There has been a watershed shift in the US economy over the past two years, and DSOs are feeling the effects. After a 40-year monetary super cycle with declining interest rates, the era of cheap money is over. Rates are rising, and economic growth is slowing.
Yet the labor market is surprisingly tight with unemployment at a 10-year low. We’ve seen this reflected in the dental industry, as practices say their #1 concern in 2023 is staffing.
How do DSOs solve the staffing challenge?
Technology is the answer to staffing challenges — not by replacing people, but by amplifying them.
Here are three ways that DSOs can use new technology to address staffing shortages and weather challenging macroeconomic conditions:
- Automate patient onboarding by connecting disparate systems
As DSOs adopt new software for patient engagement, it can become difficult to stay in sync with the practice management systems that power day-to-day office operations.
Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics automated patient form intake by connecting their patient messaging tools, Salesforce and Podium, with their practice management systems. They did this in just 4 weeks because they didn’t have to build and maintain custom integrations to Dentrix Enterprise and Dolphin — they instead used a universal API that lets them connect to either system without worrying about disparate credentials, data schemas, and maintenance windows.
As a result, they’re now able to send 400+ automated daily form requests sent to patients.
- Derive insights from patient interactions in every channel
DSOs can also apply A.I. and advanced analytics toward understanding patient needs. For example, The Smilist uses PeerLogic to uncover actionable insights from the phone conversations that patients have with practices.
Integrating data from phone and digital channels with information from your practice management system can have an even bigger impact. It can yield insights that help regional and office managers improve patient satisfaction, increase production, and drive down no-show rates.
- Use A.I. chatbots to engage patients at scale
The next chapter in the evolution of computing is undoubtedly about generative A.I. ChatGPT reached 1M users in just 5 days!
Leading DSOs like The Smilist are using A.I. to engage with patients at scale, 24/7. They work with TrueLark to use A.I. chatbots to communicate with patients after hours and schedule appointments that sync directly with their practice management system.
This technology has helped The Smilist grow its location base by 216% in the last 5 years, as well as book 6,700+ new patients in 2022 alone.
Every DSO needs to think technology first
Adopting new technologies will not only help DSOs thrive in the current macroeconomic environment, it will future proof them for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. A technology-first mindset is ultimately the key to making staff more successful at driving positive patient outcomes and financial results for your practices.