Not to “wish-life-away,” but if there was ever a year we wanted to wrap up quickly, it’s 2020. Challenging only begins to describe it. Yet, in spite of it all, innovation remains strong, especially as we anticipate trends in dentistry for 2021 (and beyond).
Many 2020 predictions held and gained momentum. The impact of COVID-19 caused the industry to step back and reevaluate protocols as well.
Even so, you and your practice have hopefully emerged stronger.
- Patient safety measures improved and further instilled ongoing trust in dentistry
- Workflows and systems were streamlined to accommodate changes to care standards
- Technology such as teledentistry gained ground and created new and safe patient care opportunities
Where thought leadership and 2021 trends in dentistry are merging
Forced isolation and ongoing pandemic precautions are believed to further drive hunger for social connection. This increases the opportunities for you to engage patients around consistent and useful content.
Your dental practice’s content and social media platforms are an essential key to your patient engagement. And the form and function of your content will enable you to improve patient experience in the months ahead.
- Connect with your community. Establish and nurture relationships with schools, businesses, and churches through donation-drives. Promote and share your efforts on your social media platforms.
- Create in-the-moment content. The popularity of TikTok and Instagram Stories provides you an opportunity to share somewhat short, real-time content with those who follow your practice. Those platforms are especially effective with your younger patient demographic.
- Calendar your content for strategic impact. Alongside your in-the-moment content, it’s a good idea to plan a high-percentage of your content around themes and on a specific publishing schedule.
Supply-chain management and efficiency
Online ordering has increased as a result of the 2020 pandemic. There’s also an efficiency factor that drives the opportunity to view and compare purchase options.
- Embrace technology and platforms that provide supply cost-comparisons
- Avoid supply-chain issues through accessing available supplier networks in addition to your standard ordering processes
Dental insurance diversity
The time to get strategic about your provider options is now! As you’re aware, the dental insurance landscape has and is shifting.
Is it in your favor? Well, that depends on how you position yourself.
- Strategize around what’s best for your patients and your practice. Whether a PPO, traditional provider model, or an in-house dental membership plan – explore the options that fit your patient-base.
- Designate an insurance coordinator. A team member tasked with all-things-insurance can keep an eye on revenue cycles, changing regulations, and necessary adjustments.
- Outsource for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Changing practice workflows and staffing challenges could reveal that time-intensive insurance tasks are better handled by an outside resource. Keep patient benefit communication in-house while outsourcing benefit-checks, etc.
Patient-facing convenience and care consistency
Oral health trends have continued as the 2020 pandemic somewhat slowed patient care. Like other direct-to-consumer solutions, dental products and services will continue to remain influential in healthcare.
- Educate patients before promoting those products or services. This