<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=4069002&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">

What is the difference between a CRM and a Patient List?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance is one of the most crucial factors to consider when planning to implement online marketing strategies to obtain more patients. Being HIPAA-compliant demonstrates your ability to protect your patient's privacy and your practice from any HIPAA penalties and violations. 

You definitely don't want to delve into the nitty gritty of dental marketing but end up violating HIPPA compliance rules by doing things such as collecting your patient's health information via social media or working with non-HIPPA-compliant service providers. 

However, If you're too uncertain of the steps needed to ensure HIPAA compliance and unnecessarily limit your strategies, you could heavily impact your ability to gain new patients. With an approximate 33% increase in total revenue of the dental industry for 2021, combined with the digital marketing market value reaching around $460 Billion by 2022, it's vital to ensure you are not inadvertently limiting your growth opportunities by bypassing any HIPAA-related marketing activities. 

As you can see, your HIPAA-compliant dental marketing strategies could make or break your private practice. Find out how a customer relationship management (CRM) platform could help you navigate your HIPPA requirements and how a CRM differs from your patient list or patient management tool.

What Is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform helps you manage the relationship and interactions of your current and potential patients with your practice. Dental practices use a CRM to help them improve the relationships they have with their patients. Implementing the right CRM system will make engaging with your patients easier by streamlining and reorganizing your processes, eventually increasing your ROI.

The term CRM also often refers to the whole system you're utilizing. In other words, your CRM platform can help you efficiently and effectively manage your contacts and sales, and increase your team's productivity. On top of that, you can also integrate your system with your dental marketing strategies, which should help you manage and expand your reach to your target patients. 

Though they may seem similar, your patient management tool—or the software solution you use to manage your practice's patient list—has a different purpose than a CRM. A CRM can help you manage your customer relations, giving you insights on how to provide them with better satisfaction and how you can build more customer loyalty. A patient management tool works differently, as they help you track your patients individually, including seeing their data and health history as they use your services. You can also see how they progress across your dental healthcare system.

The latter can help your team of healthcare providers coordinate how to care for your patients and monitor their progress. The former can help your dental marketing and sales team monitor your patient data and automate specific tasks.

Does HIPAA Apply To Marketing?

Yes, HIPAA is also applicable to your marketing campaigns. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HIPAA helps protect your patients' sensitive healthcare information, especially in terms of how you use and disclose their data for healthcare marketing.

HIPAA compliance is a critical factor you must consider when refining your dental marketing strategies. You must be careful and ensure your practice follows HIPAA's requirements, as you don't want to be subjected to the corresponding enforcement actions and penalties for HIPAA violations.

Why Do Dental Practices Need a CRM?

In addition to preventing any violations and penalties that could arise from non-HIPPA-compliant marketing strategies, using a CRM—especially a HIPAA-compliant one—for your dental marketing strategies can offer many benefits for your private dental practice.

Increase appointments

Using a CRM makes capturing potential customers across your dental marketing channels much easier. Using the right platform makes it easier to nurture these leads and eventually get higher conversion rates. So, choosing the right CRM for your practice is crucial since opting for a too narrowly tailored platform could reduce the number of potential patients you reach. 

Ask for reviews

Gone are the days when you have to use a different platform to manage your patients' feedback. With a CRM, you can easily ask for customer reviews and use these insights to polish your dental marketing techniques. This organic engagement can impact your potential patient's impression of your dental practice, which can also help prevent your inbound marketing campaign from getting stale.

By utilizing a seamlessly integrated CRM software solution, you can take advantage of its ability to quickly convert patient communication into the necessary action.

Automate marketing and communication

Now, more than ever, automation makes it easier to offer personalized marketing and communication channels to your customers. You no longer have to manually wade through messages and inquiries, which can use your precious time for others, instead of focusing on more important processes.

On top of automation, you can also quickly gather data about your patient's behavior and preferences, making it easier for you to use this data for dental marketing to drive them to the appropriate action.

A better overview of return on investment (ROI)

Once you've refined your dental marketing strategies based on your patient's data, it's easier to provide your customer with a more satisfactory experience, increase their organic engagement, and at the same time foster brand loyalty. Undoubtedly, having all these ultimately helps you achieve a higher ROI, which can help you balance your expenses, such as your inbound marketing costs.

What is the best CRM for dental offices?

There are a lot of CRM platforms to choose from, and true to all software solutions, you'll need to consider all your dental marketing needs before you can find the right one for your practice. According to CRM.org, here are some of the best healthcare CRM software you can use for your dental practice:  

  • HubSpot
  • Pipedrive
  • LeadSquared
  • ZohoCRM
  • Clicup

With its interface being known for user-friendliness on top of its affordability, the HubSpot CRM is an excellent choice if you're looking for the best CRM for your dental practice.

