Here are the resources and transcript from episode 105 of our podcast Oral Surgery Admin’s Time Out Podcast: Practice Management Success Tips, which you can listen to below or find wherever you listen to podcasts. If you enjoy it, please subscribe, leave a 5-star review, and share it with your oral surgery colleagues.
Intiveo is providing an great collection of patient messaging templates, plus several ways to get in touch with them. Find links to all of this below.
Join Melissa Hathcock (Fort Worth Oral Surgery) and Joshua DeVries (Intiveo) as they discuss the importance of effective and efficient patient communication in guiding patients through the complex procedures your OMS practice performs, what features an OMS practice administrator looks for in a reminder service, and how examining your patient communication process and help you save time and remain adaptable.
Jill Dunnam: Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining our podcast. Welcome to the Society of OMS Administrators, Practice Administrators Time Out for Practice Management Success Tips.
We are here today with Intiveo, and we also have a guest from Fort Worth Oral Surgery, Melissa. And so I just want to welcome both of you: welcome Melissa, welcome Josh. And first, I want to see if Josh would go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and Intiveo.
[00:00:43] JoshDeVries: Wonderful. Thank you very much for having me today.
As you know, my name’s Joshua DeVries. I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Intiveo Patient Communication Service. Most importantly, I am a patient, a patient that wants better communication between me and my healthcare providers. And what we have done, and what my team has done, is we built a patient communication tool that helps OMS clinics ensure patients get the important information they need when they need it resulting in successful outcome of their treatment.
[00:01:11] Jill Dunnam: Great! So you guys talk about patient communication a lot. Why do you feel patient communication is so important?
[00:01:19] JoshDeVries: Yeah, we just feel that communication is a critical component of every step within the patient journey, whether it be relaying important pre-op/post-op instructions, checking in on patients after the procedures, communication is always present and important.
Most OMS clinics value communication so much, they do it manually themselves, as most traditional communication services don’t meet the complex needs of OMS offices and will miss out on important information the patients need to follow.
[00:01:48] Jill Dunnam: Sounds like you’ve recognized some differences in oral surgery communication versus general dentistry. Can you talk about that a little bit?
[00:01:54] JoshDeVries: Yeah, of course, I would love to. Yeah, there’s obviously very, very big differences from a GP to an OMS clinic. OMS clinics are typically dealing with complex procedures. Each of them may have their own pre-op /post-op instructions, fasting instructions, you know, pre-medication. Reaching out to these patients with the right information at the right time can be critical in the success of their treatment and their recovery.
When you think of these things, you know, communication is always key. Guiding patients through these complex procedures is really important. And fortunately, with the right communication tool, they can benefit both the practice and the patient experience.
[00:02:31] OMS practices need more than just features that are used in common GP practices. OMS practices need comprehensive and tailored communication tools that helps them easily guide their patients through the complex steps of their oral health care.
Our goal is not that just patients show up on time. Our goal is they show up on time prepared for a successful outcome. Really focusing on making sure patients walking into a surgery with a Starbucks or eating a sandwich never happens again. That’s kind of what we live for.
[00:02:59] Jill Dunnam: Great. So are there any other things you would say Intiveo does to really help OMS practices specifically?
[00:03:06] JoshDeVries: Yeah, so at Intiveo, we’ve worked with hundreds of OMS practices, and we understand that they operate very differently, and to ensure the success of their procedures, we need to understand the entire treatment plan to deliver the right message at the right time. This is why we’ve combined years of industry knowledge and product development to meet the comprehensive solution suited specifically to the needs of OMS clinics.
We’re designed to handle all the intricate procedure-based communications. We have custom templates and forms that help out for the most common types of treatments, and our entire staff and team is very familiar with the needs and processes of OMS clinics. And we are committed to partnering with you to automate communication where possible and to inform you where you need to step in manually.
[00:03:51] Jill Dunnam: Wonderful, that’s great. I think that’s much needed. So let’s switch over a little bit to Melissa. Melissa is, like I mentioned, at Fort Worth Oral Surgery. And they are customers of Intiveo, so we wanted some input there. Melissa, would you go ahead and introduce yourself and what you do for your practice at Fort Worth Oral Surgery?
[00:04:10] Melissa Hathcock: Yes. Thank you, Jill. I am a treatment coordinator for Fort Worth Oral Surgery. We are a busy practice here with three wonderful doctors.
