You’d have a hard time finding anyone more committed to improving the field of dentistry than Dr. Gina Dorfman. She’s published several books and dozens of articles on dental technology and practice management. She founded a software company that makes apps for dental practices. She hosts a podcast for dental teams.
And even with all of these responsibilities, Dr. Dorfman still runs the popular family practice she founded almost 20 years ago: Dentistry for Kids and Adults.
So when the pandemic forced dental practices all over the country to close their doors, Dr. Dorfman started teaching telehealth to other dentists. She recognized the need right away to help other practices continue triaging and caring for their patients during the quarantine.
At that same time, though, the lockdown was exposing problems with the communications systems Dr. Dorfman was using in her own practice.
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What do you do with a phone system that’s years overdue for a checkup?
When she started Dentistry for Kids and Adults in 2000, Dr. Dorfman paid for lines from the telephone company and purchased desktop phones for the front office. But as the practice grew, Dr. Dorfman and her colleagues began adding other communication channels to keep everyone connected. Eventually, this led to several challenges.
We had high phone bills, separate costs for online fax and a texting service, and we still ended up giving out our personal cell numbers to patients when we were away from the office. With RingCentral, we’re saving thousands each year.
When the COVID-19 shutdowns began, Dr. Dorfman realized she didn’t have an effective way to triage patients, or even communicate with them, from home. The practice didn’t have a video conferencing app for telehealth, or an easy way to forward calls to dentists’ home or cell lines. “I had an employee go into the office just to take and make patient calls,” Dr. Dorfman recalls, “because that was the only way to do it with our old phone system.”
Since switching to RingCentral, they can hold, transfer, record a call, and more—all in the app, no matter if they’re in the office or on the go:
With RingCentral’s desktop and mobile app, Dr. Dorfman’s staff can take patient calls on their own cell phones—while protecting their personal phone numbers because the app shows only the business number. Not only that, they can also flip calls from a phone to computer without interrupting the conversation.
Getting set up for teledentistry in a few easy steps
When they rolled out RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud solution, Dentistry for Kids and Adults was able to operate like a smooth-running dental practice almost immediately—even with its staff and patients still locked down.
Dentists were able to use RingCentral Video for telehealth sessions—which, as Dr. Dorfman says, creates a much better patient experience because a face-to-face conversation helps put them at ease. “It’s also great for triaging and pre-qualifying patients before deciding whether they need to come in for emergency care,” she says.
Here’s a quick look at how the RingCentral app works:
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Now, the whole team was able to take and make calls on the office lines through the RingCentral app on their laptops and cell phones. As Dr. Dorfman explains, one benefit of this was that the practice’s billing manager was able to stay productive—even while self-isolating after her mother got sick.
She downloaded the RingCentral app and was able to make calls to insurance companies on our business number, right from her computer at home. She was even able to send and receive faxes digitally, also right from the RingCentral app.
A quick, easy rollout (that didn’t require an IT pro)
And in case you’re wondering, setting up the RingCentral cloud communications system didn’t require any technical expertise or a lot of time—even with the added complication that everyone on the team was quarantined at home and using all sorts of different devices. Here’s how Ken Lukach, Practice Manager at Dentistry for Kids and Adults, describes the experience:
I handled the rollout of RingCentral for the practice. The Implementation Team was really helpful. They encouraged me to schedule free training sessions. But honestly, it was so easy that I was able to do it myself.
A bonus was that RingCentral integrates with YAPI, the patient engagement software that the practice uses. This way, when a call from a patient comes in (through RingCentral’s app), YAPI automatically pops up a window with important chart data, profile information, upcoming appointments with treatment details, uncollected balances, and more:
Check out the Dentistry for Kids and Adults success story
Originally published Aug 31, 2020, updated Feb 24, 2022