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Embracing technology

May 2019

It’s no secret that technology and innovation is on the rise on a global scale. 

This movement has influenced its way through from big business and is heavily impacting the operation of dental practices.  

One of my colleagues, Jarrod Bramble, recently travelled to the US as part of a tour centered around the theme of innovation.

Below, he poses several questions regarding the dental industry based on his experience.

Is your technology out of date?   

Staying ahead of an evolving market requires intuitive software that helps manage the unexpected. But do you have assistive technology to help automate even the simplest administrative tasks? This allows the opportunity for you to reallocate resources, spend more time with patients and concentrate on other areas of your practice. 

The key point is that artificial intelligence is not a threat to you and your practice, it’s an assistive technology which is there to help you make faster decisions.

How does your culture compare? 

How does your team react to change? At the Amazon head office in Seattle, company innovation results are graphically represented in their building to serve as a constant reminder of their shift toward change and innovation. 

The number of innovations within the company have been growing exponentially from year to year.

If someone proposes an innovation of any sort, the first answer you have to say is yes because if you voice a reply of no, you then have the task of proving why it won’t work and why it will fail to the greater team. 

They immerse themselves in a culture of yes attitudes and acceptance of failure. 

This brings me to the concept of minimum viable product, which is a product with enough features to satisfy the initial purpose, and provide feedback for future development.

So, how does this work in concept? Get your team to pick a small task that frustrates everyone, or invent a new process that will help streamline your systems, and embrace a ‘yes’ culture! 

The wrong automation could be detrimental. 

Whilst controlling a process through operational automation could be time beneficial there could be certain instances in your practice that should not be replaced by automation due to losing the human touch throughout the process.

So does implementing technology really reduce empathy from within your business? Being in healthcare, you need to identify whether automating all things really creates value or point of differentiation. 

Some tasks would need to keep the ‘human’ feel to them. 

For example patient facing work and internal processes such as job interviews, should not be automated as technology isn’t able to relate to a social interaction and feel empathy towards a person. 

The biggest take away from the trip was that if you aren’t always forward thinking about innovation and technology, and how it can help your practice by automating certain processes, how it can assist in picking up errors, streamlining processes or eliminating them all together, that you may get left behind in relation to competitors in the industry who embrace the change and ways of the future.

Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our award winning advisors if you’d like to discuss your technology.

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Topics: Practice, Dental, Dental Services, Dentists, Surgeon

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