The dental industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the market matures, dental service organizations (DSOs) are constantly striving to achieve their goals and stay ahead of the competition. In this episode of How I Grew My Practice, we will explore the top strategies shared by Amol Nirgudkar, an industry expert and CEO of Patient Prism, and discuss how technology is enabling DSOs to achieve patient growth, reduce costs, improve capacity, recruit and retain staff, and gain valuable insights for future success.
Improving Practice Capacity
DSOs face the challenge of meeting patient demands within the constraints of their current capacity. With high patient expectations and limited availability, practices must find creative ways to increase capacity. Amol Nirgudkar highlights the importance of reducing wait times and days booked out, as patients today have little patience and prefer immediate access to dental services. By addressing this issue, DSOs can minimize no-shows and cancellations while enhancing the patient experience.
Prioritize Recruitment and Retention
“Recruitment and retention is a huge deal. There's a shortage of doctors and hygienists, but there's also a shortage of assistants and the front office. So recruiting the right people and retaining them is a very big goal for DSOs,” says Amol.
The industry is projected to experience a shortage until at least 2026 or 2027, with 39% of front office staff looking for new jobs, so it’s crucial for DSOs to attract and retain the right talent and leverage technology to make your staff’s job easier and more fulfilled.
Leveraging Technology for Growth and Efficiency
Technology plays a vital role in enabling DSOs to achieve their goals. Amol Nirgudkar highlights several ways technology can support growth, including targeted patient marketing, conversion optimization, and enhancing the patient journey.
“In terms of growth, the first way technology is helping is figuring out how to properly market to the right patients. Technology is being used to make sure all those people who are calling are actually booking an appointment and understanding those kind of conversations and making sure that every patient is moving forward in their journey," says Amol.
Advanced marketing technologies help identify the right patient demographics and optimize digital campaigns to attract the ideal patients. Additionally, technology streamlines revenue cycle management, collections, and insurance processes, reducing human-centric inefficiencies and improving cash flow.
The Importance of Data for DSOs
DSOs face the challenge of processing vast amounts of data and transforming it into actionable insights. Amol Nirgudkar emphasizes the importance of converting information into insight and foresight. DSOs must analyze data to understand why certain events occurred, identify preventable issues, and replicate successful outcomes. By leveraging technology and data analysis, DSOs can make more informed decisions, enhance operational efficiency, and achieve predictable growth.
Simply Having AI Technology Isn’t Enough
Amol emphasizes that simply having advanced AI technology is not enough. What matters more is how AI can address and solve real problems that people face. The focus should be on ensuring that team members understand how AI can effectively solve their problems and alleviate their workload.
As the dental industry evolves, dental service organizations must adapt and implement effective strategies to achieve their goals. Amol Nirgudkar's insights shed light on the top priorities for DSOs in 2023, including same-store organic growth, improving capacity, recruitment and retention, leveraging technology, and converting information into insight and foresight. By adopting these strategies and embracing technological advancements, DSOs can thrive in a competitive market and provide exceptional patient experiences.