SMART technologies are changing the way dental practices are managed—for the better
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in social media trends, SEO strategies, website optimization, online reputation management and more.
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with the CEO of MMG Fusion, Paul Intlekofer, JD, MBA, to talk about the impact of SMART technology in dentistry.
What is SMART technology and how can it be generally defined?
SMART technology is Self-Monitoring Analytics and Reporting Technology. As it relates to the dental industry we are referring to autonomous patient acquisition and practice growth tools. This is technology that integrates into practice management software and simplifies, centralizes and creates efficiencies within a practice. These various tools communicate with each other and serve as an “automated practice manager” for the dentist.
Why should dentists care about SMART technology?
SMART technology provides a dental practice with a 24/7 employee for a fraction of the cost. It is always operating, it is always accurate, and it is always working to drive practice growth, save you time and money, and keep you ahead of your competition.
What is new is the smart technology sphere?
Many SMART tools have been on the market for some time: Reminder tools, review and ranking tools, SEO, social media, call tracking and various analytics dashboards that display practice metrics. What’s new is the ability to integrate all of these tools not only into the practice management software, but into each other. Recent advances in technology have allowed for this new level of communication and integration. This is what enables these disjointed marketing and analytics tools to become a SMART practice growth engine.
How difficult is SMART technology to use or implement?
The short answer is that SMART technology is not difficult to use or implement. It was designed to simplify your life and create efficiencies. Intuitive dashboards insure that you don’t have to be a professional marketer, or data analytics guru to use these tools. If they are too complicated to use within a dentist’s busy schedule, then they are useless.
In many cases the tools and integrations do the work for the dentist so the dentist is monitoring and reviewing the intuitive dashboards instead of being forced to input data or complete tasks in order to see results. These tools truly can serve as an automated office manager who works 24/7 and allows even the busiest practitioner to always have their finger on the pulse of their practice.
How can SMART technology drive practice growth?
A SMART appointment reminder or patient communication tool is a great example of SMART technology driving practice growth. When integrated seamlessly into your practice management software it can help you to monetize your existing patient base through re-care, re-activation and automated email campaigns. The software will segment patients that are overdue for regular treatment or may have left parts of a treatment plan uncompleted and targeting them with communications reminding them to come back into your practice.
Another example uses integrated marketing tracking and analytics to replicate success. A practice using SMART marketing tracking can effectively track their marketing back to not only leads generated, but also patient’s generated, and individual patient production and revenue. The practice then knows exactly what works and what doesn’t—and to even to what extent. They can use that knowledge to invest in successful marketing while moving away from marketing that they know is less effective. Stagnant and repetitive marketing in a competitive environment is a recipe for wasted money and limited or no practice growth.