Are you struggling to get everything done before the end of the day at your orthodontist practice?
You’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only must you constantly see patients, but you also need to keep up with clerical work. Having an orthodontist assistant on your team can alleviate the weight of your practice’s administrative side.
Keep reading to learn how a virtual orthodontist assistant can support you and the rest of your team while also saving money for your practice.
What is an orthodontist assistant?
An orthodontist assistant supports orthodontists and their staff by taking on clerical work and patient preparation. They perform a mix of administrative and medical tasks to help save an orthodontist’s time.
Did you know that a virtual assistant can perform nearly every task an orthodontist assistant can do but at a fraction of the price? Book a call with us to discover how a Healthcare Virtual Assistant can support your practice.
What is the role of an orthodontic assistant?
Orthodontic assistants perform a vital role in dental clinics. Thanks to them, orthodontists can focus on examining patients and providing care.
An orthodontic assistant is responsible for preparing patients and performing preliminary examinations before orthodontic treatment. Their job duties also include cleaning and disinfecting equipment between examinations.
During an appointment, an assistant will perform live chart updating while the orthodontist speaks to the patient. The assistant may also transcribe these notes straight to the patient’s medical records. In cases where no one else is assigned to the task, the orthodontist assistant is in charge of managing and updating all patient records.
While several dental clinics have dedicated receptionists, an orthodontist assistant can perform this role or help out with front desk communications when the receptionists is occupied with another patient or is otherwise unavailable.
Additionally, if you have any pending back-office tasks, you can also delegate these to your orthodontist assistant, especially between patient appointments.
Finally, these dental assistants can provide at-home instructions to patients and make sure they have everything they need to succeed in their orthodontic care.
Benefits of hiring an orthodontist assistant
Here’s why you should consider adding an orthodontist assistant to your team:
1. To do more of the work you love
Running an orthodontic practice involves more than just helping patients. You need to communicate follow-up care to your patients and keep all documentation up to date for everyone.
But you didn’t become an orthodontist to stay at the office late and transcribe your notes into an EMR system, did you?
Orthodontist assistants help you delegate responsibilities to those properly trained to meet your administrative needs, and therefore free you to make smiles and straighten teeth. Why waste your time on tasks worth $20 an hour when you can instead focus on tasks worth $100+ per hour?
When you have one or more orthodontist assistants on your team, you can spend more time seeing patients and less time on everything else. Your day can be filled with the work you love doing. As a result, running your practice becomes more enjoyable and rewarding.
2. To provide better patient care
Patients don’t win when their orthodontist micromanages every aspect of their care. When you have too many responsibilities to manage, you can become distracted from the work that truly matters to help your patients.
As a result, important details can slip through the cracks and lead to medical errors.
Having an orthodontist assistant by your side can help you provide a better patient experience throughout the patient’s journey. From the first moment they call your orthodontic office to the day they get discharged from your care, they can get attention from a focused team made up of members who are all in their most appropriate roles.
Your orthodontist assistant can also make sure every patient is well-educated about proper care for dental braces, headgear, retainers, and more.
3. To go home earlier
There are several benefits to running your own orthodontic practice. But one of the major cons is the frequent need to stay late to catch up on administrative duties.
An orthodontist assistant removes the burden of these tasks from your shoulders.
So, when five o’clock rolls around, you don’t have an endless pile of work to catch up on. You can stop staying late to play catch-up and go spend time with your friends and family instead.
4. To create a more efficient workflow
When overwhelmed with work, it becomes difficult to perform tasks efficiently.
But having an orthodontist assistant gives you the bandwidth to take a step back and reassess how your processes work. As a result, you can streamline every process in your orthodontic practice.
It’s easier when you have an additional team member to handle some of the responsibility. Plus, having more efficient processes will make sure there’s no overflow of work.
How a virtual orthodontist assistant can grow your practice
Not sure you want to hire an assistant? Consider an alternative to the more expensive, in-house assistant. A virtual orthodontist assistant can take over the administrative workload an in-person orthodontist assistant would typically handle.
1. Reduce your admin workload at a lower cost
Dental assistants are expensive employees to hire. They make an average of $39,066 per year in the United States.
In addition to their wages, orthodontist assistants require other expenses. If you don’t already have someone doing payroll, you’ll need to hire someone or get a consultant to handle this responsibility. You’ll also need to account for payroll taxes.
But that’s not all. Employees require other compensation, too. While several types of compensation aren’t legally required for small businesses, they’re necessary to attract and retain high-quality candidates to your clinic.
