When you began your technical career, you lucked into an amazing front office team member. She has been with you for 15 years, she began her career with you at a young age and grew alongside you. You have never worried about things getting done at the front desk, and you have never learned how to do them yourself, you relied solely on this incredible team member, and the institutional knowledge she holds of all of the practice workings.
If you’ve experienced this, you are one of the lucky ones, sort of.
Since things have run so smoothly on the administrative front, you’ve likely made the fatal assumption in believing you’ve got it all covered, and understanding the technical side of dentistry translates to understanding the business side of dentistry. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This long term employee, with complete knowledge of the workings of your practice solely in her head, for a time, has been your greatest asset, yet soon, she will become...
Sally has been sitting at the front for 8 years. You rely on her to keep the books full. She is friendly on the phone and in person. Patients love her. Beyond that, she is great at collecting money. In short, Sally is a keeper. But Sally is leaving. She isn’t the first team member to leave, and she won’t be the last.
Every dentist has, or will, lose a Sally or two in their career, but when it comes to employee turnover rates, what is normal?
Most experts will tell you that an employee retention rate of 90% would be considered successful. In reality, it’s lower than that for most dental practices, and we know that in the current climate, the turnover rate is much higher than 10% for most dental teams.
Maybe you’re still telling yourself. “So what, it doesn’t cost me much to replace my team members. and it isn’t that big of a deal.”
You will lose people, that is the reality of owning a business. Yet have you analyzed the ...
Dental Practice profitability is a top priority. Without it, you can not keep your doors open, you can not treat your patients, and you can not live the life you envisioned.
I am willing to bet that you have analyzed, and then over analyzed your website and marketing budget. You’ve invested yearly in continuing education and consistently look at adding the newest equipment and the latest technology to the practice in hopes of increasing efficiency and profitability.
You have focused on ROI when it comes to marketing budgets and big-ticket technology items, analyzing the cost per patient gained, and the cost and time difference for the crown milled chairside.
All of this effort, with the hopes of retaining patients, growing the practice, and increasing profitability.
Let me now ask a question. How much time have you spent thinking about staff retention in terms of ROI and practice growth? If the answer is none or not much, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity.
Your day has taken a turn for the worse; one of your team members quit unexpectedly. You did not see it coming, and to make matters worse, today will be their last day. Once the initial shock of their exit has passed, how do you respond?
What do you do when your dental assistant or administrative team member quits out of the blue? How do you keep the morale in the office high with the sudden loss, fill the gap that has been created, and make sure that your team isn’t overwhelmed by the added responsibilities everyone will have in the days to come?
You begin scrambling and enter panic mode. What are you going to do? How will the practice manage being one team member short? How quickly can you find a dental assistant that knows everything they need to do? Or a treatment coordinator that speaks insurance like a pro?
As you think more about it, you’re not even 100% certain what tasks this team member was responsible for!
Many dental practices across the...
Dr. Kevin Groth on Episode #322 of The Best Practices Show: The New Dentist Movement and Lessons Learned
Kirk speaks with Dr. Kevin Groth, a dentist based in Bingham Farms, Michigan.
Dr. Groth starts by explaining how coming out of of the University of Michigan Dental School in 2013 was dizzying, and starting out in dentistry wasn’t easy. He realized that discovering his identity was key in jump-starting his career.
His expectation did not match the reality of starting a new practice, but the lessons he learned as a result are priceless. Over the last few years, Dr. Groth struggled to make his life as a new dentist line up with his core beliefs. But as he learned from mistakes and experience, he was able to turn dentistry into the dream career that allows him to live his life and spend the most time with his family.
Some of the specific strategies that Dr. Groth discusses are: the need to surround yourself with like-minded people, the patience required to work...
Fall is coming and you know what that means...football season, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, and every dentist’s favorite -- Sucktember (dun dun dunnn…). For the ACT Dental coaching team, this means calls from doctors that are constantly asking, “what can I do to increase the efficiency and productivity of my practice?” This year, as practices around the country brace for the potential of slower than usual fall schedules, this question becomes particularly pertinent.
A quick internet search on the topics of increasing production and efficiency in the dental office will produce hundreds of articles and a multitude of checklists offering tips on how to improve these items. Most will talk about transitioning to a paperless environment, having systems in place, hiring and training the right team members, and learning how automation can benefit your team.
These are all great. These all take a lot of time.
So what can you do today, and tomorrow, that...
How many times have you purchased goods or utilized services that you didn’t expect to pay for?? I don’t know about you, but for me, that number is pretty much zero.
I think we can all agree, goods and services, especially those of value, cost money.
So why do dental professionals, and their teams, have such an issue asking for payments from patients for the valuable services they provide?
For some reason, paying for the services that are received, and even more so paying for them on the day they are received is an idea that has permeated every business and industry except dentistry.
As a dentist and a healthcare provider, you signed up to provide excellent care to your patients, yet the “health” of the practice can not be lost in this transaction. In order to provide quality patient care, to afford the team you need, to purchase equipment and PPE, patients must say yes to both the care and the financing that goes along with it. The practice must collect for...
After months of your office being closed, you’re finally back at it. The books are full. The schedule is productive. Heck, you just had a record-breaking month; things are looking good.
Yet looking forward on the schedule there are openings. In fact, there are a lot of openings. You check in with your treatment coordinator and the list of broken appointments that need to be rescheduled has been exhausted.
One list, however, has grown. That list of “call me after COVID” patients increases daily, and the team doesn’t know how to work through the very real fear and hesitation that has paralyzed so many of us.
What now? How do we reach out to these fearful patients? How do we connect and let them know, “I’ve got you. The many layers of PPE that I wear for each and every one of my patients are not just to keep me safe, they are to keep you safe too.”
How do we keep schedules full, and help our patients overcome their fear?
It’s way too easy to get distracted by squirrels.
No, not the furry little rodents – although if you’ve ever seen them outside your office window, they are pretty amusing to watch. “Squirrels” are those little distractions that seemingly pop up out of nowhere, completely derailing your ability to work.
You can be working, minding your own business, when poof! A squirrel arrives to distract you. Then another appears. And another. And another! Pretty soon, you forget what you were working on in the first place.
Squirrels come in all different shapes and sizes. A squirrel could come in the form of a team member sharing a crazy story in the break room. Maybe it’s an email notification popping up that your Amazon order has shipped. Perhaps the business renting out a nearby suite is doing construction. Squirrels are a part of everyday life, and you have to learn how to squash them when they inevitably arrive.
So, how do you deal with squirrels? Grab...
Communication is the responsibility of one person and one person only: the sender. If the sender fails to effectively share information with the recipient, then it isn’t the recipient’s fault if plans go awry.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store only to find yourself with a shopping list you can’t understand? Perhaps your partner used shorthand you’ve never seen before, or you can’t read your mom’s handwriting on her recipe. We can celebrate the small victory that you even have a list – writing things down is an important part of the communication system – but it’s hardly useful if it isn’t conveying the information that you need. If you want someone to pick up the exact ingredients you need from the store, you’d better make that shopping list crystal clear. Even if it seems redundant, it’s better to overcommunicate than to have to make another trip to the store.
Effective communication is your...