Commonwealth Bank releases its latest report on dental businesses

cost-of-living crisis and dentists
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A majority of dental practices in Australia are worried that the cost-of-living crisis and economic uncertainty will keep their patients from getting dental care in the next 12 months, a report by the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has found.

According to the Dental Insights Report, about 83 per cent of dentists were anticipating the continued increase in operating costs in 2024. Meanwhile, 41 per cent said that they were targeting a revenue increase as the dental sector was still optimistic about the conditions in the near future.

Likely due to this optimism, about 60 per cent of dentists were confident about their current business conditions, with regional areas outstripping those in the metropolitan areas.

“It really is encouraging that despite a difficult environment posed by elevated costs, our research shows dental practices are planning to take proactive action to drive growth over the coming months,” Commonwealth Bank Health CEO Albert Naffah said.

The report further found that in order to drive growth and get new patients, the top strategies dentists opted for were marketing activity, investing in or upgrading clinical technologies, and offering evening appointments after 5pm.

“To boost demand and the patient experience, practices are mobilising multiple initiatives to help patients easily find, access, and pay for appointments. This is supported by a focus on enhancing equipment and premises, including investment in clinical technology,” Naffah said.

Other strategies include adapting systems and processes, with a rising interest in new applications for data analytics in areas like external benchmarking, patient feedback, and practice operations.

“Streamlining systems and processes in search of internal efficiencies also remains a priority. This is likely contributing to a groundswell of interest in data-driven tools, including analytics and AI, to better understand and optimise practice performance,” Naffah said.

When it comes to AI, most dentists said that they would like to use it in areas, with appointment scheduling being the most used application. Many also said they would like to use AI for patient education in the near future, for data analysis and intelligence and for diagnostic assistance and inventory management.

To gather the data, the Dental Insights Report surveyed 414 dental practices all over Australia.

This article was sourced from the MPA Australia website.

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