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Patient Prism's Dental Industry Blog

Here you'll find hundreds of articles and video interviews with dental industry experts on the topics of DSO and practice growth, dental software, call-tracking technology, patient experience and artificial intelligence fueling the dental industries ability to treat more patients and change lives.

Note: This is a 2022 article that describes a previous version of the Patient Prism software. For example, the term RELOs is no longer used to refer to missed opportunities for follow-up, the number of new patients calls analyzed by the AI exceeded 11 million at the start of 2023, and Patient Prism now updates all call analytics in real-time, delivering missed opportunity alerts within one minute. Read about the major V3 enhancements here.

February 2022--Dental expert Amol Nirgudkar sits down with Chris Sands of Pro-FI 20/20 Dental CPAs to discuss challenges facing dental practice owners and managers today that can be overcome by deploying Patient Prism’s AI software. In this video segment, they discuss the importance of analytics.




You need “prescriptive analytics” to know, predict, and change

When it comes to your dental patient acquisition and engagement, can you see what is actually happening, diagnosis problems, and “treatment plan” to solve those problems?

Dental practice owners and managers need to know their key performing indicators (KPIs) to successfully work “on,” not just “in” their business. Nirgudkar says they need the kind of data upon which they can make wise decisions for action. They need to be on an intentional, continuous path of turning information into insights and acting upon them.

“If you're not on that continuum from information to action, all you have is information. Just like in accounting, you can have a P&L and a balance sheet but if you don't understand what that means and how you can improve your business from that, you are not making decisions that improve your top and bottom lines,” says Nirgudkar.

“It's not that much different in dentistry when a patient has x-rays and an exam and you can’t help them take action. The information is useless,” says Sands.


Patient Prism reports and predicts behavior

In dentistry, dentists make a clinical diagnosis and recommend treatment based on hindsight information about which treatments are predictably successful under varying oral health circumstances. The artificial intelligence inside Patient Prism is useful for gathering information about phone conversations and then correlating human behaviors with that information to make a prediction. If you do x, then there is a relatively high predictability that the caller will book an appointment.

“In order to get insight, you have to understand why some things happen. In the field of AI, we do diagnostic analytics. We diagnose a problem and from historic data, we have hunches/insights we can test with more data to find the predictability of doing something differently to solve the problem,” says Nirgudkar.

For example, data could indicate there is a low probability of getting people, who are 65+, on the phone on Tuesdays. Having this insight could lead to trying other days of the week and the discovery that patients, who are 65 and older, are most likely to answer your call on Wednesday.

“Patient Prism’s AI can take us to that deeper level where we develop specific insights around which to make decisions,” says Nirgudkar. “I’m going to predict that if I call Mr. Smith, who is 65 years old, on a Wednesday, I’m going to have a higher chance of speaking with him. That prediction is the result of what I call ‘prescriptive analytics.’ Around these analytics, I can test what to change…where I can pull the lever. Is it marketing? Is it how I communicate my case presentation? Is it the way we talk about financing? It’s making decisions for action by forecasting based on hindsight.”


Patient Prism provides insights in nearly real time

Practice management systems like Dentrix and Legal Soft are databases that store information. The systems do not tell you what to do to improve. That’s why dental practices need business consultants, hired C-suite managers, CPAs, etc. These experts intentionally analyze the data to uncover insights. We’re not at a point where AI can take over human decision making, but Patient Prism’s AI can assess data from millions of phone calls and cross-correlate behavior to provide insights (prescriptive analytics) in nearly real time. That’s something human brains could never accomplish.

Deploying AI intelligence boosts – and accelerates, dental practice success

Here’s a real Patient Prism client example:

  1. Only 30% of the dental practice's implant callers made an appointment. The rest said they would decide later, or they just wanted information. They backed out of moving forward.
  2. Patient Prism alerted the dentist and office manager that zero percent financing was mentioned only 38% of the time and that the receptionist likely scared away already tentative implant patients by bluntly describing implant treatment as screwing a screw through the gums into the bone.
  3. Patient Prism provided tips about what to say on a call back and in the future when prospective patients inquired about implant treatment.
  4. Patient conversion rose, and the dentist did not need to spend any more on marketing at all.

“That’s how you solve the problem,” says Nirgudkar. “Instead of just throwing more money at the problem, you leverage the AI information and press a lever, in this case, educating the receptionist to communicate more fully using comfortable language that motivates patients.”


There are four phases of a new patient call


Patient Prism’s AI assesses new patient calls and scores four distinct phases of the calls based on what the AI knows went well and didn’t go so well. The automated call analysis forwards to a live call coach in Tampa for confirmation and addition of coaching comments, and a RELO (re-engage lost opportunity) alert is sent to the dental office within 15 minutes with the coaching notes for a call back and to improve on future calls.

For example, “Here are the three things you could have done:

  1. Next time, before answering prospective new patients’ questions, ask for their name and ask about their concerns to take control of the conversation and build rapport.
  2. Because this caller mentioned pain and the possible need for a root canal, this was an important moment in the conversation to express empathy.
  3. Sell your practice by letting the patient know your doctor and team can provide amazing care. In a call back, emphasize your empathetic concern for the caller and your desire to help. Assure the caller that your dentist can diagnosis the problem and eliminate the pain. Before calling back, examine the schedule and confirm with the dentist that it would be okay to offer an appointment later today or first thing tomorrow.”

Call feedback automates fast front desk development


“The software is not going to solve your patient acquisition problems by itself. You need your teams to optimally use it. When Patient Prism sends alerts about failed opportunities, we hope there are Patient Prism champions in the practice who will immediately call back the patients and make a new attempt to help them,” says Nirgudkar. “We do training on how to make that phone call. The outbound call is so important that we have many training videos and an entire training system.”


Watch Part 4 of this 5-part interview >>


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