The need for patient engagement hasn’t changed. How that connection happens has. And It’s why teledentistry is changing the relationship between patients and providers.
Telehealth in general has shifted the way patients interact with their health care professionals. In a radio interview with Dr. Sean Boynes (vice president of health improvement at the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement) two revealing trends have occurred relative to telehealth.
- It’s predicted that by the end of 2020 a billion telehealth interactions will have occurred.
- Virtual health interactions are up almost 50%
Why the increasing interest in telehealth…and teledentistry?
No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 altered the healthcare landscape. While the public takes their health seriously, the way they access their providers required equally serious consideration.
Like many telehealth applications…teledentistry provides:
- Use of dedicated video technology to communicate with you as their provider
- A private, secure patient portal to share information between you and your patient(s) and specialists when necessary
The virtual solutions associated with teledentistry allows more flexibility - especially as patients have become more accustomed to the digital environment.
”During a time when 35% of people say they’ve already missed a dental appointment due to the pandemic, increased teledentistry access allows dentists to prioritize patients that need urgent and immediate care without needing to physically see their patients,…
Teledentistry isn’t a replacement for going in and seeing the dentist, but it can offer a safe triage for people,”
It starts with patient engagement
Before exploring teledentistry in depth let’s confirm we’re on the same page about patient engagement.
Think of patient engagement as maintaining an active, ongoing relationship with each of your patients. The interaction can and will most often be around the diagnosis and treatment associated with their oral health.
Transparency is foundational to your relationship with them. That makes how you interact all the more essential.
Your engagement techniques should promote a positive patient experience. Scheduling preventive dentistry appointments, access to oral health information and educational resources, the opportunity to ask relevant dental health questions all without an in-office visit is now key to developing loyal, satisfied dental patient relationships.
How teledentistry and patient engagement work together
The role of teledentistry in patient engagement has joined the category of what’s been referred to as “the new normal.” Not all patients will want to keep their “distance” from dentistry as a whole. Even so, teledentistry provides another solution for new and current patients to access your expertise safely and securely.
Appointment scheduling that prioritizes care
Requests for appointments (as you know) can range from high to low priority. And there’s also the unknown factors that can emerge when scheduling a patient.
Your particular practice will perhaps have a philosophy on what qualifies each priority level when scheduling. However you block your schedule (including open blocks for emergencies) teledentistry enables you to prioritize patient requests - especially those unknowns that may or may not require an eventual in-office appointment.
Patients will also appreciate the convenience of remote access to your expertise. And they’re perhaps more likely to proceed with necessary treatment as a result of your initial, virtual consult.
Scheduling workflows that are more efficient for you and your patients
A dedicated teledentistry software platform delivers improved time and treatment efficiency. Built-in software features help keep your team’s workflows simple while providing patient security and convenience.
- Notifications with clickable links to launch a teledentistry connection
- Accessible, secure digital forms to obtain essential patient and health history information, etc for review prior to and during an appointment (virtual or in-office)
- Real-time video consultations that provide diagnostic information for prioritizing treatment and related treatment planning
Improved workflows can naturally lead to improved patient relationships. Streamlined scheduling within the teledentistry platform is a win-win for you and your patients.
Patient facing solutions that streamlines information gathering
Completing required forms is a time investment for your patients. It’s common for in-office practice management platforms to provide an online option for acquiring your patient’s information.
Add a teledentistry portal and duplication of effort can occur.
Some teledentistry applications require your patient to access the information menu and the teledentistry platform. Plus you as the provider would be required to navigate between each portal.
There’s an exception…
A dedicated teledentistry platform can be equipped to facilitate both at the same time within one location. And your patient’s information can be added outside the platform to your in-office software at a later time.
- Forms can be customized and uploaded for easy patient access
- Patients can access and complete the required forms via a secure patient portal within the platform
- Patients can update their forms and medical history information when necessary within the portal
The overall holistic solutions within a dedicated teledentistry platform enables you to fully maximize your virtual patient interactions…leading to better patient engagement!
Teledentix is an innovative, turn-key teledentistry solution created by Virtual Dental Care. The all-in-one platform will enable you to adapt teledentistry to your patient care and extend your services beyond the walls of your dental practice…and improve your patient engagement in the process.
- Teledentix provides an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that’s secure, HIPAA compliant, and specific to dentistry.
- Teledentix Basic is a perfect starting point. Begin with a free trial and then transition to a very low monthly fee. You and your patients can join unlimited video conferences including screen-share, file-share, video-share, and real-time chat communications.
Contact us about Teledentix and discover how it streamlines the interaction between you and your patient around their dental care…even orthodontics.