How to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency in the Front Office

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

dental practice efficiency

Do you dream of having a busy dental practice that includes a fully booked schedule? If so, would your team be able to handle a full schedule? Practice efficiency is always important, but for a busy practice, it is imperative.

Whether your practice is already busy, or you are hoping it will become busy, making efficiency a priority will help things run smoothly and improve the patient experience. It will also increase job satisfaction for your team members.

My name is Jennifer Pearce. I am the owner, founder, and lead prosperity coach of Prosperity Dental Solutions. During my 25+ years of working in dentistry, I have seen it all. My passion is to help dental practices “think prosperity,” so they can be prosperous.

But to be prosperous, your team must be efficient. Today, I am going to share 3 tips about how to make your front office team more efficient.

Improving front office practice efficiency includes:

  1. Delegation
  2. Increasing Employee Morale
  3. Incorporating a Bonus System

Practice Efficiency Tip #1: Delegation

While a busy schedule improves your profits, it can also mean a hectic work environment that can potentially cause you to lose patients or team members.

Your front office team must find time to take care of all the administrative work while also answering phones and welcoming patients. When they are stretched thin or asked to do tasks they don’t enjoy, it can cause job dissatisfaction. Unhappy team members may not feel like interacting with your patients positively. They may also start to wonder if all the stress is worth it.

Improve each team member’s attitude by learning their interests and strengths. Delegate tasks based on what they do well and enjoy doing. Ask yourself—or a senior staff member—who shines when it comes to communicating with patients? Which team member is best at project management? Is there someone really good at “paperwork” but not so great with patients?

If one team member loves interacting with patients, put her in charge of follow-ups, appointment reminder calls, welcoming patients, and answering the phone. This frees up the team member who dislikes answering the phones but enjoys paperwork to get all the billing done.

Review all the “must-do” tasks and create a strategy for assigning these tasks to your team. Then, add one or two “less critical” tasks to each team member.

If you really want to boost morale, ask each team member what their favorite part of their job is. When team members do what they love doing, it reduces stress and makes them happy. And when they are less stressed and happy, they are much more productive and friendly.

Practice Efficiency Tip #2: Increase Employee Morale

Consider what things will increase the morale and happiness of your team members and implement those strategies.

Remember, happy team members build an awesome, productive, and prosperous dental practice!

Some ideas to do this include:

  • Conduct team member satisfaction surveys
  • Hold regular team meetings
  • Hear and consider the suggestions your team members make
  • Make necessary changes as soon as possible
  • Solve problems in the practice immediately
  • Initiate team-building activities
  • Bring in a consultant!

If you don’t know the best ways to increase happiness and morale with your team, our consultants at Prosperity Dental Solutions do! We have countless ideas and can customize our suggestions based on your unique needs and desires.

Practice Efficiency Tip #3: Incorporate a Bonus System

Did you know implementing a bonus system can increase productivity and profitability?

When your team members know their efforts matter and are appreciated, they work harder and get more done. They are also more likely to communicate ideas that will improve efficiency.

If you wonder where to start, look at your needs first. What are the most significant issues affecting productivity? If it involves team members showing up late or calling in sick, consider a bonus that rewards no sick days or punctuality.

Maybe you want to improve patient numbers? How about a bonus for hitting goals?

Ask your team for their input here as well. This not only makes them feel more important, but it also increases their awareness and attentiveness to reaching the bonus level. When team members have a say in bonus structures, they are more likely to become involved and productive.

Once you put a bonus system into effect, be sure to share the results regularly. This encourages other team members to become involved.

Are you ready for increased productivity and profitability in your dental practice?

If you want to increase patient numbers, don’t let inefficiency in your practice get in the way. At Prosperity Dental Solutions, we can help improve your systems and help you improve practice efficiency in the front and back office.

If you want to improve the patient experience while boosting productivity and reducing stress and frustration in your practice, call (817) 975-4576 today. We can schedule your complimentary “get acquainted” call that allows us to see how we can help you!

How to Achieve Synergy Between the Front and Back Office

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

dental practice synergy

Have you ever thought about how much synergy can improve your dental practice? Maybe you have no idea what dental practice synergy is all about.

