Partner content

Rhinogram Presents: Creating the Ideal Hybrid Practice

Date Posted: 03.19.21 Speaker: Dr. Keith Dressler

Join Dr. Keith Dressler, practicing orthodontist of 35+ years and CEO/Founder of Rhinogram, as he discusses how you can leverage virtual care to complete everyday tasks and gain back hours in your day. Learn how to minimize the number of in-office visits for braces or aligners, while maintaining best-in-class care resulting in happier patients, staff, and increased practice profitability.

Creating the Ideal Hybrid Practice

In this webinar you will learn how to:

  • Acquire patients virtually through digital marketing and preferred communication channels
  • Engage with your patients clinically through text-messaging and social media messaging
  • Create a happy work environment for your team through internal messaging and message routing

Video length = 31:48

Erika Grau: Welcome, everyone. I’m Erika Grau, Director of Marketing here at Rhinogram. Thank you to all our Cloud 9 folks here for joining me today. Today’s presentation, Creating the Ideal Hybrid Practice: Supporting the patient journey, whether in-person or virtual, is jam-packed with valuable information to set your orthodontic practice up for success this year. Before we get started, I want to let everyone know we have special webinar pricing for all our Cloud 9 participants at the end of this presentation. So, be sure to stick around for that.

All right, let’s meet our presenter, Dr. Keith Dressler. Dr. Dressler has more than 35 years of experience in private orthodontic practice and currently serves on the advisory board of the American Teledentistry Association. He is also an avid entrepreneur. In 2000, Dr. Dressler co-founded OrthoBanc, which became a part of OrthoFi at the end of 2020. In 1998, he co-founded and acted as CEO and chairman of Elite Physician Services, a national health care patient finance company, before it became the Citi Health Card in 2003. So, Dr. Dressler, let’s jump right in.

Dr. Keith Dressler: Thank you, Erika. Let’s get right to this. What we’re wanting to do is create an ideal hybrid practice. And what that means to me is minimizing the number of in-office visits that you do for the care that you deliver, whether it’s braces, aligners, both. All the while, maintaining the best in class care, resulting in the happiest patients and staff and increased practice profitability with the combination of in-office and virtual care. Well, how is this done? Well in my practice, what we do is whenever possible, we decrease the number of in-office braces patient visits by 40%, by seeing them every 16 weeks in-office with a virtual check-in at eight week intervals.

What this does for me is it frees up chair time, requires fewer employees, decreases overhead. And also, what you’ll find is it will keep the phone from ringing, because we have taken voice conversations and basically moved them to text conversations, which actually you can handle way more of them in the same amount of time as it takes to speak to one patient by voice on the telephone. At any rate, here’s the value proposition that I see. We pre-screen new patients through cursory exams. What this does is it doesn’t take up valuable in-office time for someone who will ultimately not go through with treatment.

And because we’re texting, we have the honesty created behind the texting mascot, call it, where patients who truly could never afford treatment. Well, be honest with you and tell you that, if they’re in-office face to face with the TC or with your financial coordinator, they may give an excuse like, “I need to go speak to my husband or my wife or whoever it may be,” when in reality, they’re just embarrassed to tell you they cannot afford treatment. And the cool thing is if they do tell you, you’re not spending time chasing after people who will never go through a treatment. Anyway, this also allows you to move all new patient intake items to the patient’s home, versus doing them in-office.

And again, what do I mean by that? That’s any consents, health history, insurance documentation, pay arrangements, COVID-19 forms, anything that you can think of that you normally would have a patient fill out in your reception room. You can actually move that process to their home by sending them a link to that form where they can fill it out from their phone and actually eSign that. Rhinogram actually has what we call Rhino Forms with eSign, which allows you to upload all the forms in your practice to Rhinogram, create a link for each form, and the patient will fill them out securely from their home and eSign them. And you will have them all in Rhinogram or if we’re integrated with your practice management system, they can be moved to wherever you would keep those forms within the practice management system.

At any rate, so, let’s look at how Rhinogram works with in-office tasks that are done. So, in-office, we do a comprehensive oral exam with x-rays, photos, and scans before any treatment is initiated. However, what we can do with Rhinogram is do cursory photos before the patient comes in and have all the paperwork done before the patient comes in so that, that visit is a planned same-day start, versus an unplanned same-day start, which your clinical assistants absolutely hate because they now have to put something into their day that they didn’t know if they would, or they wouldn’t. And anytime you can plan something, it’s far better than unplanned. And that’s basically how Rhinogram supports the in-office.

