a BrightLocal survey, 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. Therefore, using software that automatically sends a follow-up text to your patients right after their appointment, equipped with a tool that can identify and prompt happy patients to leave social reviews, will turn your patients into your best online advocates. 

However, it doesn’t stop at positive reviews. We all have room to improve, which is why negative feedback can be very valuable to your practice. By thanking your patients for the feedback and making the necessary changes to your practice, future patient engagement and satisfaction rates can only go up. 

 

The Need For High-Level Communication

It’s no secret that specialty practices have prime standards to maintain, and OMS specialists need to be able to effectively communicate each step of the treatment process to their patients. 

In fact, patients need information about their dental condition and treatment options so that they can feel confident and well-prepared for their procedures. Think of patient education like a security blanket; an assurance to patients that they are in good hands and have nothing to worry about. 

With the help of the right patient communication software, you can: 

1) Streamline communication with patients by utilizing a software built for OMS-specific workflows, and see how your practice can easily send the right message at the right time. Whether the patient has chosen to be communicated with via text, email, or voice message, your practice can communicate with patients when it’s meaningful to them.

Patient communication software offers remarkable results for OMS practices. After integrating Intiveo OMS with their current dental software, Altoona Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery stated, “The ability to customize and match the messaging with the appointment type is a game changer.” 

Making the switch can offer results such as: 

  • 75% increase in appointment confirmations
  • 90% decrease in cancellations
  • 50% increase in forms being completed before appointments 
  • 95% increase in patient reviews 

2) Send out educational content regarding their upcoming procedure. Everyone learns differently, which is why educational content shouldn’t be limited to dental brochures. 

Educational content ideas for your practice: 

  • Generate videos explaining what the procedure is and how it benefits the patient.
  • Design brochures or online PDFs with visuals regarding the procedure.
  • Create a step-by-step pre-appointment and aftercare guide because sometimes, a reminder simply won’t do the job! 

3) Automate appointment reminders so that they never show up unprepared for an appointment again! Plus, automated reminders require little to no effort from your administrative team, allowing them to spend more time with patients and less time with manual reminders. 

 

Financial Considerations

The process of preparing for oral surgery can be a stressful time for patients and a lack of patient education can actually lead to appointment cancellations. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this research that shows 49.2% of dental patients with high fear avoided a dental appointment at some point because of distress or anxiety. 

When it comes to the OMS practices, the cost of poor communication is a loss of revenue and credibility. This is why it’s crucial for your dental team to ensure that patients are fully supported in following pre and post-appointment instructions. 

As a matter of fact, patients turning up to surgery unprepared was listed among the common reasons for cancellation of procedures on the day of intended appointment, and resulted in lost revenue for the practice. But as always, software has a solution. 

Central Valley Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Institute invested in a patient communication software and saw a 28% increase in patients following pre-operative instructions, and a 10% increase in patients following post-operative instructions. Prior to this, Central Valley staff were manually calling every patient to confirm appointments and relay pre-operative instructions. 

Let’s focus on delivering great oral health outcomes, and educate patients to minimize any potential stressors for their upcoming procedures. Say goodbye to lost revenue and reduce cancellation rates for your OMS practice.

 

Intiveo: Built for Your OMS Practice Needs

We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach at Intiveo. 

Should patient communication software be designed to handle all of the complex procedure-based communication your OMS practice needs? Absolutely. That’s why we’ve built Intiveo OMS to integrate seamlessly with your current dental software, so that you can focus on delivering positive dental experiences for your patients. 

How we can help:

  • Customizable procedure-based messaging
  • Procedure-based pre- and post-operative instructions
  • Attach media such as educational content on a patient’s upcoming procedure
  • Automated reminders – via email, text, or voice. 
  • 2-way Chat – text back and forth with patients during office hours 
  • Health screening questionnaires
  • Customizable reminders
  • Social reviews – send requests to happy patients to leave reviews via Facebook, Google, or Yelp

With Intiveo OMS, managing patient communications has never been easier. Don’t believe us? We’ll let the facts speak for themselves! Prior to switching to Intiveo OMS, staff at Silicon Valley Surgical Arts were having trouble getting more than two appointments confirmed each day. After making the switch, SVSA found that their patients actually preferred to receive confirmation messages via text and email instead of over the phone. With this information on hand, the practice has been including pre-operative instructions and seeing a significant increase in patient preparedness levels. 

 

Lastly…

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the wonderful role that software plays in the dental industry. Dental software is no longer all about making tasks easier and more efficient. It’s now about providing a better experience for your patients and helping your dental practice grow. 

The OMS practice has its own unique needs and requirements. To ensure the highest patient satisfaction, their complex procedures require intricate communication that can only be handled by software designed to support the OMS specialty. 

Get started with patient communication software today and start providing your patients with exceptional dental experiences!