7 Tips to Help You Manage Your Dental Practice
Running a dental practice is a serious undertaking and requires a lot of hard work and dedication. From providing quality services to taking care of advertising and dental marketing, there are tons of things that go into creating a successful dental practice. We have some tips on how you can work smarter, not harder. Keep reading to learn how to manage your practice effectively without overwhelming your workload.
Update Practice Communications
Patients expect an easy experience when they contact your dental practice. That means you will need to adjust to the current technology landscape. Update your methods of contact by having one phone number and one email listed that potential patients can locate you through. An easy way to have clear contact information is by updating your website. Every dental practice should have a website that provides patients with contact information, a bit of information about your practice, and the services you offer. Meeting patient expectations and providing them with an easy user experience can help guarantee that they come back for another visit.
Another communication update your practice should utilize is automated billing and invoicing. Automate your billing and invest in an invoicing software to make sure that nothing gets lost and both the patients and the practice expectations are met. In the long term, investing in things like automated payments and a high-quality, mobile-friendly website can create a more organized practice and it can also save you time and money.
Not only do you need to set goals, but you need to have a full understanding of where your practice currently stands. Have your practice appraised and contact a dental practice growth advisor to determine where you would like to see your practice grow. Work with them to determine a plan for your practice to grow so that you can increase your profits and potentially the value of your practice for when you want to sell later on in life. Work with your staff to set internal goals that you would like to reach and use these goals to improve the overall quality of your employee and patient experience.
Keep Your Staff Happy
A happy staff is a happy practice, so communicate with your staff to keep the practice running smoothly. Communicate with your staff to better understand what works and what doesn’t. Figure out if they have any concerns about the office culture or if there is room for improvements whether it be salary, bonuses, office perks, or anything that could realistically be improved. The staff of the practice is who communicates with the patients the most, and they are what will make the most impact when patients reflect on their experience with you. Make sure your staff is happy and satisfied with working conditions so that your practice can run effectively.
Practice owners are in charge of everything from overseeing management to providing services and organizing finances. Avoid burnout by hiring staff that can take some of this responsibility off of your shoulders. If you are feeling overwhelmed or that you are spread too thin, talk to a practice management consultant or someone who can share some of the responsibility so that you can make sure nothing falls through the cracks. This will ensure that your practice is running effectively and sets a good example for the office culture. Running a practice is not a one-person job, success is a collaborative effort.
Build a Network of Advisors
You can seek out an advisor related to every aspect of dentistry. There are dental attorneys, financial advisors, practice management consultants, accountants, contractors, dental marketing consultants and any other area that you may need help or advice on. Reach out to your network and ask around for recommendations regarding your dental practice. This is an easy way to get a fresh set of eyes to take a look at your current situation and give you guidance on how you can reach your goals.
Have a Patients-First Mentality
Patient experience will make or break your practice. Today, a dental practice’s reputation is ruled by Google reviews and Facebook recommendations. Everything your practice does should be treated with a patient-first mindset. This means your office will be designed to be comfortable and welcoming to patients when they come in for their routine cleanings, prices will be reasonable based on services provided and the location of the practice, and you won’t recommend patients get unnecessary treatments. Your practice is part of the local community, so you should aim to work with patients–not against them. Build relationships with patients to encourage them to come back and recommend your business to friends. Make sure your practice is easily accessible and try to keep some open appointments for new patients so that they can be seen right away.
Provide Continuous Care
Not only is it important to get new clients, but you also need to keep them coming back. When a patient is leaving after their appointment is completed, you should immediately ask if they would like to schedule their next dental cleaning. The patients expect to schedule their next appointment, but they won’t do it unless you prompt them to. You should also be reaching out a week before the appointment just to remind the patient that they are scheduled to come in. If a patient hasn’t been in for an appointment after about 18 months, consider reaching out. They may have just forgotten to schedule an appointment and need a reminder to have their teeth cleaned. Reaching out to patients every so often to check-in and encouraging them to leave reviews online can help develop a solid relationship with your community.
By following these tips, you will be able to keep your practice working effectively and efficiently. Use this as a guide to detect areas of weakness within your practice and turn these weaknesses into strengths. Running a dental practice is difficult, but with proper management, you can have the successful business of your dreams.
About the Author:
Joseph D. Jordan, JD, is a North Carolina licensed attorney working with doctors in the areas of dental practice acquisitions, transitions, and associateship placement.