So, if everything is done from the patient’s home, the treatment is decided upon, pay arrangements are decided upon, all forms are filled out before they walk in, they walk in, you do your comprehensive exam and go over with the patient anything that might be unusual that you weren’t able to share with them under the cursory exam. And then as long as everything’s satisfactory, you go ahead and start treatment that day in a planned procedure. The next thing we have to do would be… Here’s what my actual virtual smile assessment looks like. These are the three pictures that I ask. I know a lot of you may want six. And what I would share with you is the more you ask, the less you’ll get and the harder it will appear to a patient.

So, if you want six, you can still get six, but I would start with three, get the conversation, going, engage with them, and then ask them for the other three while you’re engaged with them. But if you ask for six on the front end, you’re going to have fewer people that would actually do that. And especially, if you have other practitioners in your area only asking for three, they would fill that person’s out before they would fill your own out. So, the key is to get them to engage with you and make it as simple as possible for them to do this.

The next in-office task would be staff communication with each other about patients or internal things such as CPR, lab items, supplies, PPE, CE certificate, I mean, certifications, protocols, et cetera. And the cool thing about Rhinogram is it has team chat involved. And what that means is that the staff can communicate with each other about a patient. And we have smart routing built in so that if a patient text in, “Hey, what are my insurance benefits for this?” Then the message actually could be routed to an insurance team or an insurance person, but the converse is true also. Once you really begin understanding and once your patients understand that they can text, what you’re going to find is they’re going to have many questions or many things they want resolved within one text.

So, they may say, “What is my account balance? I need to change next week’s appointment and here’s a photo of my current aligners here. Do I need to move to the next aligners or not?” And so, you’ve got really three different teams or individuals that need to speak to them. So, routing would not be really the best thing. What the best thing would be is to bring each of those people or teams into the conversation, and Rhinogram allows you to do just that. So, you would bring all three of those individuals or teams into the conversation to handle all three of those questions in, or all three of those things that they’re wanting known about into the conversation. So, that’s how that would be done, and Rhinogram supports all of that, either moving it individually or bringing however many individuals or teams into a conversation.

And that would include those practices that have multiple doctors, they want to get a second doctor’s opinion on something. They can bring that doctor into the conversation very easily and get that opinion from one of their own partners. At any rate, this is showing you where it is. If you can see right here under team messages, all team chat or individuals, or any group that you might want to create can be done right here as well. Another, again, in-office procedure that you usually do is signing documents. I’ve gone over this. This says, coming soon, E-forms and signatures. And I will tell you, I am currently using this in beta at my office. It’s working great. So, it should be generally available within the next four weeks or less.

Anyway, this just basically shows here that you’re going to send right here, a form in the form of a link to a patient. The patient would click on that, begin filling out whatever form, and eSign it, and you will have uploaded those forms previously into Rhinogram so Rhinogram has them and will create a specific link to that form for you. So, again, real, real convenient thing, and really cool thing in lots of offices, and actually, patients absolutely love it. Moms tell me they fill out these forms, waiting in carpool line to pick up their child from school and, or at home, whenever they have time. So, it’s on their time schedule, not yours, and it’s great. And it’ll come right in to the Rhinogram system under the patient library.

At any rate, other to-do tasks that you do is collect payments. And the way Rhinogram helps and supports that is we have text-to-pay. So, if teenagers come in, there needs to be a payment made, let’s say a repair retainer, new retainer, something along those lines, they’ve lost and you’re going to make it new, they forgot to bring the check or whatnot. You can actually click a link or send a link to the parent, they can pay right then and there through the link, and you can go on and do whatever you were going to do, like make a new retainer or whatever it might be. We also use this quite frequently at the very beginning of treatment before we even meet the patient. Once the patient agrees to pay arrangements, we ask, “Would you like to pay your down payment?” And about 50% of the time, the patients will say, “Yes, I would.” And we send them a link to pay their down payment before they’ve even taken a step into my practice.

So, it’s really a pretty cool feature to have, very, very convenient, very convenient to send out notices or invoices with a cost, either a statement with what they owe for the month and a link that they can go ahead and pay. Especially if they’re behind in payments, they respond better to this than anything else. This is what it looks like. It would tell who it’s from. You’d put in the amount that you’re looking to collect, any notes for that, and then you would request the payment. This is what the patient would receive. The office is requesting payment in the amount of $50 for whatever it was that it was for. And they would simply click that little link and pay.