Synergy—(sinərjē)—the cooperation or interaction of two or more substances, organizations, or agents that produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their parts.

In other words, 1+1=3.

My name is Jennifer Pearce. I am the CEO and founder of Prosperity Dental Solutions, and my passion is to help dental practice owners make the most of all the amazing opportunities available. With almost two decades of dental experience, I know how to make your dental practice successful.

And I can tell you, one of the most often overlooked and misunderstood concepts is that of synergy. I believe a successful dental practice requires a multi-pronged, synergistic approach to improve beyond what each team member offers individually.

Today, I’m going to discuss how your team can truly come together to improve patient satisfaction, profitability, and productivity.

What is dental practice synergy?

When everyone in the front office and back office works together, it creates an outcome that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

So, how does dental practice synergy start?

The first thing you should ask yourself is, how well do all your team members know each other? The second question? How much do they understand their fellow teammates’ roles?

When all your team members know each other and understand the roles others play, it greatly improves synergy. It is tremendously important for everyone to realize how all the moving parts fit together.

After all, even if everyone on the team is working toward the same goals, if they don’t understand the importance of every member, it can be hard to see. And if team members don’t see the importance of other team players, it becomes easy for them to focus on what they do personally while giving little value to others.

To improve synergy in your dental practice, prioritize the following four objectives:

  1. Improve Relationships and Communication in the Team
  2. Understand Your Objective
  3. Encourage Contribution
  4. Make it Fun

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #1: Improve Relationships and Communication in the Team

Make an effort to improve relationship building amongst your team members. This could include any type of team-building activities. Go bowling together, volunteer as a team for a charitable event, or encourage potluck lunches. Anything that gets your team members gathering together while having fun will improve their relationships.

Hold a meeting and offer transparent goals that everyone should strive for. Give each team member a chance to describe their role in achieving those goals. Then, encourage questions, so everyone has the best opportunity to learn more about their colleagues. Allow the discussion to go beyond the workplace so your team can truly get to know each other.

Schedule regular team meetings, giving everyone has a chance to share their opinions and input. Listen and hear each voice, making sure everyone feels like an important member of the team. Encourage discussions about how they can help each other reach their goals.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #2: Understand Your Objective

Everyone on the team contributes differently within the practice, and sometimes their goals may seem to compete. For instance, one team member may focus only on patient care, while another focuses on budget and expenses.

It’s important for everyone to come together and keep their eye on the prize. Patient satisfaction is a worthy goal, but so is keeping down costs when possible.

Your leadership team should make sure that everyone is aware of your practice’s objectives and goals. These objectives and goals should be crystal clear, reviewed regularly, and communicated frequently.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #3: Encourage Contribution

Your seasoned, experienced team members have a lot to offer, but sometimes the best ideas come from the newest team member. Make sure everyone knows you value and want their input. Let them know you are always willing to consider new ideas.

And when team members offer input, consider it fully. If you implement a new system or idea, give the team member credit. If you reject an idea, let the team member know why.

It’s important to do everything possible to let everyone feel comfortable about coming forward with their thoughts.

Dental Practice Synergy Goal #5: Make it Fun

Have you ever heard the saying that couples who play together stay together? Well, the same is true with your team members.

If you have a team member who tends to be outgoing, take advantage of that! Enlist her as your CFO—Chief Fun Officer.

Your CFO can create fun games that involve everyone, like trivia or a scavenger hunt. Or maybe build a social corkboard where everyone answers fun facts about themselves. Or your practice could run contests, like who can come up with the best social media post for your Facebook business page. Or maybe even a “Where in the world is Waldo?” contest.

Creative people can turn something as simple as a potluck lunch into a Hawaiian Lua or day at the beach.

The point is, when you have team members who laugh and have fun together, they also appreciate each other. And when they appreciate each other, they work better than the sum of their parts.

That is synergy.

Improve the Synergy in Your Dental Practice

If you are interested in more ways to improve your dental practice profitability and productivity, I would love the chance to speak with you.

Call (817) 975-4576 today to schedule a complimentary call, where we can get to know each other and decide if we have what it takes to work together to achieve your goals!

