A Secret Ingredient
What if we told you patient engagement was the key to work-life balance at your dental practice?
This is not as counter-intuitive as you might think. After all, time savings is a significant factor in enjoying your job – and in a good patient engagement strategy. We’ll talk about how and why in this blog.
First of all – what even is a good work-life balance? How do we define that?
What Work-Life Balance Means
Before we get started with patient engagement: let’s start with how the team at your dental practice feels about their work.
A lot of people, whether or not they work for a dental practice, have a picture in their head of what a good work-life balance looks like. For most people it will include:
- That their work has a manageable emotional weight
- Work tasks that they can complete within both the work day and the work week, without needing to work unpaid overtime
- The ability to spend time with family and/or friends
- The ability to spend time on hobbies or favorite activities
Let’s think a little analytically about this list.
The Road to a Satisfying Workplace
The key to work having a manageable emotional weight is not having endlessly smooth, easy workdays, with no challenges and no mishaps or mistakes. We all know that that’s not how the world works!
When we are talking about having a manageable emotional weight, we mean that the emotional impact of work does not hinder finding contentment in your life. This can include:
- Positive relationships with co-workers
- Positive relationships between different parts of the hierarchy, aka, managers, business owners, etc.
- Tools to manage the emotions of the people you serve
- Tools to do the job well, so that frustration and dissatisfaction are mitigated
When you do not have the right tools, or when you have toxic relationships between co-workers or within the hierarchical structure of a practice, this makes it difficult to enjoy being at work. It can take a toll on your life outside of work, as well.
Let’s think about how this can look at a dental practice. Managing anxious or frustrated patients, especially if staff may not have the right tools, can result in work taking on an unmanageable amount of emotional weight. Challenging relationships with co-workers or within the hierarchical structure of the practice contributes to this as well. The good news is that a patient engagement strategy can help lessen this emotional weight – as we will see!
How Time Savings Relies on Patient Engagement
What do you notice about the other three points on our first list, regarding work-life balance? All three of them involve time. As we will see, this is where a patient engagement strategy becomes relevant.
What makes it challenging to either manage time at a dental practice? What can take up extra time? Challenges can include:
- Patients coming unprepared for appointments, meaning that patients cannot complete the appointment and time has to be taken to book a new appointment
- Patients’ appointments are delayed because they need to fill out paperwork before their appointment
- Paperwork is written illegibly and takes some time to type up for an online file
- Long hours are spent on manually reminding patients to come in for their appointment by phone
- Inefficient office processes cause run-of-the-mill tasks like filing or organizing paperwork eat up a lot of the day
Of course, mistakes always happen, and so do delays. Nothing is perfect! However, many dental practices aren’t able to offer work-life balance to office staff and dental professionals alike, because there simply isn’t time in the day to get everything done.
Patient engagement is a key way to shift this for your practice. Let’s see how.
How Technology Can Help
In our modern age, one of the ways to deliver on a patient engagement strategy is with the right tools. Remember, having the right tools to complete daily tasks brings us closer to work-life balance for your staff.
Through patient engagement software can be helpful in this regard. With software, you can:
- Automate patient reminders, saving staff time on manual reminders
- Include appointment instructions in these reminders, increasing the likelihood that your patients will come prepared
- Send paperwork in advance, giving them the opportunity to fill it out at home and not on staff time
- Send digital forms, eliminating the problem of illegible handwriting
In addition, consider what kind of messaging cadence applies to which appointment type. For a teeth cleaning, you may only need one reminder – for a specialist procedure, you may need more reminders about fasting or medication.
With the right tools and the right strategy, your dental practice can give your staff back that most precious resource: time. It is time that allows them to enjoy their work day and to spend on their life outside work.
Plus – an engaged patient is generally a satisfied one. The emotional weight of managing patient frustrations or anxieties can be mitigated with the right strategy.
What Intiveo Has to Offer
At Intiveo, we work with dental practices every day to make great patient engagement a reality. Our software is adaptable to practices of any size and any specialty. Our patient engagement software integrates with leading patient management systems and offers your practice the following:
- 2-way chat that allows your patients to stay in touch with the dentist in real time
- Customizable messaging cadences based on the patient and their appointment type
- The ability for the patient to choose between phone, email, text as their communication preference
- Reputation management for your practice, including analyzing feedback and prompting for a review
- A supportive onboarding and customer support team
- Pre-built messaging templates
- Full PIPEDA and HIPAA compliance
- And more!
Our clients report that their practice was transformed after making the switch to Intiveo.
Curious to learn more? Book a meeting today!