MMG Fusion’s suite of tools now includes MMG Ortho customized for the orthodontic practice. Read this Question & Answer with Paul Intlekofer, Dr. Lou Shuman, and Dr. Yan Kalika to find out more details.
MMG Ortho is endeavoring to do more than the traditional software marketing solutions. MMG Fusion is set to release MMG Ortho in February 2020. For the past 4 years, MMG Fusion has been recognized as an award-winning suite of tools, each filling a different role in the marketing, management, and growth of a dental practice, including websites, SEO, reputation management, patient engagement and reminders, social media, patient portal app, HR management, unified communications, and more.
While the MMG Fusion platform was originally designed to accommodate the general dentist’s workflow, the system and these tools have also been customized for the orthodontic community. MMG Fusion has spent the last year working closely with orthodontic key opinion leaders, orthodontic customers, and its internal development team to bring the first truly ortho-specific suite of tools to market.
Paul Intlekofer, CEO of MMG Fusion, provided some details about this orthodontic platform.
Why did you feel the need to tailor these tools to orthodontic specialists?
Paul Intlekofer: While the ortho space has some similarities to general dentistry or oral surgery, we know that there are also dramatic differences in terminology and patient treatment flow that are not generally accounted for in other solutions available today. Orthos have been forced to put their “square peg in a round hole” since the inception of marketing management and growth software, and we want to be the ones to change that.
Regarding the wide variety of tools geared specifically toward orthodontists, can you highlight some of the major differences that make MMG Ortho more effective for orthodontists?
Intlekofer: Certainly, we like to highlight seven major changes that make our suite of services the most ortho-specific of any other product on the market.
- We have invested the time and resources to integrate with most of the major orthodontic practice management software (PMS) By developing these API connections ourselves, we can guarantee the smooth and secure transfer of data, which allows for complex tracking and scheduling directly to and from the PMS.
- Arguably, the most important is that we have made changes to adapt the orthodontic patient flow and their clinical goals. Many are transitioning from the construct of treatment plans to ongoing contracts, which require a focus on start dates and compliance.
- Patient engagement reminders have been modified to fit the ortho patient flow. It is important that patients receive reminders and notifications prior to each appointment within a contract to ensure increased compliance.
- We have focused on the timing of reviews, surveys, referrals, and social media requests. Perhaps a patient is not at his/her happiest in the middle of treatment, and we are better served requesting a review or survey at the end of a contract when there is a higher level of patient satisfaction. The same goes for the sharing of before-and-after photos and social media engagement.
- ChairFill’s basic function of finding the best possible patient or lead to contact in order to fill an opening — last minute or in the future — remains the same. However, we have added a massive library of ortho content so that campaigns and messages within campaigns going out to prospective patients all contain ortho-specific content and copy — greatly increasing the probability of a patient scheduling.
- Marketing Tracker has been updated similarly to the rest of the platform to display more relevant ortho statistics such as compliance, start dates, contracts, etc. Marketing Tracker has also been adapted to put more focus on the tracking of referrals, which have shown to be more common and more valuable in an orthodontic practice.
- Finally, Call Analysis listening algorithms have been updated with an exhaustive list of ortho terms that help it hear and report more accurately for an ortho practice.
Some of these changes may seem minor, but I assure you they all make a major difference when deployed in an orthodontist’s practice. Even more so when a practice is utilizing a “full suite” of services.
Thank you for that interesting background on the purpose and functionality of MMG Ortho. Now, we would like to gain some insight from two of the orthodontists critically involved in its development: Dr. Lou Shuman, an advisor to the company, and Dr. Yan Kalika, a current user and consultant during the design process.
Dr. Shuman, you have owned and operated a large ortho practice for many years. More recently, you’ve been an established leader on questions of technology and its application in dental and ortho practices. With your perspective as a clinician and expertise in evaluating innovation, what value does MMG Ortho bring to a modern orthodontic practice?
Dr. Shuman: MMG Ortho is designed by orthodontists for orthodontists, which sets it apart from the beginning. The team involved understands the differences between how general and orthodontic practices are run and, more specifically, the differences between general and orthodontic patients. That attention to detail is felt throughout the product — in its flow, in the language — and leads to a tangible difference in results. For example, within their revolutionary ChairFill product, MMG Fusion has built an entirely new library of orthodontic-specific content. Now when ChairFill sends out a custom communication to a targeted orthodontic patient segment with the goal of filling empty schedule slots days, weeks, or months ahead, every message and graphic is tailored to the orthodontic service that patient needs. Patients are much more likely to respond to messaging that directly relates to them and the next steps in their treatment cycle, be it their treatment plan meeting or a missed appointment. All of this is based on a machine-learning software that literally works without staff involvement, providing the office great benefits on a daily basis. This is the first time a company has given the orthodontic space this level of customization.
Dr. Kalika, as an early user of MMG Ortho, what has your experience with this new product been like? What have you found most useful? Why would you recommend that other orthodontists adopt this product?
Dr. Kalika: First of all, I am very thankful to have been a part of the creation and early implementation of this new product. As the owner and operator of 12 orthodontic practices, I am always looking for ways to increase efficiency and returns while also guaranteeing the best possible experience for my patients.
In the past, I have been forced to meet these goals using solutions designed primarily for general dentists. Sometimes these tools are still effective, but they are never as effective as this purpose-built solution has been. So far, the most useful features for me have been the Patient Engagement and Marketing Tracker tools. Patient Engagement functions much as other appointment reminder products, but the ability to send out re-care and re-activation campaigns with ortho-specific content has greatly improved the number of patients scheduled from each campaign. Also, the ability to contact patients ahead of each scheduled visit during their contract, not just at contract start, has increased our compliance numbers dramatically.
Marketing Tracker has also been especially useful. Tracking all referrals as a unique marketing campaign and the focus on ortho-specific terms and reports — such as appointments made, appointments kept, records, starts, and production — have both been integral in gaining a deeper understanding of my practices. When I have better, more complete, and ortho-specific data, it is much easier to make informed business decisions for the month or year ahead.
This information has been provided by MMG Ortho.