So, patients don’t have much to do, we try to keep it very, very simple, and none of the patients actually have to ever log into anything. They simply click links, it takes them right there to wherever they need to be, whether, if it’s this or whether it’s a video, which is right here. The TC or the doctor may want to make a presentation at any point in time throughout the patient journey, whether it’s at the very beginning or in the middle or at the end, and it’s really, really simple to do. We have RhinoVideo and it allows you to send a quick video link to one or two individuals. If there happens to be a mother and a father, they’re in two different places, you can actually send a link to either of those. So, it allows three total people in a conversation. And again, really very, very simple for them.

And you don’t run into them having to download something, log into something. They simply click the link, press allow on their phone to allow audio/video, and they show up in the meet and greet room or virtual video room where you’re connected to them or your TC is connected to them. So, it’s, again, very easy on both sides of the equation. Actually, in my practice, if I’m the one to do it, I might be messaging back and forth with a patient or potential patient, and they’ve asked something that’s very complex to explain by a text. And I ask real quickly, “Do you have a quick minute to jump on a video chat where I can talk to you about this?” And again, most of the time they say, yes, I simply click the link, and literally within less than a minute, we’re talking with each other at a time that is convenient for me and them. So, it works very, very well, very easy. You can get on and get off and do what you need to do there.

This is what it looks like. There actually is a button that you push, but this is what it looks like when you’re connected. This is the link that they would have. It’s actually, all of these things are stored in Rhinogram permanently. And when the call is over, it will tell you how long the call lasted for and that sort of thing. So, if ever, we are, meaning, dentists are ever reimbursed for these virtual visits and they have a time constraint like they do on medical visits. Medical visits must be 20 minutes. So, this would document if it were 20 minutes or not, or less, if it was 20 minutes or more, and maybe one day we’ll get reimbursed. But otherwise, it’s simply used as a little meet and greet tool and a tool to speak to a patient when you need to.

So, again, this is what it looks like on your side and the patient’s side, here it’s picture within picture like every other thing is. More things. So, repairs in my practice of whether it’s braces, whether it’s aligners, whether it’s retainers, we have trained all of the patients, just like we do with toothbrushing, et cetera, is to take a selfie, send it in so that it can create an understanding for us of what that repair is or what the issue is. And we can decide by looking at that picture, is that something they need to come in to the practice right now to have done or to have fixed? Or is it something that we can actually wait till they’re regularly scheduled in office visit?

And here’s what it looks like in my practice. You can see a bracket is off here. They had told me that this bracket is loose and you can see I’ve got it sort of series tied. And so, you wouldn’t know that it’s loose. And I did not ask them to circle these things. These people are so good with pictures and used to taking selfies and using the tools on their phone, they did it just instinctively. And in my practice, we handle 90% of our repairs or issues or perceived emergencies are handled with a simple text back, rather than a in-office visit. And this really saves you in money. Every time you can keep a person from actually walking in your door, it’s going to save you between a 100 and maybe a $150, depending on where you live. And that’s why you can save a lot of money. And with PPE costs, the way they are today and all the stuff you have to garb up with, the costs are pretty high.

So, the more you can do things at home and keep them from walking through your door, really the more efficient you become. And you decrease your expense structure that you would have to be paying, not only from the standpoint of true hard cost of somebody walking through your door, but again, the less number of people you actually have to see in-office per day, gives you the ability to have less people that you actually employ. And I have actually gone from 10 employees to seven, and I have basically cut out one and a half people from my front office and one and a half people from my assisting side of things. And again, that’s a big savings in terms of overhead to you, by being able to do that.

The other cool thing is both patients and parents love to snap selfies of things and post in on their own social media. So, what I try to do is I try to use every patient that I have as a true salesperson for my practice. So, when braces are put on and braces are taken off, whoever is working with me by putting them on and taking them off is tasked with taking a picture of me with the patient. And however you guys want to do it, do it however you want to do it. But anyway, we drop it into a picture frame, if you will, that is my office logo, which you’re going to see right here. And this is basically an ad running around for me. And we text this to the patient and ask them to share on their social media pages.

Usually it’s the parent who gets this. They will post it on their Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook page or whatever they’re using these days. They also will normally text it to the child and the child then puts it on Snapchat and TikTok, and anything else that they’re using. And again, it’s free advertising for you when they post their picture on their pages. And that’s what we ask them to do. We text this directly to them. Some additional features of Rhinogram that are really, really cool. I think all of us live in areas where there’s multi-languages being spoken. We have language translation automatically built into the system. So, let’s just say somebody texting in Spanish, it will automatically know that. It’ll convert it to English. You text back in English and it will convert it to Spanish to them. So, they think you’re typing back in Spanish, but you’re actually typing back in English, and they think you’re receiving it in Spanish when actually you’re receiving it in English, but we support lots and lots and lots of languages.

