Teledentistry: How and Why to Do It Now

The conventional wisdom in dentistry has been that we have to physically see the patient. But during this crisis, virtually all practices are only seeing emergencies. And what we’re finding is that a significant percentage of dental emergency patients can be treated with teledentistry. (For a video on this topic, go to: https://youtu.be/_amZ7qjfUxc )

Treating Dental Emergencies with Teledentistry

Let me stress this first. It is your civic duty as well as your professional one to see emergency patients during this crisis. I’ll give you three key reasons why:

  1. Your patient won’t get their dental problem solved in the ER;
  2. The ER’s are already overwhelmed, and don’t need dental emergencies on top of it;
  3. Your patient could possibly leave the ER with the coronavirus, with an immune system that is already compromised because of their dental problem.

The ER is not where you want your own patients to be going. You have sterilization procedures to protect yourself, but now you have the ability to do teledentistry, triage those patients and be compensated for it.

There are a number of options out there for teledentistry, and the one I’ve found with the most comprehensive solution is offered by PatientPop. It is a cloud-based system that works directly with your PMS, streamlining the process.

Here’s how PatientPop Telehealth works:

  1. The patient contacts the office or uses the practice website to make an online tele-appointment;
  2. The dentist or team member can update the patient history or, if it is a new patient, get that history input right then, as well as their insurance information;
  3. The dentist uses HD video to see and diagnose the patient, with a side chat to share images and interact;
  4. If the patient needs a prescription, it can be done right there in the app;
  5. You can collect the payment right there within the app;
  6. You can do electronic charting of all the information, sending it straight in to your PMS.

We now have teledentistry codes, D9995 and D9996. You can charge between $75 and $150 for a consultation that may only take five or ten minutes. And then only bring in the patients into the office that need immediate treatment. You can also determine during the telehealth call if the patient is a COVID-19 risk to the practice, and take extra precautions.

You can use your patient communication software such as RevenueWell or PatientPop’s own system to notify all your patients that you are available for emergencies and can do teledentistry. This is powerful. Your patients will feel cared for, and you can keep them out of the emergency room, which is not where they would want to go now anyway.

Treating emergencies during this crisis is also a chance to attract new patients. At this time, 1-800-DENTIST is fielding tens of thousands of emergency calls a day, and have created a temporary membership that is emergencies only. These are people who don’t have a dentist. Take care of them, and turn them into long term patients. For more information about 1-800-DENTIST’s emergency program, go to www.Futuredontics.com.

PatientPop’s program is extremely affordable, and can pay for itself with just a few patient calls. It is also very easy to learn and install. You can be up and running in half an hour. I encourage you to take a demo of PatientPop Telehealth, for the sake of your revenue, your patients, and the medical industry that is so overwhelmed right now.

Full disclosure, I am an advisor to PatientPop. But I only advise companies with services or products that I think bring real value to my friends in the dental industry. I also am an advisor for PatientPrism for the same reason. And I no longer have any financial interest in 1-800-DENTIST.

Thank you for all you do in health care. You can make a huge difference on the impact of this crisis.

Resources

To learn more about PatientPop Telehealth, visit https://fredjoyal.com/patientpop/

Coaching: Fortune Management: https://www.fortunemgmt.com

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