How can Dentists use Hubspot?

Remember, when selecting a CRM software solution for your dental marketing needs, you must consider the three pillars of CRM: people, process, and technology. Even if you've aced the HubSpot CRM setup before your implementation, you still need to master how all these three elements can seamlessly work together in your HubSpot CRM interface. The good news is that each interaction you have, whether with your existing patients, prospects, or visitors, can easily be captured.

HubSpot CRM

With HubSpot CRM's sophisticated data analytics, monitoring your blogs, emails, social media posts, and downloadable content becomes more straightforward. Identifying how your patients and prospects interact with those dental marketing assets is also one of the perks you can enjoy. This comprehensive information can help you continuously design resources and communication channels that can impact their actions and, at the same time, motivate them to move on to the next phase of your customer acquisition cycle.

Email Automation

Once integrated effectively, you can utilize email automation features using your CRM for dental marketing. By integrating email marketing in your CRM, you can collect data from your customer's behavior and personalize each email so you can efficiently utilize this channel.

Social Media Marketing

By having access to all your social media communications in one place, through an integrated social media CRM, it's now easier to nurture your patient relationships. You no longer have to worry about modifying your dental marketing strategies because with the correct HubSpot CRM setup, you can use the comprehensive across all your social media platforms without the hassle of shifting from one medium to another.


On top of all the mentioned features, what's even better is that the right CRM system can offer you the advantage of having access to ALL your data. Imagine having all the information across all your dental marketing channels in one smart setup while helping you focus your personalized advertisements on your target audience. Tracking where your patients are in a specific cycle is also one of the perks of a CRM for your dental practice.

Campaign Tracking

A CRM can help track your campaigns for dental marketing by leveraging leads and your patient list compared to simply gathering and storing their patient data. Across single and multi-channel campaigns, a HubSpot CRM setup gives you better visibility so you can track several components of your campaign simultaneously. You can accurately track your potential patients and their activities, especially identifying which can help you to a sale.

Lead Generation and Nurturing

By taking advantage of a CRM's ability to automate your workflow, you can also automate the entire lead nurturing process. Doing this manually, all on your own, could take up too much of your time, making you lose your precious time and resources. A CRM can also facilitate communications with your patients and potential leads, making it easier to personalize their experience. As per stats, having one can help boost your conversion rates by up to 300%.

Sales Funnel

By automating and customizing your dental marketing strategies, your HubSpot CRM setup can mirror a sales funnel, helping you track leads as they move closer to becoming your patients. CRM funnels can help automate the closing of a sale, keeping your marketing team informed of your patient's needs and behavior. To top it all off, automating sales at every CRM funnel stage also helps improve your marketing practice's efficiency.


Integrating your HubSpot CRM setup with your chatbots allows you to streamline the collection and storage of your patient's data. It also becomes easier to retrieve those data, helping you provide a personalized user experience, ultimately leading to loyalty to your brand and more patients.

With all these features and capabilities, there is no question that the right CRM setup can level up your dental marketing game. Of course, as true with all software solutions, you'll also have to consider the learning curve associated with working with a new interface, especially if this is your first time dealing with a HubSpot CRM setup.

However, you only have to worry about this at the beginning, especially since the pros of partnering with a CRM service provider will far outweigh its cons.

How do you set up your HubSpot CRM?

If you're just starting with your dental practice, using a CRM can help you manage all the aspects of your dental marketing plan. Not only can you take advantage of our built-in HubSpot CRM setup, but you can also integrate the system in as fast as five days. Here's a quick summary to highlight which specific steps you need to take for your HubSpot CRM setup:

Step 1: Integrate your email into the CRM

Step 2: Create filters to organize your contacts

Step 3: Import your contact information to your HubSpot CRM

Step 4: Define your deal stages to organize your sales process

Step 5: Start creating new lead ads and boost your lead generation

Increase your lead conversions and patients with a CRM

By partnering with the right CRM software solution provider, like Brightlark Digital, you can increase your lead conversion rates by up to 300%. On top of that, a CRM's benefit is not limited to answering your digital marketing needs. It's a 5-in-1 software solution that can help you seamlessly and efficiently integrate your dental practice's marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, and management aspects. 

At first, it can be a bit complicated to wade through all this information. If you're still not sure how to start. Don't worry! Here at Brightlark Digital, we've prepared a comprehensive guide to walk you through your dental marketing strategies. Download our free dental marketing guide and start increasing your lead conversions today!

Noah Larson
Post by Noah Larson
September 27, 2022

Subscribe to the Stayin' Aligned Learning Center

Stay on top of the latest resources to help your sales and marketing teams achieve (and maintain) alignment.

Useful Ideas

Actionable Strategies

Exclusive Resources