New technology offers ways to improve patient experience in healthcare

New technology offers ways to improve patient experience in healthcare

The chief information officer for one of the nation’s largest dental benefits payers called for disrupting current healthcare with new technology to focus on improving workflow and patient experience.

“We’re all going to be in a position somewhere down the road where we’re all going to be making choices about the coverage we want, whether it’s medical or dental,” said Dan Sheehan, senior vice president and chief information officer of DentaQuest. “It’s going to happen.”

Sheehan, who recently spoke in Madison during WTN Media’s Fusion 2016 CEO-CIO Symposium, said that DentaQuest and others have to consider how to drive a different experience “that a member would want.”

DentaQuest is the second largest dental benefits payer in the U.S., with about 20 million members across 37 states. Sheehan said when he joined about a year ago, little thought was paid toward customer experience.

“Looking at how do we track our services – we didn’t have that,” Sheehan said. “There was never a thought around that customer experience and really driving different behavior.”

He moved quickly to change that, by helping DentaQuest transition to Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management software.

That move helped DentaQuest’s employees to better communicate with one another and allowed better ability to track cases. Sheehan also said his company is looking at using technology to integrate with dentist providers.

“We want to do this differently,” Sheehan said. “Imagine going into your dentist and while you’re in the chair, your claim is being processed, everything’s being done and all you have to do is come out and pay whatever it is and go on your way.”

Joe Taylor, president of software-consulting company Penrod Software, worked alongside DentaQuest, on transitioning to Salesforce. 

Taylor said they’re working with another company on integrating check-ups with school districts’ off days.

That way when parents have children they can get texts from providers that notify them the child has the day off and asks them to schedule a dental appointment.

“That’s providing a lot of value to a lot of people including sending business to the providers, it’s lowering the cost for payers because there’s more preventive,” Taylor said. “And it’s just a better experience overall.”