3 Ways to Reach Out to Your Medical Community

Business AnalyticsWe have touched base on this briefly, but let’s take another look at your medical community. As a dentist providing care for patients suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to create a working relationship with the medical professionals in your community. Through the help of family doctors, ENTs, sleep physicians and other doctors, you can continue to provide your patients with superior care.

Send a Letter

One way to inform medical professionals of your practice’s commitment to Dental Sleep Medicine is to create a letter. Through an information-rich letter or newsletter, you can inform the medical professionals in your community of the availability of your services. This letter should be educational in nature so that other medical professionals can better understand what services your practice offers and the importance of creating a working relationship.

When piecing together your letter to send, remember to include the following:

  • Your name and practice
  • Services offered
  • What is Dental Sleep Medicine?
  • Available treatment options
  • How you need their help in diagnosis and treatment

By including all of this information, you can be better prepared to inform each medical professional in your area to take the next step toward a working relationship.

Visit Offices

An extremely important and beneficial option is for you to visit the offices of those medical professionals you wish to work with. When visiting their practice, talk to their office manager and referral manager, as well as the doctor. By introducing yourself to each member, you can make a lasting impression when it comes to treating patients. What I like to do is set up a luncheon. I will bring lunch for the doctor and their team so that I can get to know each member while also informing them of what it is that I do for my patients in the area of dental sleep medicine. Through this, dentists can showcase their strengths and their dedication to their patients.

Create a Marketing Campaign

Another important step is your marketing plan. This can include the following:

  • Educational website
  • Information-rich blog
  • Press Releases
  • Newsletters

By properly marketing your practice, you cannot only reach your patients, but you can reach other medical professionals as well. Within each avenue, be sure to include up-to-date information on dental sleep medicine, signs of sleep apnea, and how you can treat patients who suffer from sleep apnea.

The more information you can supply your patients and the medical professionals in the community, the better. Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how you can create a working relationship with the medical professionals in your community.

Now’s the Time: Reach Out to Your Patients with Blogging

Business AnalyticsI’ve said it before and I will say it again: start blogging NOW! One of the most beneficial and easiest forms of Marketing your Dental Practice is through the availability of a blog. Write once a week, twice a month, or every day – whatever you decide you can do and want to do. By blogging you are establishing yourself and your practice and a thought leader in your industry. In order to gain new patients and show that you are experienced in your area of service, start blogging immediately. Here’s why:

Patients Need Reassurance

Yes, that’s right—patients often need reassurance that you are who you are and know what you’re doing. The availability of a blog helps you to share important information with your patients no matter what time of the day it is. From general services to advanced questions, your blog should be your go-to place for sharing valuable information with your current patients and future patients. A blog is easily searchable through Google, and if you have an established blog with a host of topics and content available, the more patients will be able to find you when they search for a certain topic. You want Google to recognize you as a thought leader, and that is created through advanced content on your website and blog.

Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

When it comes to your dental office and patients, you want to be known for being a thought leader in your industry. What happens when people know you have experience in specific areas? They go to you for all of their needs. The availability of an educational blog allows you to write about various topics that interest your patients, as well as blogs that answer some of the common questions you are asked at your office. Blogs can also be used to share important information about your practice, announce new services and even introduce a new member to your team. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to your practice. Reach different areas and get your patients in on educating themselves in regards to Dentistry, Dental Sleep Medicine and other services your office offers.

If this doesn’t get you motivated to start your practice’s blog, I don’t know what will! Get your name out there and start sharing educational information with your patients through an information-rich blog—what are you waiting for? Go!

And, if you have any questions about getting your blog up and running, or who can help you in maintaining a well thought out and up-to-date blog, contact me further—I know just who can help!

5 Rules for Growing Sleep Service Offerings

Happy business team applauding togetherYou’ve already gone through the steps of choosing to provide dental sleep medicine services in your office—now what? To thrive in a new healthcare environment, dental sleep medicine organizations must improve and expand what they offer because just offering these services is not enough. If you are unable to provide sufficient unique value, you could possibly disappear and no one wants that to happen to their dental practice. Let’s take a look at five rules for growing your sleep service offerings.

