Jamie’s Story: How One Dental Practice Achieved A 400% Increase In Private Patients Using Automation

Testimonial by Jamie Wood, East Midlands Orthodontics

When I first began working with my father’s orthodontic practice in 2012, I had very limited knowledge of the dental industry. I did however have some significant business experience under my belt, and knew that combining the two was the best way to grow our family practice to new heights of success.

However, I needed help.

I’ve discovered that there’s a consistent theme within the dental industry wherein dentists and practice owners tend to stick safely to the same methodologies and processes for years on end. These systems might work, but they’re clunky and often not conducive to growing and scaling practices – and therefore nothing advances.

This is partly because many practice owners don’t see their practice as a business

Because of my background working in corporate business, however, this is the approach I took. The difficulty was that because marketing practices, technology, and software change all the time, in order to experience the most benefit, it’s important we keep up with these changes. As a practice owner and not a technical expert or content producer, I didn’t have the specific tools – or time – to do this. 

The problem I was facing 

One of the biggest challenges my practice was facing was that we didn’t have a treatment coordinator. Treatment coordinators are typically found within private practices, and at the time, we were 95 percent NHS and 5 percent private in our patient split.

This meant that the majority of our staff were focused on NHS activity. Chasing up leads and following up on inquiries was, therefore, not a huge part of their day-to-day responsibilities or training. 

Growing the practice and scaling our business fell to me. I was desperately trying to create systems to manage this myself, but with limited resources and experience, something was missing. 

I began with a spreadsheet, which evolved into using common dental practice systems. However, I quickly discovered that these had their limitations. They dealt only with the lead capture stage, and offered no value once the patient had started their treatment.

Getting a patient into the chair is only a very small part of the job. As we know, some patients can be in treatment for many years, and I wanted to be able to capitalise on that time. However, there was no off-the-shelf dental system available to help me properly maximise the patient cycle. 

Instead, I began to look outside the dental world.

I’d heard of another dentist (the wonderful Ope Sodeinde of London Dental Specialists), who had implemented more sophisticated software into his specialist practice, and was inspired by his success. 

During my research, I came across Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), and Lisa Catto of The Business Catalyst, who I discovered was helping successful dentists implement this kind of software in a way that was tailored to their practice. 

This is when the journey truly began.

The solution I found

The Business Catalyst introduced me to the Ideal Patient Journey. The best part about this was that it was everything that was inside my mind – all the goals and objectives I had envisioned for my practice – neatly and elegantly mapped out. 

Orthodontics is an often underrepresented niche within dentistry. Many dental-focused programs don’t cater specifically to orthodontic practices. So when The Business Catalyst was able to offer me a specific Orthodontic Patient Journey,  I was thrilled. 

I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel because they’d already done it! 

The results I benefited from

By implementing the Ideal Patient Journey and a paid ad strategy, our previous statistics of five percent private and 95 percent NHS patients experienced a huge increase. 

Within one year, we had increased our private patient weighting from 5 percent to 25 percent private with 75 percent NHS patients. 

This is largely thanks to systems like Keap, which The Business Catalyst customised and implemented into my practice. It now gives me the 100% reliability of having an automated system that will handle follow-ups, nurture engagement, and monitor where each lead and patient is on the journey.

One of the major benefits is that team members are given automated reminders about tasks and projects that need to be completed every day (not just lead follow ups). This means that everything can be tracked and never gets forgotten – which happens very easily in a busy practice with so many moving parts.

This alone has allowed me to be much less involved in the day-to-day operations of the practice. I am free to focus on growing and scaling the business, reassured by the knowledge that my team knows what they’re doing and that there are systems in place to prevent things going wrong.

It also means that if we’re experiencing staff issues, turnovers, or a particularly busy period, the system can be relied upon in the background to ensure that leads don’t slip through the net, aren’t being left to go cold, and are still being engaged with.

The ability to monitor and track tasks within the practice, engagement rates, and other valuable data means that I can identify pain points and know exactly where to refine our operations if needed.

Having this level of control hasn’t just had positive benefits internally, but with our external relationships, too. For one thing, it’s greatly improved the communication between ourselves and our referring dental partners. It means that when a dentist refers an NHS patient to us, we can keep them up to date on the progress of that patient.

This helps build a trusting and collaborative relationship that increases our referrals, all of which aids our plans for scaling the practice to increase our offering and our number of sites. As we continue to grow and our processes change, we can seamlessly implement new workflows into the Ideal Patient Journey.

In short, working with The Business Catalyst was the difference between our business going under, and our business thriving.


If you’d like to see how The Business Catalyst can transform your practice and leverage the power of automation to achieve your business goals, we offer free discovery sessions. This enables us to get to know you and your business, and identify a unique strategy for how we can help.