Kathy Culbreth is currently a Data Analyst with <a href="http://www.net32.com">Net32.com</a> and an occasional blog contributor for ModernPractice.org. With her background in Industrial Engineering and Business, Ms. Culbreth spent over 8 years working with dental and medical practices in the areas of implementation, training and support for a leading practice management software provider and well as providing practice management consulting services.

Health benefit for your employees

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The Advantages of Individual Health Insurance for Dental Practices

Health benefit for your employees

Most dental practices want to offer health care benefits to their employees. After all, healthcare benefits are a vital part of recruiting and retaining the best hygienists, dental assistants, and office managers. However, for many practices, group health insurance is cost prohibitive, but according to Jordan Jolley with Zane Benefits, there is a cost effective solution: Individual Health Insurance.

“Employer-funded individual health insurance is ideal for dental practices because the solution allows them to offer healthcare benefits for employee recruiting and retention, while still controlling their benefits costs. The solution is affordable, 100 percent paperless, and flexible enough to fit the needs of a busy practice. In addition, by utilizing employee classes, the practice can set up different healthcare allowances for the different employee roles….”

Individual Health Insurance often works well for both the dental practice and the practice employees. While controlling costs for the practice, this option allows employees to choose their own plans to work within their budget.

Read Jordan Jolley’s full article: Your Small Dental Practice Can Offer Health Benefits Without Breaking the Bank.

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Facebook Check-Ins

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The importance of Facebook Check-Ins

Facebook Check-Ins

Get more out of Facebook: The importance of Facebook Check-Ins

Every dentist knows the importance of social media marketing and having a business Facebook page. You and your staff are busy keeping your page fresh and fun by publishing captivating posts, running contests, and encouraging patient interaction and likes. The goal of all this activity is to be visible – to be on top of your patients’ News Feeds – so you can reach as many patients and potential new patients as possible. Here’s a new and simpler way to help keep your patients engaged on Facebook:  Check-Ins.

In fact, Facebook likes and check-ins are becoming more important than your own posts as Facebook’s Graph Search enables people to search this type of interaction. By definition, likes and check-ins engage your patients, but check-ins carry far more credibility as they are authentic, demonstrating true personal commitment.

When a Facebook user wants to share information about their current location, they can “check in” to a dental practice, local business, restaurant, or practically any public place. When patients do this, their update and location appears in their News Feed for all their friends to see.

When your patients arrive at your practice, you can encourage them to check-in much like you encourage them to like your page.  There are just a couple quick steps to do first in order to allow check-ins. All you need to do is set your Facebook page’s category to Local Business and add your Business Address to your page.  Click here for Facebook’s detailed instructions on updating these settings.

The marketing power of the check-in is even greater if your patients post a photo and tag themselves when they check-in.  So while you may not want your patients talking on their cell phone when they arrive at your practice, you do want to encourage them to use their phone to take a “selfie” and check-in on Facebook!

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Are you mobile ready?

mobile-ready

News from the Internet Summit – Are you mobile ready?

This past November, nine Net32 employees had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference was packed full of internet business information to help us continue to serve our dental customers in the most effective means possible.  Of everything we learned, one topic stands out as the most relevant to share with you: In 2014 mobile internet access will surpass desktop.

How does this shift affect your dental practice? It means you must be mobile ready. That is, your site and email communications must be easily viewable and functional on a mobile device. If you have not already redesigned your marketing strategy with mobile in mind, make getting “Mobile Ready” your 2014 New Year’s resolution.

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New Facebook Promotion Rules

facebook-rules

New Facebook Promotion Rules: Facebook Allows Contests Without Apps

On August 27, 2013, Facebook revised their rules for offering promotions on their Pages Terms.  Their self stated goal is to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook. They’ve removed the requirement that promotions only be administered through apps.  You can now administer contests on your page timeline as well. For example, you can now collect entries by having user post on your page or comment/like your page post.  You can also utilize likes as a voting mechanism.  This change removes a big hurdle for small businesses wishing to run a Facebook contest.  See the full guidelines here:

Facebook official announcement

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e-Reminders Reduce Missed Appointments

No one needs to tell you that time is money and nothing undermines your practice productivity more than missed appointments. The good news here is that technology, when properly implemented, can reduce your practice no-shows substantially. E-reminders, that is reminders sent via email and/or text message, are much more effective and less costly than postcards and phone calls. Furthermore, most patients actually prefer electronic reminder to phone calls.

How does an e-reminder system work?

There are a multitude of solutions providers to help your practice implement e-reminders, but here is a typical process with recall appointments.

  1. When your patient checks out for their current cleaning appointment and schedules their 6 month recall, they will receive a “Save the Date” email immediately. This email increases the probability of the patient adding the appointment to their personal calendar.
  2. A week before the appointment, the patient will get an automatic email reminder and/or text message reminder.
  3. The day before the appointment, the patient will get an automatic email reminder and/or text message reminder.
  4. The day of the appointment, the patient will get a final text message reminder.

Naturally, most systems allow you to customize the time-frame parameters and frequency of e-reminders as well as default to a phone call system when you do not have the patient’s email address or a phone number that accepts text messages. The biggest advantage of most of these systems is they are implemented automatically by your service provider. That means that your staff will not need to spend time running reports, making phone calls or printing reminder cards and can focus on tasks that require their personal touch.  Not only are e-reminder systems more effective than phone calls, they are much less costly.

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