For example, you’ll need to consider offering the following:
- Paid sick leave
- Vacation days
- Insurance coverage
- 401(k) packages and other similar retirement plans
And these are just the costs of hiring your employee. You’ll also need to spend on additional overhead, such as:
- Space in your clinic
- Uniforms and other equipment
- Extra space in the reception area if they’re helping out at your front desk
On the other hand, virtual orthodontist assistants cost a flat rate of just $9.50 per hour. For a full-time virtual assistant working 40 hours a week, that’s $19,760 per year — under half as much as an orthodontist assistant would cost you in wages alone in the US.
And that’s not even counting what you’ll save in benefits and overhead.
So how can virtual orthodontist assistants cost so little but still be as qualified for the job?
Hello Rache sources all its Dental Healthcare Virtual Assistants from the Philippines. Although this country is known for its friendly, hard-working labor force, its workers don’t enjoy a high standard of living when they work local jobs.
For example, a registered nurse working in the Philippines earns an average of only $20 per day and may have to commute three hours each day. These same nurses can earn double or triple their average wage by working with Hello Rache — and they get to work from the comfort of their homes.
Plus, we take care of providing them additional benefits so that you don’t need to account for those expenses.
2. Focus on revenue-generating tasks
Getting more orthodontic patients is what generates more revenue for your private practice. But you can’t get new patients when you’re catching up on paperwork or updating medical documentation.
With one or more virtual orthodontist assistants on your team, you can outsource all the tasks that don’t directly generate revenue. As a result, you can take on more patients or invest the extra revenue into growing your practice and hiring more orthodontists.
Imagine being able to take on five extra patients per month — how much would that be worth to you?
3. Keep your practice flexible
Does your workload fluctuate over time? If that’s the case, hiring an extra employee to work as an orthodontist assistant may not be feasible.
When your workload is light, you’ll still need to pay their salary and other benefits.
However, when you hire a Dental Healthcare Virtual Assistant with Hello Rache, you don’t need to commit to a full-time hire with stable hours. There are no weekly or monthly minimums you need to stick to.
If you have flexible needs, you can get a flexible assistant who performs a few hours one week and works full-time the next. You can get more help during busy periods and ramp down when you have less work for your remote orthodontist assistant.
Hiring a virtual assistant can also be helpful when you have a temporary need for extra help. For example, let’s say you’ve gotten several inquiries from new patients. You know you’ll need to open new files and deal with new insurance claims.
Instead of overworking your existing team, why not bring on a virtual assistant for a few weeks? You can keep them on your team as long as you need them and part ways when you no longer require the extra help.
4. Stay open 24/7
Some dental clinics like to use phone answering systems to guide patients at all hours of the day. But these systems can be confusing for patients — and they lack the human touch that’s required when a patient has specific needs or questions.
You can offer a 24/7 phone service to all your patients by hiring several virtual assistants around the clock. By doing so, you’ll help keep patients from getting frustrated by a confusing phone menu or busy phone lines. You’ll never have to miss a phone call.
Because your virtual orthodontist assistant has medical knowledge, they’ll be able to answer more questions than a regular receptionist could. As a result, you won’t get bothered as often with answering simple, repetitive questions.
By providing continuous service, you’ll have happier patients who are glad to refer you to their friends and family. You’ll also mitigate negative reviews that patients write out of frustration with the administrative side of the dental clinic.
5. Onboard your orthodontist assistant faster
One of the most frustrating parts about hiring a new employee is the onboarding process. Not only do you have to go through a ton of paperwork, but you also need to train your new orthodontist assistant extensively.
And the more junior they are, the longer the onboarding process will be.
On the other hand, remote orthodontist assistants already have the training they need to perform in your dental practice. They’re even trained in HIPAA compliance, which gives you one less detail to worry about.
Virtual assistants can also quickly and easily learn any EHR/EMR system you use. While an in-person orthodontist assistant may have clinical skills, they may not necessarily be knowledgeable about such systems, making the onboarding process much longer.
Finally, if you urgently need help, you can find a virtual assistant with Hello Rache in just a few days. If you were to hire an employee, you’d need to go through several weeks of searching through applications and interviewing your favorite candidates.
Bring on a trained orthodontist assistant to support your practice
While having an in-person orthodontist assistant can provide you with hands-on support, they’re expensive to hire and require overhead. On the other hand, a virtual orthodontist assistant can rid your practice of cumbersome tasks that are taking you and your team’s time.
Get in touch with our team today to see how you can get a fully trained orthodontist assistant for your practice.