  1. What is Your Goal?

By creating a goal, you can ensure you are on the right path to success. To do this you might want to write down different traits of how you would like things to work out with your dental sleep medicine practice. Don’t forget to ask your staff members to do the same, and then share the results. By looking at overall goals you can create a vision for your office that becomes successful with the help of your team members.

  1. Look Toward the Future

If you asked hockey legend Wayne Gretzky about his success on the ice he says, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has already been.” When you rely on data and what others say works with dental sleep medicine, you are missing the right opportunities. If you are to benchmark your practice you are only setting your sights on yesterday’s success—not the future.

  1. Ensure a Steady Flow of Patients

As with any business, you want to ensure you have a steady flow of patients. There are two possible sources for patients: current patients at your practice, and patients not yet in your practice. Because of this, two systems must be created: one to identify existing patients who would benefit from dental sleep medicine, and one to identify and attract new patients into the system. For a growth perspective, targeting your existing patients is the best place to begin. Once they are your patient, you want to keep them. New patients can be gained through a working relationship with the local Sleep MD.

  1. Properly Communicate Your Message

One of the biggest mistakes of offering new services is underestimating the importance of how you are wording the information. It is important to integrate new behaviors, and when you are talking about something new in your office, words matter a lot. The ways in which your service is described can be a huge determinant of whether your program skyrockets or falls flat on its face. Everyone in your dental office should have a solid understanding of what the service is, who can benefit, how it works, and why it is important.

  1. Maximize Operational Efficiency

Updating the services you offer requires careful planning. Although, successful  growth of your dental office demands flexibility and the ability to adapt and adjust as you gather information for your planning. You will need to consider the following:

  • Billing
  • Revenues
  • Staffing
  • Equipment
  • Expenses

Include each member of your dental team in the implementation of the new services and assign different tasks to keep everyone involved.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about what you need to do to successfully implement dental sleep medicine into your dental office.

Does Your Customer Service Need an Attitude Adjustment?

10Yes, education is important for treating and caring for your patients, but there is one more thing that can make all the difference: customer service. And, this doesn’t just mean the front office staff—it means the dentist, too! Being a dentist requires extensive training, but the attributes valued most by patients when rating and reviewing their doctors is customer service, which is not taught in dental school. When your patients are leaving reviews, you want them to remember each member’s name. Adding that personal touch helps your patients feel comfortable and wanting to return to your practice.

Interpersonal Skills and Bedside Manners

Imagine yourself in the dental chair. How would you like your dentist to treat you? What about if your family member was visiting the dentist? Treat your patients how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed. The dental office is not like working in retail, but customer service should still be at the top of your list.

The front office staff should be pleasant and smiling when they greet the patient—after all, they are the first people you see when entering the office. Make sure your front office staff is educated on services, protocol and even miscellaneous topics so they can properly address a patient’s concerns or questions. The more your staff knows and understands the better service they can offer your patients.

Next, your dental hygienist or dental assistant should also be knowledgeable in all areas of your practice and the services offered—their skills and knowledge are a reflection on you. Make sure they are educated in dental sleep medicine and other areas of importance so they can answer any questions the patient might have. After the front office staff, the hygienist or dental assistant are seen next and make an impression before they even meet you, the dentist. Greet the patient with a smile, ask how their day is—get to know your patient and they will feel more comfortable.

As for the dentist, you are the face of your practice. Get to know your patients and their individual needs and conditions. By getting to know your patients and understanding them, you can create patients for life. Help your patients get to know you and how knowledgeable you are in dental sleep medicine and other dental areas. Once they know you and the services you offer, they will be more prone to share their experiences on the Internet.

Patient Reviews

Patients continue to rely more and more on online ratings and reviews. From Google to Yelp, review sites are aplenty. And when a person is searching for a new dental office they will often resort to reviews and ratings to see what others are saying. If your patients are leaving reviews, and good ones, the chance of getting new patients increases significantly. The appearance of positive words outnumbers negative words three to one—that’s a lot! When negative reviews were found, the common complaints seemed to be about rudeness or feeling rushed. But more people noted their dentists were compassionate, friendly, and knowledgeable—keep that up!

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about each team member’s role in the dental office and how you can continue to provide your patients with quality service they will want to come back to.