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Many practices are short-staffed and hiring is a challenge right now. At Dykema 2021, Dr. Ryan Hungate, founder and CEO of Simplifeye, and Amol Nirgudkar, co-founder and CEO of Patient Prism, discussed how dental practices are turning to automation to perform routine tasks, alleviate the staffing shortage, and improve the patient experience from scheduling through payment processing.

 

Enriching the lives of front office dental team members

“At Simplifeye, we’re trying to automate as much of the front office tasks as possible,” said Dr. Hungate. The goal is to free up the front desk team’s time so they can focus more on interacting with patients, and less time on tedious tasks.

Simplifeye started by making the scheduling process easier for patients and team members. People don’t always have time to call the practice during the day or get frustrated when they call and get put on hold or send to voicemail.

Simplifeye offers 24/7 live chat on dental websites. Its team responds to website visitors within seven seconds and can chat in 8 languages. The company’s live chat team answers questions and collects all the relevant information needed to schedule an appointment. It can then either schedule directly into the practice’s practice management system or share the details with the practice in real-time to finalize the scheduling process. 

That reduces the number of phone calls into the practice and the amount of time the office team spends on the phone. 

Simplifeye also offers online scheduling so patients can self-schedule certain procedures according to the dates and times the practice allows. The practice maintains full control over its schedule, while automation makes it a seamless process for the patient.

 

Enriching the patient experience through automation

People want more options than ever to be able to pay their bills. Simplifeye enables chairside checkout and automates text-to-pay reminders that get paid up to 80% faster than paper invoices.

Simplifeye’s payment processing system also includes customized monthly payment plans, so patients can spread out the cost of their treatment over time. That increases case acceptance because it makes the procedure more affordable.  

Simplifeye's payment processing platform for dental practicesSimplifeye built-in soft credit checks, which saves the team time. 

By making it easy for patients to pay either in-office, online or via mobile payment, Simplifeye optimizes the journey of the patient, said Dr. Hungate.

 

Focus on doing it better

When asked about competitors, Hungate agreed with Amol Nirgudkar that Simplifeye’s online scheduling solution is simpler, easier, better, faster, and less expensive than other automated scheduling solutions offered by competitors. 

“It's funny,” says Hungate. “Steve Jobs met with Phil Knight, and he was one of his only friends back in the day. Remember the Nike band that they had? It was cool. Phil met with Steve and asked, ‘What should I do to be better?’ And Jobs said, ‘Focus on what you're good at.’ Basically, he was saying that, if you're going to do something, you darn well better do it the best or get out of the game.” 

When Simplifeye started looking at direct online scheduling, “I was only going to do it if we were going to be the best at it,” says Hungate. “We looked at the different steps people take before scheduling and reduced it by 18 steps. We demonstrated increased conversion. Then, we dropped the price, and on top of that, we also added live chat. With live chat, the average rate at which people complete online scheduling went from 11% to 56%.” 

Every office or DSO has its own way of scheduling. It takes a knowledgeable person to block the schedule for the individual clinicians. “The whole point is to reduce the number of people, so what we do is have the dental practice put blocks in the schedule on our software, and the software looks for openings according to rules set by the practice. We’re very smart about it. If you want to see consultations only in chair five with Margaret from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, you can do it,” says Hungate.

 

Optimizing scheduling 

Imagine being a dental receptionist who is charged with answering all calls within 7 seconds, persuading callers they’ve called the right place, and scheduling callers for an appointment while patients are coming up to the desk also needing attention.

Effective call-coaching with Patient Prism. Schedule a demo › Scarce human resources are needed to provide both on-the-phone and in-office customer service, schedule appointments, and accurately complete financial transactions. Imagine creating a system that expertly responds to online chat within 7 seconds, 24/7, and can do this in 8 different languages. Add the ability to schedule directly, using your customized scheduling rules, and Simplifeye takes patient conversion to a whole new level. Now you are capturing new patients and filling your schedule without every patient having to go through your front desk.

But then the next question, says Hungate, is "How do I get the patients back in for treatment in an automated way?” Simplifeye has access to your schedule and access to your electronic health record. Simplifeye knows how much time each individual treatment needs because you've already set that up in the electronic health record. Simplifeye looks for openings in the schedule and automatically sends text and email invitations to every patient in need of treatment, according to the filters you set. Instead of the front desk calling three or four people a day, invites can be sent to 1,000 people at a time. 

“The electronic health records are gold mines of treatment. You have to automate the mining,” says Hungate. “The average dental practice has $1.2 million of planned treatment they haven't completed. Imagine what a DSO is sitting on.”

 

Does Simplifeye usage replace Patient Prism usage? 

At this point, you may be wondering if Simplifeye usage replaces Patient Prism usage or if there is some functional redundancy. The answer to this question is no.  The offerings of the two companies are compatible and complementary.

Like Patient Prism, Simplifeye’s services (Amplify Live Chat, Online Scheduling, Payment Processing, Invite Patient Recall, and Connect Telehealth) automate multiple routine tasks so dental teams have more time to focus on their patients and have a positive impact on more patients more of the time. Because Simplifeye is focused on web chat, online scheduling, and telehealth, it removes a percentage of conversations with patients out of the hands of your dental team. 

In the case of Patient Prism, new patient calls coming directly from your advertising are monitored and assessed by trained Normal Language Processing artificial intelligence (AI). AI information is available in real-time and reviewed by live call coaches who swiftly relay feedback notes to improve the results of subsequent calls and alert you of high-value opportunities worthy of callbacks for re-engagement. 

Patient Prism’s constant call coaching helps your team create a “customer-first culture” both on the phone and in the office, so you can quickly engage, re-engage, and steadily build new patient appreciation for your people, an exceptional patient experience, and trust in the dental services you provide. Patient Prism’s AI intelligence enables dental practices to track call analytics that includes won and lost revenue and to make intelligent management decisions about staffing, employee development, scheduling, marketing, facilities growth, and more.

Both software platforms enhance patient conversion, patient experience, and employee experience, so your practice runs more efficiently—to not only increase revenue but also improve the lives of everyone involved. 

Patient Prism is highly focused on optimizing new patient phone calls in a high-touch way that pleases patients and has proven to significantly increase phone conversion and reduce the cost of new patient acquisition. But not every patient finds it convenient to call a dental office during office hours and your front desk team may be stretched so thin that new customer engagement will benefit by being “amplified” with Simplifeye’s Amplify Live Chat and Online Scheduling.

 

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