Are Virtual Services the Future of Dentistry? Here are some that could add cash to your practice.

Is your dental office taking full advantage of the virtual economy?  Could you save money or improve outcomes by working with virtual businesses?   Many technology and finance firms have realized that virtual employees can be a boon to their businesses. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, virtual employees tend to be outcome-focused, have a high EQ, and be highly skilled. The flexibility inherent in a virtual office makes it possible to attract high-quality employees who might not be willing or able to commute to the main office.
But what about the dental field? Are you leaving money on the table by ignoring the move towards virtual workers?  Since the bulk of your day is focused on the patient in the chair, you may be missing out on ways to improve your business functions with virtual assistants.  Here are a few areas where I’ve seen clients produce better outcomes by contracting with virtual service firms:

  • Scheduling Patients by Phone. In many offices, the front desk team has to simultaneously answer phones, deal with paperwork, and work with the patients coming through the front door. When we ask people to do too many disparate tasks, they end up doing all of them poorly.  Some offices have dealt with this by hiring virtual scheduling firms to schedule patients and to answer new patient questions. Often these firms can schedule more appointments and convert more new patient calls to new patient appointments than your existing staff.  Why? Because the virtual scheduling team is focused on only ONE thing – scheduling new patients.   They don’t get distracted by multiple incoming calls or the patient standing in front of them.  By making the switch to a virtual scheduling company, you can convert more patient calls to appointments and increase your cash flow, while freeing up your desk staff to provide an excellent patient experience to the people in front of them.
  • Social Media and Website Marketing and Maintenance. Many offices deal with their social media accounts by delegating an existing team member to stay on top of website and social media marketing. The problem is that good marketing requires constant research, professional development, and an awareness of current trends.  By working with a virtual social media marketer, you can get the benefits of an expert while only paying for the time spent working on your account.   Your online presence is too important to be an afterthought for an already busy team member.  Here at Willeford Group, we’ve had a good experience working with Rita Zamora and her team.
  • Billing insurance and patients is becoming increasingly more complicated for the dental industry. While an outside billing firm still needs support in your office, letting someone else argue with insurers frees up phone lines and office staff for your patients.
  • Accounting and Business Services. Your local accountant has the benefit of proximity. You can walk into his office and drop off documents or schedule a meeting. However, his hours are probably limited, and you’re one of a wide variety of clients. He doesn’t necessarily understand the unique needs of a dental practice. On the other hand, if you work with a virtual accounting service like the Willeford Group, you have a team of professionals focused on your industry and your needs, regardless of your location.   Like other virtual businesses, virtual accounting firms can build a highly skilled and focused team because they’re not limited to accountants in a small geographical radius. Also, a group spread across several time zones can give your office access to accountants at a wider variety of times, so that you can work around your own scheduling needs.

Delegating some of your office tasks to virtual services may seem strange at first. After all, you can’t just walk up to a virtual team member and talk to them. But with modern communication tools, a virtual team can give you convenient services from highly-skilled experts so that you can focus on clinical excellence and patient experience.