Business

Practice Pathways

Loan Program Provides Pathway to Success for Dental Professionals

Sara Casalino and Breanna Olaveson Nov 1, 2017

Dentists are often more than medical professionals — they are also business owners. Opening or purchasing a dental practice requires business skills and resources that some health care providers might not have developed during dental school. Running a practice requires skills in accounting, scheduling, human resources, marketing, record keeping and more. It also requires money to get started.

Practice Pathways, a professional practice finance division of Zions Bank, provides these medical-professionals-turned-business-owners with the capital they need to open a practice, refinance existing loans, purchase equipment, acquire office space and more.

Practice Pathways

“Practice Pathways focuses on the lending needs of the practice,” says David Kirby, senior vice president and director of Practice Pathways. It meets each practice’s unique needs through a new, innovative process.

After a client’s application is approved — which can be as fast as one day — the client is assigned a “pathways specialist.” This loan officer helps the client design a custom loan that meets each of the practice’s needs.

But the pathways specialists’ job has just begun when the paperwork is signed. When the clients begin doing business, this specialist watches the practice’s progress in real time. If problems arise, the specialist contacts the client with recommendations for improvement and advice to help avoid problems later on.

“This allows us to have real conversations about what’s going on,” Kirby says.

A Special Tool for Dentists

Practice Pathways clients who open dental practices also have access to regular practice reports from Dental Intelligence, a web-based business intelligence platform that uses a dental practice’s collected data to help dentists, support staff and patients make informed decisions.

These reports are included as part of the ongoing support that Practice Pathways offers to each client. Practice owners also have the option to receive a discounted annual Dental Intelligence subscription for full access to the insights and key metrics in their practice management software. By collecting business information — patient health history, collections, scheduling, and so on — Dental Intelligence helps dentists and their support staff identify trends and work more effectively.

“Most team members don’t know what to act on or what to change,” says Weston Lunsford, Dental Intelligence chief executive officer. “We go beyond just business analytics and show you how to act on the key data that matter to your practice. We give owners, dentists and teams specific, measurable things that they need to do each day with each patient.”

The Big Picture

Dental Intelligence helps dentists and their teams see the big picture of the company and create daily habits that help the business run smoothly. The software is built to facilitate efficiency among dentists, office managers, hygienists and other team members. In Dental Intelligence, users can reschedule appointments, measure team performance, improve case acceptance, view patient information and more.

Dental Intelligence helps every member of a practice’s team work better, improving the overall progress of the business.

For example, missed appointments hurt productivity and have a negative financial impact on the practice. Office managers can mitigate these problems by using Dental Intelligence to organize upcoming appointments, send reminders, track patients’ check-in times and more.

“At Dental Intelligence, we have one simple purpose — to help dentists improve team performance, value and overall culture in the practice,” Lunsford says.
 

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