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Practice Optimization

3 Ways Surgeons Can Save Time By Creating More Engaged Patients & Teams

Key Takeaways

  • Deploying a consistent patient education strategy across the entire treatment spectrum allows surgeons to maximize their time
  • Practices that invest in tools that allow surgeons to automate communications and that integrate seamlessly with existing tools have better time management
  • Incentivizing teams to achieve patient engagement goals leads to higher team satisfaction and less time-consuming turnover

We’ve all felt it: the burnout from having so many things to do in a day that you’re exhausted by the time you hang your hat at home. The schedule that is so packed that you feel lucky when you get to spend an hour with your family before bedtime. The hobbies you love that you feel you no longer have time to invest in. Managing the needs of the modern oral and maxillofacial surgery practice can be an all-consuming endeavor for most surgeons. Between the patient caseload, the practice team, and business operations, there is little time left in the day.

Today, oral surgeons must do more work to retain the same patient base than they did 10 years ago. Doctors across the country are looking for ways to take their time into their own hands and get back to doing the things they really care about—and, the great news is, many are successful!

If you’re looking to gain time back in your schedule, we’ll explore the three keys successful surgeons do to create more efficiency and how you can start implementing them today.

3 Keys to Creating Schedule Efficiency

Key 1: Engage in Education

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that 50% of patients walk out of a doctor’s appointment not knowing what they were told or are supposed to do. That is why a patient’s preparation and education BEFORE they ever see a surgeon is so critical to running an efficient schedule.

When patients understand the basics of their procedure and have built trust with their provider ahead of their appointment, surgeons can focus their consult time on what’s most important to that specific patient: this builds a deeper relationship with that patient, which increases their likelihood of accepting treatment.

Oral surgeon Dr. Ben Johnson sends custom patient education videos through WUWTA to every patient at his practice in the Seattle, WA, area. He says, “Our consults go a lot smoother because patients have already watched a lot of the videos online. So, when I walk in, it allows me to have a better relationship-building experience with the patient…It just runs a lot better.”

Providers who apply that same level of education throughout the patient journey see the positive trickle-down effects of communicating the right message at the right time. For example, investing in a patient’s understanding of pre- and post-operative care results in fewer post-surgical questions and a higher likelihood of care compliance. This means fewer questions during post-surgical follow-up calls and appointments, and less time spent dealing with complications due to non-compliance.

WUWTA works with practices across the country to increase the level of education patients receive before their consult. Leveraging video-based educational content, providers can create custom experiences for every patient and gather important information about how engaged a patient is in their educational process. Surgeons who leverage WUWTA consistently get tremendous results: they see more engaged patients and can more efficiently utilize their time at the practice.

Key 2: Automation & Integration

As more and more programs and tools become available to help practices interact with patients digitally, it is important to make sure these solutions save you time and work together seamlessly. If you’re investing in tools that create more work and headaches for you and your team, it is time to reassess your digital strategy.

Smart surgeons who truly maximize their schedule and get time back ensure that their digital communication tools meet two critical requirements: automation and integration.

Automation literally takes the work out of your hands. Surgeons who look for ways to automate the patient experience find that not only do they save time, but they also ensure patients get the same consistent experience with their practice—every time! When automation meets seamless integration, surgeons create a winning system that generates even greater efficiency.

At the Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists of San Diego, Drs. Paul Koshgerian and Jon Shelton were using multiple tools that didn’t speak to one another to manage patient communication and patient records. When they launched WUWTA’s latest integration with DSN, they could automate all of their patient messaging and education through their scheduling software. This decreased the time that their staff spent sending individual messages and increased the time their staff spent on personalized care and experiences.

The result? More prepared patients and faster case acceptance, which ultimately gives more time back to the doctors. Since deploying the WUWTA automation, Dr. Shelton has seen a dramatic change in the way patients arrive for their consults: “Their understanding of the treatment is there, and case acceptance is certainly going up.”

Key 3: Team Activation

Surgeons across the country are struggling with staff retention. The past two years have seen more turnover in practices than at any other time in the history of OMS practices. The process of searching, hiring, and retraining can be extensive, sucking even more time out of an oral surgeon’s already busy schedule.

Surgeons who embrace the current state of staffing affairs rather than fight it are finding new ways to get time back in their schedules. Leveraging Key 2, look for ways to engineer the patient experience that takes the work out of the staff’s hands.

Freeing up the team’s time allows practices to ensure they’re focused on things that save the surgeons time, such as:

  • Phone scripting
  • Proper scheduling protocols
  • Appointment confirmations
  • Patient appointment flow
  • Transcribing dictations

This also minimizes the level of training required for new team members to get up to speed and begin performing their jobs at the highest level for you.

Level up! Practices that incentivize their teams to be top performers are less likely to deal with turnover, providing even greater time savings for the surgeons. Teams united by goals that improve teamwork, create efficiency, and improve outcomes are the most likely to help you get time back in your day.

WUWTA’s team leaderboard and patient dashboard provide practices with real-time data on team performance over a 90-day period. Receive important patient engagement benchmarks, incentivize your team to hit them, and enjoy the new efficiency it creates in your schedule.

Get Your Time Back

Practices that successfully implement the three keys above are seeing tremendous results as they work toward creating a more efficient schedule. If you’re interested in getting your time back and want to see how WUWTA is helping oral surgery practices do just that, we encourage you to schedule a 30-minute presentation.

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