High-tech innovations are constantly changing the way you do business. To be successful in your practice, it’s important that you make continuous improvements in the services you provide to your patients, including upgrades to technology in your business.
Technology is not a one-size-fits-all option. Additionally, while some upgrades are simple and easy decisions, others such as investing in new equipment, have financial and other long-lasting effects that require a good deal of consideration. So, asking yourself the right questions and then being equipped with some basic do’s and don’ts, can help guide you into making the right technology upgrades for your practice.
Let’s take a look at a list of questions to ask yourself before introducing high-tech equipment:
What is my plan for high-tech use and expansion?
- DO ask yourself whether you are willing to make the long-term commitment—because that is what a high-tech dental office is. If your answer is yes, then DO develop a plan for the upgrades.
- DON’T start upgrading without a short- and long-term plan in place and a clear idea of how your practice will benefit financially and in other ways such as attracting new patients.
What is my budget and the expected returns on my investment in high-tech upgrades?
- DO create a technology budget and stick to it once you do some research on the types of technology that will enhance your practice.
- DO make sure that your budget includes funds for training yourself and your staff on technology upgrades and new equipment.
- DO make sure that your plan and your budget include allowances for maintenance and future upgrades.
- DON’T get sidetracked into unwanted debt by vendors if what they are selling is not part of your plan.
- DON’T assume that warranties will cover all the costs of future upgrades and maintaining new equipment.
What infrastructure changes need to take place before I can successfully upgrade my dental office technology?
- DO make sure that your office’s infrastructure can withstand the upgrades you decide to have, such as new electrical wiring or adding more space to accommodate these changes.
- DON’T assume that the upgrades will work in your office unless you are in a brand new office building. Consult an electrician if you're unsure.
How do I engage my staff to ensure their comfort and ease in using the new equipment and talking about it to my patients?
- DO have staff play an active role by involving them in early discussions and planning. That gives them a sense of ownership in the outcome. They are then more likely to be enthusiastic about using new technologies and making patients aware of them.
- DON’T spring the news of upgrades on staff. That generates feelings of resistance and can negatively overwhelm them.
How do I introduce my patients to the new equipment?
- DO help your staff with talking points for established patients. Let them know that enthusiasm is contagious.
Basic steps for a successful transition to a high-tech dental practice
- DO always ask yourself: what’s in it for my practice? For my staff? For my patients?
- DO sign up to follow blogs on high-tech news for dental or medical practices.
Armed with a plan and a budget, and having engaged your staff in the planning process, your transition to becoming a high-tech dental office should be a smooth one that will deliver significant returns on your investment over time, and most importantly patient satisfaction!