[00:04:19] Jill Dunnam: And so how long have you been using Intiveo?
[00:04:23] Melissa Hathcock: We’ve been using Intiveo for about a year now.
[00:04:25] Jill Dunnam: Okay. And when you were looking for, you know, a reminder service like that, what were some things that you were really looking to use it for?
[00:04:35] Melissa Hathcock: Mainly just a more efficient process to inform and prepare patients with the important appointment information for surgeries and consultation.
[00:04:44] Jill Dunnam: Okay, so when you went through those, what would you say your “must have” features were that you were looking for?
[00:04:50] Melissa Hathcock: Well, we are a unique practice, so having the ability to customize the messages, depending on the appointment type, was very important.
[00:04:58] Jill Dunnam: Okay, so each appointment could be unique?
[00:05:01] Melissa Hathcock: Correct.
[00:05:02] Jill Dunnam: So what are some of the things, the features, in there that you use that you love, you want other practices, obviously we’ll be listening to this so, you know, whatever you feel like has benefited your practice, what would you say they could benefit from?
[00:05:14] Melissa Hathcock: Of course, just the main automated messages.
There’s also, you have the ability to customize templates or quick messages so that you can communicate with patients. For example, we do payment links or send out separate messages for follow-up appointments, that was a plus being able to go in there and add those and customize them as well.
[00:05:36] Jill Dunnam: Okay, so I’d like to talk about some of the success metrics that really help you see that the system’s working well. Do you feel like you get better confirmations through using a reminder service?
[00:05:48] Melissa Hathcock: Definitely. The confirmation rates have increased. We have fewer no-show appointments. There’s also a significant increase in patients coming prepared for surgeries, like Josh touched on, knowing not to eat or drink and being prepared for their surgery. And then also coming prepared for a consultation.
[00:06:07] Jill Dunnam: That’s great. I think, Josh, you maybe can speak to this a little bit, but it sounds like you guys can also do some post-op messaging, and Melissa, do you send those out right now?
[00:06:18] Melissa Hathcock: We do. Those are automated as well, so when patients leave after surgery, they usually get post-op instructions within the next hour. So that’ll just have those instructions to reflect back on and to review, because it’s a lot going on when they’re here for surgery, so that’s helpful for them to have and to be able to look at.
[00:06:35] Jill Dunnam: Josh, would you tell us a little bit about that post-op messaging? I think that may make a difference for practices and what you guys can do with that.
[00:06:42] JoshDeVries: Yeah, so there’s two ways we can manage that. So the first way, and I think that’s what Melissa is alluding to, is to send the patient home, digitally through their email or their text, a form or documentation of how they need to follow up on their care, whether it be, you know, rinsing with salt water, or whatever other instructions they may have.
The other way is we can actually send them a survey of bad effects post-surgery, so that could be a questionnaire they fill out if they’re having excessive bleeding or their stitches have come out, if they’re in an immense amount of pain. And they can fill out that survey online.
Now, if all of the symptoms they are experiencing are normal and part of the expected procedure, it’s going to thank them and let them know that, you know, no action’s required on their end. We will follow up with them within a business day.
[00:07:29] Now, if they are experiencing excessive bleeding or their stitches have come out, or if the pain is unbearable, our system will know that that is a negative X result and it will forward the patient over the emergency phone number to contact someone right away.
And it really helps to make sure that patients feel cared for, even if their treatment was on a Friday afternoon and no one from the office can manually follow up until Monday, they have this other form of communication to feel heard and to feel like their concerns are being addressed in the best automated way possible.
[00:08:01] Jill Dunnam: That’s great. Okay, another question for Melissa. What do you feel, as far as the amount of time spent in the office for different people in the front office, what kind of time saving has this been for you?
[00:08:13] Melissa Hathcock: Tremendous. It saved us, uh, say about five hours a week from calling patients.
[00:08:20] Jill Dunnam: Okay. What about during COVID? Let’s talk about COVID a little bit. I know nobody wants to talk about COVID anymore, we’re done! But what would you say, have been any helpful features that Intiveo offers that has helped you pivot or change during COVID? Any thoughts on that?
[00:08:36] Melissa Hathcock: It certainly did with our remote check-in process. It helped with the patient flow. It eased patient’s concerns about coming in. So having the ability to send out those automated reminders to go over the check-in instructions.
