Donít Let Technology Purchases Go To Waste
Your practice has been in a bit of a slump lately, and you’ve decided to make some changes – starting with investing in new technology. You just know this purchase is going to be exactly what your practice needs to improve production, boost efficiencies and even raise team morale.
There are many benefits the right technologies can bring to a dental practice, but only if you take the time to implement them properly. If you don’t have a plan in place, there’s a good chance the technology won’t be used nearly as much as you envision, and will never actually realize its full potential.
That’s a shame, because technologies like 3D cone beam imaging, CAD/CAM, lasers and cloud-based practice management software can do wonders for practice efficiencies, while also elevating the level of patient care you’re able to provide. But if you and your team members don’t know how to use them properly, or only learn the basics, these practice builders will only bring you stress and frustration.
Want to maximize your technology investments and watch your practice flourish? Of course you do. I’ve put together a few tips to help you make that happen:
Think about how the technology will be used in your practice. There’s no shortage of dental technologies you can invest in, but that doesn’t mean you should purchase them all. Before you bring in a new product, really consider how it will benefit both your patients and your practice. If the benefits aren’t clear, the software or device might not be right for you.
Establish a budget. These purchases can be pretty expensive, so it’s important to plan ahead. Determine how much you can afford to spend on technology upgrades each year, and don’t go over that amount. Keep in mind you don’t have to buy everything at once. Purchasing equipment in phases will help you keep costs down while still updating your practice.
Ask yourself a few questions. No matter which technology you’re considering, you need to know how much you plan to invest, how you’ll use the technology and how you plan to measure ROI. Measuring your potential long-term financial benefits is vital to determining if you should purchase the technology or invest the money elsewhere.
Identify which systems need the most work. The right technology can invigorate struggling systems, which is why I suggest you determine which systems need the most improvement, then look for technologies that address the problem areas you identified. Broken appointments causing chaos in your practice more often than you care to admit? Think about adding a patient communication system that reminds patients of their appointments and makes it easy for them to confirm. Case acceptance down? A variety of digital tools can help improve education, making patients more likely to trust your recommendations and accept treatment.
Don’t forget about the associated costs. Depending on the technology you’re adding, you’ll probably have to invest in technological infrastructure upgrades, such as software, hardware and wiring, to support it. While this makes the initial price tag a little larger, it will save you money in the long run. With the proper setup, the technology will last longer. Do your research so you know exactly what to expect, and don’t forget about ongoing costs that you’ll need to be prepared for, such as maintenance, service and training.
Dental technology continues to evolve, giving you a variety of ways to update your practice and improve patient care. These technologies can be huge practice builders, and might even help you renew your passion for dentistry. But if you don’t have a plan in place and opt to skip training, these expensive devices will sit in your practice unused, constantly reminding you of the money you wasted.
To maximize ROI on your technology purchases, develop a plan, stick to your budget and invest in training. You’ll find you get much more out of the software or equipment, helping you grow your patient base, improve production numbers and increase your bottom line.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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