How Doctible Transformed Kawata Dental’s Practice—A 180% Increase in Dental Practice Growth and Improved Employee Satisfaction
At Kawata Dental, dental practice management and efficiency go hand in hand. Sandra Kawata, the practice’s bookkeeper and operational manager, reflects on its importance:
“I always believe in efficiency. Time is of the essence to me.”
However, it wasn’t always like that at Kawata Dental. In sixty-plus years of business, its approach to efficiency has only recently changed—thanks in large part to Doctible.
Founded in 1958 by Dr. Sakae Kawata, the small family practice is a familiar fixture in west Los Angeles, California. Dr. Sakae’s son and Sandra’s husband, Dr. Bennett Kawata, took over his father’s small family practice in 2015. But while the business changed hands, for the most part, workflows remained the same. Outdated communication methods and administrative tasks were all part of the routine. As Sandra notes, they were “old school” workflows that put them severely behind schedule and took away time from patient care.
Now, the Kawata Dental team can breathe more easily. With Doctible’s patient engagement tools, they’ve been able to streamline operations, grow their practice, and significantly enhance patient—and staff—happiness.
Hear what Sandra Kawata has to say about the dramatic differences Doctible made for her practice in only a year.
A Smooth Transition: Easy Onboarding and Integration with Dentrix
When Sandra Kawata joined her husband’s practice in July 2022, one of the first changes she knew her team needed was a tech upgrade. Time-consuming processes were hindering patient care:
“[Office staff] spent too much time on unnecessary things... They could have spent time improving our customer service.”
For years, Kawata Dental relied on Dentrix, but the software didn’t offer sufficient patient engagement tools for growth and sustainability. It was at this point, one year ago, that the practice added Doctible to their operations. And while a software change typically comes with sacrificing time and making complicated adjustments, Sandra says the transition was seamless:
“Whenever we call Doctible’s support, they’re always patient with me because I always declare, ‘I’m not tech-savvy; I’m old school.’ So they go, ‘Oh, it’s fine,’ you know. Then, they will actually walk us through the process.”
It took less than two months for Sandra and team to fully get the hang of it. Once they did, their numbers started to change dramatically.
180% Dental Practice Growth Amid Shifting Demographics
According to Sandra, Kawata Dental found Doctible in the nick of time. With changing demographics—like the emerging prominence of younger, tech-savvy consumers—Sandra notes that her practice was losing patients. Their “old school” communication methods made it challenging to reach modern patients, obtain reviews, and grow.
But with Doctible’s real-time, two-way communication tools, Kawata Dental experienced a substantial increase in patients. On average, their practice went from seeing only 5 patients daily to 14—nearly 3x the production. And, according to Sandra, it was a rapid change: “It’s less than a year that I’m seeing this. In a good month, I have more than 20. Because I have records [to prove it].” Even factoring in the slower season (March and April) due to insurance changes, Sandra says her practice’s growth didn't waver.
She expects to hit her target of 25 daily patients using Doctible—a 400% increase in appointments. To Sandra, it’s a realistic goal.
What’s driving new patients to Kawata Dental? Sandra says she consistently sees the same referral: Google. With Doctible’s Review Generator tool, her practice has been able to send review requests to increase online presence and attract widespread attention. This is particularly crucial today, considering that 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians.
Now, Kawata Dental has 167 five-star Google reviews, which is an 82% increase from the 92 they had before working with Doctible. With greater online visibility, the practice has overcome the challenges of a shifting demographic, reaching more of today’s patients.
Time-Saving Appointment Confirmations
According to an MGMA Stat poll, 88% of healthcare leaders use automated appointment reminders to increase revenue, lower no-show rates, improve patient compliance, and save staff time—a firsthand benefit that Kawata Dental has experienced with Doctible’s automated Patient Reminders.
Before Doctible, Sandra says getting patients to confirm appointments was labor-intensive and time-consuming.
“My staff really spent a lot of time calling patients, leaving messages to try to confirm appointments. But Doctible does all the work for us, so they have time to do something else. They’re attending to the patients and their duties.”
With Doctible’s automated Patient Reminders, the Kawata Dental team can send appointment reminders days in advance at a cadence of their choice. And if they still haven’t heard anything from the patient, they can reach out via phone call. Although, that seldom happens; for Kawata Dental, reminder texts typically get a response.
Sandra says this new system saved her practice a significant amount of time. In fact, Arisa, the front office assistant, cut the time she spent confirming appointments in half. What once took an hour to an hour and a half now only takes 30 minutes—giving Arisa more time to spend with patients.
An Effective Way to Fill Last-Minute Cancellations
In addition to having a more effective reminder system, Sandra says Doctible has enabled her practice to alert patients of open appointments efficiently.
At first, Sandra says her team was apprehensive about changing how they fill open gaps in their calendar. They thought that navigating a new system would add to their workload. However, they quickly realized how much time it saved.
“By calling, they couldn’t fill up the appointments. But by the broadcast, we filled them up. So, it proved to them that it works.”
More Time for Meaningful Patient Care (& Tea Breaks)
For generations, Kawata Dental’s top priority has been patient care. Sandra mentions that her husband, Dr. Bennett, continues his father’s legacy of providing genuine, warm, and exceptional service to patients.
“My husband and father-in-law are still very old school, so to them, [patient care] is primary. To be honest, a lot of people say dentists are very rich. But we are not. Because to us, it’s [about] the care. It’s to help people.”
Doctible has enabled Kawata Dental to maintain these high standards. Its time-saving tools—namely the Patient Communicator and Patient Reminders—allot significantly more time to spend with patients.
Likewise, it’s thoroughly improved the team’s mental well-being and interactions with patients:
“[Staff] have more time now. They even have time for a tea break. Giving them a tea break gives them a break for themselves—happy staff, happy patients. They have more patience instead of just feeling agitated. With all this software and technology, they get a break to breathe some fresh air, grab a cup of coffee or tea, freshen themselves up—and they come back to work. They feel better. And I would say that it makes the work more efficient.”