Rhinogram HIPAA-ready teleorthodontic platform allows for multiple real-time conversations via text, so clinical staff can triage questions from more patients at one time, than what is possible by phone. 

By Tonya Johnson

Texting has become a daily way of life for most people. But have you also considered using it as a business tool for the office as you and your staff begin to recover from the physical and financial implications of COVID-19?

As orthodontists nationwide look to minimize infectious disease exposure due to the ongoing pandemic, Keith Dressler, DDS, MSD, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Rhinogram, says his company can help flatten the curve, keeping patients, providers and medical staffs safe. It may also help grow your business, and increase revenue that was potentially stifled over the past several months during shelter-in-place orders.

The Rhinogram HIPAA-ready teleorthodontic platform, which is based on texting, offers several key features orthodontic practices can use to help triage patients and determine which patients require immediate attention versus those patients who can be treated in the safety of their own homes. The platform does not require patients to download an app or log into a portal. Instead, it allows for multiple real-time conversations via text, so clinical staff can triage questions from more patients at one time, than what is possible by phone. The platform also features customizable templated responses, which help with response rates. 

Rhinogram offers broadcast text communication so practices can keep a large number of patients, as well as internal teams, updated and informed during this turbulent time—including to let patients know a practice is accepting emergency visits, or to share a COVID-19 notice explaining how a practice is handling the situation. This helps reduce the high anxiety levels many are experiencing in this current climate.

Getting started with Rhinogram

Dressler, a practicing orthodontist for more than 30 years, who also serves on the advisory board of the American Teledentistry Association, says integration with telehealth services remains a struggle and many telehealth solutions don’t integrate with electronic health records. “Now is not the time for an orthodontist or their staff to tap limited information technology (IT) resources or expect clinical staff to go through training to use a technical system. Many telehealth platforms are complex, unwieldy and can take a long time to implement.” 

By contrast, an asynchronous patient engagement platform like Rhinogram gives practices an intuitive, easy-to-use solution that can be deployed in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. 

Once Rhinogam is up and running, practices can immediately begin to conduct virtual consultations and check-ins. If it is determined that care isn’t an immediate need but just one worth monitoring, a practice can schedule an in-office visit down the road. This is crucial in protecting high-risk populations, such as those with pre-existing conditions, while still allowing them to stay connected with their orthodontist and keep up with existing care plans. If an emergency does occur, a patient can immediately connect via Rhinogram and the orthodontist can determine next steps.

Rhinogram also helps with business continuity. By having the ability to conduct virtual check-ins, practices can continue to securely engage with patients via two-way texting at any time from their mobile device regarding appointment requests, clinical questions, refill requests, medical records and more—reducing cancellations or impacting monthly payment plans already in place. 

The platform engages new patients via virtual consultations at a time where providers must adhere to CDC guidance, along with advisories issued by federal and state health departments to have those patients at high-risk remain home. 

How has Rhinogram improved in 2020?

Rhinogram delivers enhanced capabilities and more mature feature sets and workflows. Many administrative and some types of care can now be managed without any physical contact—crucial during the COVID-19 crisis—including scheduling an in-person visit, answering clinical questions, paying for a virtual consult, getting a prescription refill and more. 

“To help support office workflows, we have a more robust internal communication platform which includes customized templates and industry specific marketing libraries. Our current platform offers more sophisticated routing capabilities for messaging internally along with Rhinopay, our text-to-pay solution that gives practices the ability to securely request and receive payments,” Dressler notes. Most importantly, today’s Rhinogram seamlessly integrates with most practice management and electronic medical records (EMRs) including topsOrtho, Cloud 9 and Dolphin, synchronizing secure, encrypted patient communication into clinical workflows.”

Training and customer service

Every practice is unique. Rhinogram says it takes a careful, consultative approach to implementing its platform in each practice. The company works to maintain all patient data and ensure a seamless integration with a practice’s existing systems. Its customer success team works directly with office staff to set up Rhinogram and provide training  on how to use the platform most effectively. The company continues offering training and guidance once a practice is up and running. 

All Rhinogram users have access to live online classes through Rhinogram University. Offered weekly, the school offers resources for first time learners of the software, those who need a refresher, or anyone who wants to ask questions. In addition to the standard application training, the company offers specialized courses focusing on telehealth, patient engagement, marketing a practice and more. OP

Tonya Johnson is associate editor of Orthodontic Products