Since opening its first office in 1967, Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics has grown into a dental service organization (DSO) with 70+ locations serving more than 200,000 families each year across Texas and Oklahoma.
Achieving this scale has required staying at the forefront of new technology that lets front office staff operate efficiently while continually serving more patients.
But as the company adopted new software for running its website and patient communications, it became increasingly difficult its technology in sync with Dentrix Enterprise and Dolphin, the practice management systems that power day-to-day office operations.
“We built a great WordPress site and set up patient messaging in Salesforce and Podium, but we couldn’t automate the process of collecting patient forms,” said Landon McLain, Jefferson’s Senior Developer. “We needed a mobile-friendly form that integrated seamlessly with Dentrix, which would improve downstream workflows like insurance verification and reduce patient wait time.”
Moreover, Jefferson’s patient messaging systems couldn’t read each office’s calendar availability to send updates when last-minute cancellations created open slots. This was a barrier to faster growth, as patients could miss opportunities to see their providers sooner.
First, McLain set out to automate patient form intake for Jefferson’s 70+ locations. He needed a solution that could power a consistent experience regardless of whether a patient was visiting a dental office using Dentrix Enterprise or an orthodontic office using Dolphin.
He turned to the NexHealth Synchronizer API because it provided a single set of endpoints for reading appointment data from either practice management system to trigger patient form requests. McLain’s development team used the Synchronizer API to automate form intake in under 4 weeks because they didn’t have to build and maintain custom integrations to Dentrix Enterprise and Dolphin. They just built to the Synchronizer API, which lets them connect to either system via the Synchronizer without worrying about disparate API credentials, data schemas, and maintenance windows.
McLain’s team used the Synchronizer API to trigger form requests as part of Jefferson’s existing patient communications, which are sent through Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Podium. Patients can fill out the mobile-friendly NexHealth Forms on any device before an appointment, so they don’t have to spend time at the office completing paper forms. The Synchronizer API then inserts completed forms directly into the Dentrix Document Center, which promotes HIPAA compliance and eliminates manual data entry for office staff. McLain’s team also uses webhooks to trigger the delivery of completed form PDFs to office staff as a fallback.
“NexHealth makes it easy to implement automations that greatly improve both our employee and patient experience,” McLain said.
McLain and his team also used the Synchronizer API to read calendar availability from the practice management systems so they could notify patients when earlier appointment slots opened up. These automated messages function both as reminders and opportunities for patients to move up an appointment if they want to see their provider ASAP.
By connecting their messaging platforms with their practice management systems, Jefferson was able to realize more value from their existing technology investments while driving efficient growth for their 70+ locations. The solution scaled so well that Jefferson ultimately sent more than 710,000 digital forms to patients in 2022, while increasing show rates by reminding patients about upcoming appointments and giving them a chance to get into the office sooner.
In the future, McLain hopes to use the Synchronizer API to connect Jefferson’s contact center software with their practice management systems so agents can easily see essential information and schedule appointments when they’re on the phone with patients. “The Synchronizer API finds open calendar slots so well and so quickly,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to use that to help our agents deliver a great patient experience.”