5 Elements of Successful Dental Practice Management

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

When it comes to dental practice management, does it ever feel like other owners know something you don’t? Does it seem like some doctors are privy to secret information, kept under lock and key? Why is it that so many dental offices thrive while others barely get by?

There are several ways to foster a profitable practice. Jennifer Pearce of Prosperity Dental Solutions explores five of the most crucial elements of successful dental practice management. Jennifer has been in dental practice management for 24 years – 18 as a Practice Administrator and four as a practice co-owner. She can help you sharpen your focus and hone your skills for a more enjoyable work-life balance as well as a more fruitful bottom line.

#1: Figure out exactly what you want.

Virtually every client I’ve worked with has said the same thing: “I want to grow my practice and be more successful in my career.” While this is an admirable goal, it’s somewhat broad. To fully understand what you want, you need to actively think about the specific changes necessary to achieve this. As the practice owner, you steer the ship. This means building a practice that’s harmonious with your philosophies and vision, both in and out of the office. To do this, you have to ask yourself hard questions and answer them honestly:

  • Are you willing to change the way you present treatment?
  • Can you truly “let go” and trust your team to run your practice?
  • How hard do you want to work to build the practice you want?
  • Are you willing to terminate toxic team members when necessary?
  • Are you open to learning better leadership skills?

#2: Update your case presentation style.

Not so many years ago, patients fully depended on the dentist to determine the necessary treatment. It was common to hear, “I’m good with whatever you think I need.” Today, things are changing. Patients are becoming an integral part of the treatment planning process.

If you want to hear patients say “yes” to treatment, then you need to understand the psychology behind this decision. Education is important, but so is an emotional connection. When you find the proper balance, you’ll see a dramatic increase in patient acceptance rates.

#3: Optimize your hygiene department.

Ideally, your hygienist should be generating about 30 percent of your revenue. Furthermore, your hygiene department shouldn’t be booked out for more than two weeks or so. To address these issues, consider adding another hygienist, a hygiene assistant, or placing your hygienist on commission. These are all creative ways to ensure your hygiene department continues to be an asset.

#4: Make consumerism work for you, not against you.

Whether you like the idea of consumerism or not, it’s king – even when it comes to dentistry. If a new patient calls to make an appointment but finds that your schedule is booked out for several weeks, he or she will call another office that will accommodate their needs. If this happens over and over again, it’s referred to as a capacity blockage. Oftentimes, you may have to spend money to address these blockages; but it will pay for itself handsomely over time. Don’t be afraid to make big changes when it’s necessary for your long-term profitability.

#5: Harness the power of a team-driven practice.

When you hire quality employees, you can shift the day-to-day responsibilities onto them. This way, you can focus on dentistry and patient care. Maintain high office morale with frequent team-building activities, bonus systems, and other incentives – and watch your practice thrive!

Watch your practice growth explode. Call us today.

There is no secret to effective dental practice management. What’s right for you will depend on your unique vision. Our team can help you build a model based on your goals and philosophies. For expert help from Jennifer and her team, call Prosperity Dental Solutions at 817-975-4576 or email us at jennifer@prosperitydentalsolutions.com.

Tips for Boosting Office Morale

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

As a practice owner, time is money – and a full schedule means a healthy bottom line. When holes in your daily schedule appear, your first thought probably isn’t office morale. But surprisingly, morale can affect a number of factors in the dental practice, including productivity and job turnover.

Jennifer Pearce, a practice administrator with more than 18 years of experience, can help you provide a motivated and energetic workplace for you, your staff, and your patients. The team at Prosperity Dental Solutions brings a combined total of more than 38 years of industry experience to coaching you and your staff. Our goal is to train your team to “think prosperous” so you can thrive in the profession that you love! 

Why Morale Matters

If morale isn’t at the forefront of your business mind, it should be. By its very definition, morale is the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline that is displayed by an individual or group at any given time. High morale is key to a pleasant work environment. If your employees feel appreciated, it can motivate them to go that extra mile for the overall good of your practice. 

On the other hand, low morale can be damaging to an office’s “esprit de crop” if left unchecked. We’ve all seen employees who have a negative attitude. Disgruntled team members can have a negative impact on otherwise happy co-workers – and this can happen subconsciously, starting a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse. Office morale is something you can’t afford to ignore. So how can you cultivate genuine positivity among your team members? Here are some ways to actively shape and nurture morale in your dental practice. 

Ways to Improve Office Morale

  • Publicly and privately praise employees. When it comes to building morale, small things make a huge difference. This means more than taking your team members out for a birthday lunch. Birthdays are great, but work anniversaries demonstrate your appreciation of everything that person has brought into your practice. Important benchmarks every five years are not to be missed. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to compliment your employees in front of your patients. A little appreciation goes a long way.
  • Delegate responsibilities. Boredom leads to apathy which leads to low morale. Intellectual engagement is the answer. To do this, it’s important to periodically delegate new responsibilities. Of course, this is never a good idea when the staff member is already overworked or overstressed. Focus on those who are open to receiving new challenges and responsibilities. Also, be mindful of each team member’s strengths, and give them tasks at which they will excel. Some staffers may have a tendency to go stir crazy if they are given repetitive tasks for too long. These individuals may benefit from an opportunity to drive to pick up medical supplies, for example. 
  • Compensate exceptional workers. A dental office isn’t Wall Street, but any workplace is obligated to pay workers commensurate with their efforts and talents. If wages have been stagnant for multiple years, a small raise with an expressed statement of appreciation can help employees feel valued. 
  • Welcome communication. Morning huddles are common in dental practices. But in addition to reviewing the day’s schedule, be sure you open the floor for communication. Everyone, from the receptionist to the assistant to the office manager should feel heard, valued, and respected. Furthermore, periodic, confidential conversations about workplace satisfaction should also be an active part of workplace policy. 

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. That’s just human nature. Your dental team is no different. By leaving communication lines open, you can know when an employee feels “stuck” in his or her current role. This is the first – and necessary – step to preventing low morale. 

Build and Maintain High Morale in Your Practice

Want to boost morale in your dental office? If so, we can help. Jennifer Pearce has more than 24 years of experience as a dental office administrator. She has also co-owned multiple dental practices. For expert help, call Prosperity Dental Solutions at 817-975-4576 or email jennifer@prosperitydentalsolutions.com.

Take your first step towards achieving a prosperous dental practice.

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Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

 

Testimonials

Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

"I highly recommend Jennifer as a dental coach and as a person who understands what it takes to drive improvement. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes her an invaluable tool in strengthening a practice. My practice has been successful, however, I knew that I wanted to take it to another level. Jennifer has a keen understanding of the ins and outs of running a practice, and what it takes to elevate all aspects of the practice. Whether it's a desire to improve treatment case acceptance, create more harmony and positive energy at the office, or implement the vision of the practice, Jennifer has the know how to make it happen. She says it as it is, and is down to earth and honest. I have already seen improvements across the board in my practice since we have been working together. I'm excited about the growth opportunity and confident that I have chosen a partner who understands the practice needs, and the intricacies needed to achieve the change I'm seeking. My team loves her and she has been a huge component in the success of my practice."

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