In the past decade, the dental industry has experienced tremendous growth, consolidation and private equity investment. While one may begin to wonder how much more can change in the industry, a few days at the most recent DEO (Dentist Entrepreneur Organization) Fall Summit made it increasingly clear, that advances in patient conversion, new specialties/services and a focus on patient experience will continue to propel the dental industry for years to come.
What is the DEO?
The DEO is a community of dentist entrepreneurs and industry professionals that are focused on expanding their group practices. The DEO Summit and other related events provide a forum where leaders share their knowledge and experience with peers to help fuel their growth as well.
As stated by Darin Acopan, EVP/Partner of the DEO, “The DEO Summit is all about growing through connections. You need to work on yourself, your team, and then your business – in that order. The content and networking effects that we intentionally curate at our events is second to none.” The next DEO summit will be held June 4th-6th and is definitely an ideal event for any growing dental practice owners.
Patient Conversion – Scheduling Enhancements
As evidenced by a number of vendors at the event, improving patient scheduling and conversion is a critical practice need. There are a number of services that are focused on improving accountability on staff to ensure that patients are scheduled when they call, existing patients are contacted for routine follow up and tools are implemented that enable staff to learn from their mistakes and create a more efficient practice.
One such solution, Patient Prism, focuses on new patient call conversion. Every time a potential patient doesn’t end in a booked appointment, Patient Prism, within 45 minutes, emails a visual alert back to the dental practice or call center team with specific coaching tips so the team can win back that patient. Best of all, the team can apply that coaching to future calls, too.
“People come to the DEO because it makes them better. That’s what Patient Prism does, too.,” said Patient Prism co-founder and CEO Amol Nirgudkar. “We help your front desk team or your call center tam convert more callers into new patients by giving them constant training. It’s not enough to identify a problem; you need to also give your team the tools and training to immediately fix it.”
New Services / Specialties
Both new and established practices are actively seeking new services and specialties that can fill empty dental chairs and maximize production for each practice location. We have all seen general dentistry practices that have added orthodontic services or dental implants. Sleep disorder treatment (sleep apnea, snoring, etc.) is an area where I expect to see significant growth in the new several years.
Dr. Jonathan Greenburg, CEO of SleepCertified offered his impressions of the DEO conference. “It was easily the most productive conference I have attended this year – from speakers & panels to individual meetings. As owner of both SnoreExperts, a multi-location specialty practice that exclusively treats sleep apnea and SleepCertified, the professional division of Zyppah that trains practices how to scale in dental sleep medicine, the DEO Summit is ideal for dentists/owners like me who wear multiple hats.
Dr. Greenburg added, “Dental sleep is a specialty that offers a level of practitioner satisfaction in patient treatment and revenue generation unlike any other. Our Director of Practice Partnerships, David Howard and I were consistently having high level of conversation and engagement on how we introduce sleep to a DSO, train the entire staff and add substantial revenue to any practice.”
The days of kids fearing a trip to the dentist seem to be coming to an end. Increasingly, pediatric dental practices are focused on the overall experience, from games and TVs, to characters, and photo ops. While I have seen some incredible practice in my work consulting practices, I had the opportunity to speak to one of the leaders in the creation of some of the most innovative design companies, Canadian-based Imagination Design Studios.
Gavin Harrison, who is Head of Strategy & Growth for IDS, explained the value created by patient experience. “For any practice, growing your patient base through referrals is a critical component of scaling up. And, if you are a family-focused practice, this means the experience kids have while in your office is especially important. The good news is that a memorable patient experience can be like jet fuel when it comes to building your reputation within the community.”
I attend several conferences each year, but I am continually impressed by the information sharing and on target learning offered at DEO. Industry leaders and new DSOs alike get great benefit from attending. For vendors and other industry professionals like myself, it certainly demonstrates that there are still tremendous and exciting opportunities ahead.
Michael Roub is an experienced strategic consultant and Managing Partner of Inflection 360. Michael advises healthcare practices and small businesses on a wide range of strategic initiatives.
Follow On: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook