The aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly but surely transforming the landscape of telehealth services. This is a perfect time for dental professionals to implement some form of virtual communication with their patients.
Over the past year, you may have looked at or even attempted integrating teledentistry into your practice. The reality is that teledentistry is a great way to create additional touchpoints and opportunities and is quickly becoming an essential feature for dental care providers. If you still have questions or doubts about virtual dental visits, here is a quick teledentistry guide to help you get started.
What Is Teledentistry?
Teledentistry is simply using telecommunications technology to deliver remote dental care. It is a simple and convenient way for dentists to interact with their patients without the hassle of in-person health restrictions. Teledentistry also improves access for patients who live in rural and remote areas, suffer from certain health conditions, or have inflexible work schedules.
How Can Teledentistry Help My Practice?
In addition to improved accessibility and safety, teledentistry also cuts down costs and boosts revenue. Virtual visits reduce spending on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and allow you to see even the most immunocompromised patients. Teledentistry also enables you to focus on services that drive the most revenue. For example, you may choose to move all triage, consultations, and routine post-op visits to a virtual medium. This reduces time constraints and allows you to extend your operations into the patients’ living room or office.
How do I get Started With Teledentistry?
1. Establish a protocol
Take some time to figure out what services you would provide remotely and which team members would be involved. It is important to make virtual patients feel just as comfortable with online appointments as in-house visits. You could also reach out to peers who have successfully implemented teledentistry to determine what the virtual visit would entail.
2. Organize your schedule
Determine what days and times you would allocate for virtual visits. You could choose to fill gaps in your schedule with virtual visits or coordinate them at specific times. It is a good idea to invest some time and energy into finding the right scheduling technique for your practice.
3. Create a space for teledentistry appointments
Prepare a room or area dedicated to virtual visits. This is especially important if you plan on taking these appointments at home. It ensures that you have the necessary technology and your workspace set up for the appointment in advance. Be mindful of HIPAA regulations and the patients’ right to privacy.
4. Ensure documentation and compliance
Document each virtual visit in your management software, just as you would with an in-person consultation. Ideally, your documentation process should also account for any billing or prescription services. If you can exercise control over the software, ensure the transition from check-out to payment and documentation is seamless.
5. Educate and incentivize your patients
The final and perhaps the most crucial step of implementing teledentistry is to get patients involved. Reach out to existing patients through email or text to let them know about the services you offer virtually. Teledentistry should have a strong presence on all your social channels and websites. Offering coupons and discounts for virtual visits could also go a long way towards growing your consumer base.
If you want to make the most out of teledentistry for your practice, denTEL has you covered. We offer simple, seamless capabilities for booking and hosting HIPAA-compliant teledentistry consultations. To learn more about how denTEL can help you grow your virtual dentistry practice, get in touch with one of our experts or join us today!