So when you call and make the appointment, and it’s like a fire hose of information at one time, so being able to set up those multiple reminders really helped that check-in process and the flow of the patient.
[00:09:02] Jill Dunnam: Can you clarify a little bit: what are you doing to remotely check in patients? Can you explain that a little bit for your practice?
[00:09:09] Melissa Hathcock: So we have numbered parking spots along the back sides of the building, and we have a phone number that they will text and the parking spots are numbered, so once those patients arrive, they’ll text their name and that parking spot number and to assist them so that we know that they’re here to check them in.
[00:09:28] Jill Dunnam: Great, so then they don’t have to wait in your lobby?
[00:09:31] Melissa Hathcock: Correct, yeah. They’ll just wait in their car until a clinical assistant comes out to get them.
[00:09:35] Jill Dunnam: Okay, awesome. Josh, do you have any feedback for Melissa or thoughts about her comments there?
[00:09:41] JoshDeVries: So what I’m hearing from Melissa here, and it’s really exciting is that they are clearly seeing real results in using this these tools today.
But I think that’s really important. When you’re implementing these tools, the results should be tangible. And if you’re not getting that type of results from your providers, you need to really understand how come. And it’s really important that as you grow a practice and as you continue on with these processes and in evolving markets, it’s really important that you have the right partners on board, and that you are seeing the results that they are being held accountable to those results.
You know, from our perspective, accountability is huge for our organization. And one of the ways that we keep ourselves accountable is that we offer a really long trials because we believe the results are going to come. And if it takes 60 days, which is what our trial is, for you to see those results in a tangible manner, we make sure that you see that before you’re asked to pay a single penny.
[00:10:37] The other way that we keep ourselves accountable is that we offer free training and support. So if at any time you have a question or if you add a new treatment or procedure you’re going to complete, or if you want to mix things up, you can always call our team and we’re happy to evaluate your current setup and to make the changes necessary for you to be successful.
Now that only works if you have a product that does work. If you have constant problems, that accountability metric is going to require patients to follow up with you and to not be satisfied. So we’ve seen this be a really effective measure to ensure our customers are seeing the great results you’re hearing today.
I think that one of the things I wanted to leave everyone with is that these are important things, that the communicating with patients is important to making them feel like they’re partners in their treatment is important. And what we want to do that, even if you’re not in the position where automated communication service is on your radar, we want to provide you with free messaging templates.
[00:11:33] So there’s a resource guide that we’re going to be sharing with everyone here, where you can see all of our templating for OMS practices for free, and this can include follow-up surveys. Everything that you need and should be communicating with patients and we’ll actually give you even the timeline in which you should be sending this out. So, you know, a day before the surgery at 6:00 PM, it’s really good to remind patients their fasting instructions. Because it’s that simple little reminder that will save that patient from showing up eating something.
So that is a free gift we want to give to everyone listening today. Hopefully, you can review those templates, you can embed it in your already existing communication you’re having with that patient. If that’s manual and that’s working, that’s awesome. We want to encourage you to keep on valuing patient communication that way.
If you do have any questions or if you’re unsatisfied with your results, if you’re spending too much time or if you’re having failed appointments, you know, please do reach out. We’d be happy to kind of give you a consultation, to understand what are some of the gaps in your current workflows, and is there an opportunity for Intiveo to help, you know, bridge some of those gaps and to offer a better service for your patients.
[00:12:36] Jill Dunnam: That’s great. Well, Josh, would you mind providing your contact information in case anybody wants to reach out to Intiveo for more information?
[00:12:44] JoshDeVries: Yeah, so you can feel free to reach me personally at Josh at Intiveo dot com. Or alternatively, if you’re already using our service, it’s support at Intiveo dot com. And if you’re interested and you want more information and you want to have the best people to show you the product and really the ones that work with OMS offices every day, you can contact our sales team at sales at Intiveo dot com. All three of those emails are going to get you answers and give you some feedback and some support.
Jill Dunnam: That’s great. Thank you for that.
[00:13:28] Jill Dunnam: Wonderful. Thank you, Josh, for sharing such great resources and opportunities for OMS practices. Melissa. Thanks for joining us as well and sharing your experience. Thank you all for listening to Practice Admins Time Out. We love bringing you practice management success tips and information on great products and services out there.
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