With modern businesses’ competitive and fast-paced nature, dental practices require innovative ways to increase efficiency and productivity while keeping costs low. Virtual assistants offer a game-changing solution for dental practices operating on thin profit margins. They provide invaluable support in routine tasks, freeing valuable time for dental teams to focus on patient care.
Virtual dental assistants are skilled professionals who provide administrative and technical support services without being in the practice’s physical location. Their expertise includes handling appointment scheduling, phone call management, billing, and insurance claims processing.
Arguably, the most compelling reason why more and more practices are onboarding virtual dental assistants is that they significantly reduce overhead costs by up to 70%. Not only do they eliminate the expenses associated with in-person staff members, but they also don’t require employee benefits from the practice – the VA company they work with takes care of all the additional costs.
To successfully leverage virtual dental assistants, here’s what practice leaders should consider doing:
1. Identify the Open Job Roles They Can Fill
Dental practices have different components, meaning numerous job roles must be filled appropriately to keep them operational. To optimize efficiency, it’s crucial for practice leaders to carefully determine which positions require in-person support and which can be filled by virtual dental assistants. This thoughtful selection process will streamline hiring practices and reduce unnecessary recruitment expenses.
2. Determine What Each Job Role Needs
A dental practice is like a complex machine that consists of various parts, all of which serve a different purpose but are equally important. With dynamic job roles, each one is bound to need a specific qualification from its candidate. Practice leaders should know what credentials or skills they need to fill a particular job role effectively. Furthermore, doing so also increases the likelihood of finding the best virtual dental assistant.
3. Develop Comprehensive Onboarding Process
First impressions are important, so practice leaders should have a transparent onboarding process to successfully integrate virtual dental assistants into their practice. An effective onboarding process encompasses many things, including detailed job descriptions, comprehensive training plans, virtual office tours, and introductions to fellow staff members. This approach will enable virtual team members to fit better into practice and increase retention .
4. Start Small and Slowly Build Up
In most cases, virtual dental assistants are trained and equipped to handle tasks within their scope. However, beginning with a limited set of tasks is advisable to ensure seamless initial integration. Only some in-person staff members are accustomed to working with a virtual colleague, and this approach will benefit both parties. By starting small, the practice can eventually begin to delegate more complex duties with greater confidence in the virtual dental assistant’s performance.
5. Provide Clear Instructions & Expectations
Effective communication is crucial in avoiding misunderstandings and promoting clarity within a virtual environment and when collaborating with virtual dental assistants. To achieve this, dental practice leaders should provide their remote talents with thorough guidelines and expectations for each task they will be delegating, including deadlines and quality standards. Doing so will guarantee the achievement of accurate and timely task completion.
6. Utilize Communication Tools
Effective communication with virtual dental assistants also encompasses how practice leaders can provide clear instructions and expectations. To foster this, they should utilize communication tools  such as video conferencing, chat applications, and project management software. These resources facilitate regular check-ins and collaboration among team members, leading to more efficient and streamlined workflows.
7. Build a Strong Working Relationship
Virtual dental assistants may work remotely, but they are integral to any dental practice team. Leaders should connect with them through regular check-ins and open communication channels. In addition, they should also build trust and loyalty by showing appreciation for a job well done with feedback and recognition. It’s worth noting for dental practice leaders that virtual team members are just as important as in-person team members.
8. Ensure Data Security and Confidentiality
A vital concern for dental practices is safeguarding sensitive patient data regularly. Because of this, it’s critical to ensure that virtual dental assistants understand the importance of data security and confidentiality. Additionally, practice leaders should prioritize protecting patient information with stringent protocols and collaborate only with those who recognize and adhere to these protocols so the practice can build patient trust.
9. Present Continuous Improvement Opportunities
Virtual dental assistants are undoubtedly skilled and qualified, but continuous professional development is crucial to ensure their knowledge and expertise remain current and relevant. For this reason, practice leaders can provide ongoing training, webinars, and mentorship programs to help virtual dental assistants keep abreast of the latest trends and best practices. Ultimately, this will enhance the quality of care provided to patients.
10. Work With a Reliable VA Company
Most practice leaders looking into hiring their first virtual dental assistant would engage the services of a reliable VA company as they are very straightforward. While online freelancing platforms are an option, they can’t always guarantee the same level of quality and reliability as VA companies. For this reason, practice leaders need to select a company that invests in the talent they provide in order to offer excellent quality and customer care.
Choosing the right VA company can be intimidating as there are many options on the market. However, practice leaders can trust My Mountain Mover and its talent pool. With a reputation as the top VA provider for healthcare practices in the US, dental practices only interview and hire the top 2% of virtual dental assistants due to our rigorous talent screening process.
Apart from getting the best talent, practice leaders also gain their time back and their ability to do more pressing tasks. We go the extra mile to support our clients by providing a dedicated industry manager whose aim is to foster a seamless and positive experience of working with a virtual dental assistant.
Book a 10-minute discovery call with us today to learn more.