I won’t say every one of them, but the vast majority that are the other languages that are frequently used in the United States, we probably support it. We do have orthodontics specific templates for you. There’s no size limit. We allow you to attach to these templates, pictures, and or videos, welcome to the office video or repair videos or whatever you want to do there. It’s real cool. Offices that are using Rhinogram are attaching all kinds of things. Obviously too, forms is another thing that you’ll be able to attach to a template. You’ll have forms templates there. We have analytics for you, showing you how quick you respond, also, showing where your leads are coming from.

These would be leads that come to you through either texting directly to you. These would be new patient leads. Or we do have a website widget that goes on your website, so patients can actually start texting with you directly from your website. And last but not least, we have Facebook Messenger integration. So, if you have a business Facebook page, that messenger side of it is integrated into Rhinogram, comes directly in. We make that compliant for you, and now you can message back and forth through Facebook Messenger if you wish. But anyway, the analytics will tell you where your new inquiries or potential new patients are coming from, whether they’re just texting directly in, whether they’re coming from your website, or whether they’re coming through Facebook Messenger.

The other thing that’s really nice is we do have Rhinogram University and again, an industry specific library with documents. We have marketing materials for you to help you market that you are able to do virtual visits, because you definitely want to tell your market that you do do them. You can’t just add Rhinogram to your suite of things, and then not tell anybody you’ve got it and expect it to be wonderful for you. You have to internally and externally market the fact that you have all of the services available to your patient. But the other thing about the library that’s nice is, of course, we’ve got videos on how to use all the different feature sets that are within Rhinogram. And so, if you have staff turnover, it’s a very easy place to go and teach new staff how to use Rhinogram.

And last but not least, I will have to say that Rhinogram has really unparalleled world-class customer support. They’re always there to help you. It’s an incredible success team that’s there to help you in any way, shape or form. And if you have any problems or need anything, want to market better, need to know where some of these other things are, they’re there to help you and make sure that you’re successful by using Rhinogram in your practice. So, one of the other things about Rhinogram and it’s elegant platform is that it is actually frictionless with patients and with each other. And unlike most other technologies that you add to your practice, most technologies usually come with adding work.

Rhinogram actually is opposite of that. You’re going to actually add a technology that is going to eliminate work and give you back time to your day. Most practices tell us that they’ve been given back one to two hours of time a day because they have reduced administrative tasks to do. They’re not having to play phone tag and take up immense amounts of time, trying to just connect with people because people will open a text within really the first 10 minutes. 99% will open within the first 10 minutes of receiving it. So, you’re actually able to get ahold of people, get tasks done, and reduce all kinds of times.

Because you have the ability to bring multiple people into a single conversation, it reduces workflow of either, if it’s a voice call, then you’re having to have the receptionist get up and either give a post-it note to an assistant about what’s going on or money or whatever it might be, lab. You don’t do that with Rhinogram. You simply bring in the right people into the conversation and they can communicate with the patient. So, again, it’s no pen and paper and sticky notes and all that jazz that goes on, all of that is eliminated. And everyone is basically told at the same time what is happening to speed up the workflow and the work day.

Again, it’s just a very, very easy system to bring everybody into a single conversation. So, it’s one to many versus one to one. One to one would be like a voice call coming in on the phone, and you’re only one to one. When you bring other teams into that conversation at the exact same time by text, then it’s one to many. It’s the patient to all the many people within your practice, all at the same time. So, it’s again, very, very cool. I’m going to be turning this back over to Erika. And I thank everyone for their time today. Erika will be going over specials that we have going on. And thank you again for your time and consideration.

Erika Grau: Thank you, Dr. Dressler. As promised, I wanted to share with you an exciting offer for any of our Cloud 9 friends watching this webinar. We are offering 20% off your Rhinogram subscription. We’d love to learn more about your practice and how Rhinogram’s virtual care platform can make a difference in your orthodontic practice. Email us at to speak with a product specialist in your area to find out how you can get special pricing this month. Thanks so much.


Dr. Keith Dressler
About the Speaker Dr. Keith Dressler

Dr. Dressler has more than 35 years’ experience in private orthodontic practice and currently serves on the advisory board of the American Teledentistry Association. He is also an avid entrepreneur. In 2000, Dr. Dressler co-founded OrthoBanc, which became a part of OrthoFi at the end of 2020. In 1998, he co-founded and acted as CEO and chairman of Elite Physician Services, a national healthcare patient finance company before it became the Citi Healthcard in 2003.