6 Secrets to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

improve dental practice efficiency

In case you aren’t aware, your patients don’t enjoy spending time in the dentist’s chair. They come because they must or because they know they should. But while they are getting their teeth cleaned or trying to remain still while you fill a cavity, they are anxious for you to finish. And they will notice every little thing that gets in the way of efficiency in your dental practice. After all, an inefficient office will keep them in that chair longer.

The fact is—you are most likely already dealing with patients who don’t want to be there. It is, therefore, critical that you optimize their visit to help nudge them toward a positive experience.

Dental practice efficiency also helps your bottom line. Efficient dental practices see more patients and perform more procedures than inefficient practices.

My name is Jennifer Pearce. I am the founder, CEO, and lead executive coach at Prosperity Dental Solutions. With twenty-five years of dentistry experience, I have seen it all. And today, I am going to share some secrets with you about making your dental practice more efficient. Because the truth is, the efficiency of your dental practice impacts the satisfaction of your patients. This, in turn, impacts all other aspects of your practice.

Secret #1 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Start the Day Prepared

If you don’t start each day with a team huddle, why not? A team huddle allows everyone to get on the same page and know what to expect for the day. You can include whatever is important to your team, like daily goals, openings reserved for emergencies, cancellations, or a list of patients to call who have yet to respond to appointment reminders.

A couple of ground rules for a team huddle, however, are to start on time and keep it brief. You don’t want to start the day off already behind schedule.

Secret #2 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Accurate Estimates of Procedure Times

Who decides the amount of time to book patients for on your schedule? When estimated times are off, things can get out of hand quickly. Do patients who need 45 minutes get stuck in 15 or 30-minute timeslots? If this happens for even one appointment, the entire day can run behind.

Or maybe you are on the opposite end—left with large timeslots with nothing to do.

Depending on how things work in your dental practice, you may need to consider more than your chair time.

It’s important to keep the whole picture in mind. For instance, you may know how much time you spend with a patient needing a root canal, but what about the time they are in the chair while you aren’t present? And how long did it take the assistant to prepare the operatory? You need to consider how much time each patient spends with hygienists, dental assistants, and other team members before they see you, as well as how long it takes to set up the operatory and clean it up when you’re done.

Make a list of treatments and procedures and assign an estimated booking time for each one. Then, perform a “checkup” every few months or so to see if the estimates are accurate.

Also, consider that some patients require extra time. Special needs, such as extremes of age, anxious patients, and those who haven’t seen a dentist for years, will most likely require more time.

Secret #3 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Make Return Appointments at the End of Each Appointment

Yes, you will come across resistant patients. Have your staff encourage them to schedule an appointment anyway, even though they don’t know what they will be doing in six months. It is far easier to get a patient to change an existing appointment than it is to schedule a new one.

This also minimizes the work the front office has to do. After all, if every patient leaves with an appointment, that means far fewer follow-up calls or reminder texts trying to get patients on the schedule at a later date.

Secret #4 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Reduce No-Shows and Late Arrivals

Make sure to send appointment reminders well ahead of time, so patients can change them if they need to.

Have a running list of patients who would be available to come in for a last-minute appointment. Each time a patient calls to schedule or change an appointment, have a team member ask if they would like to be added to the list. This is especially helpful for patients looking for an appointment sooner than you have available.

Then, send reminders two days before the appointment, so patients can cancel it if they have a schedule conflict. This gives your team time to call people on the list who may be interested in taking the appointment. With this reminder, add a statement about not forgetting to pre-medicate if they need to. You don’t have to worry about customizing this, as patients who require premedication know who they are. This prompts them to call your office if they need a prescription, and it keeps you from having to cancel a patient after they arrive if they need to pre-medicate and forgot to.

You may even want to send a final reminder on the morning of the appointment. This helps keep patients on time.

Secret #5 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Train Your Front Team to Triage

Many patients think their dental emergency is more urgent than it really is. When a patient calls saying they need to get in right away, does your front team know what to ask them? Do they understand what is important and how to prioritize?

Make sure the team is properly trained so they know what questions to ask, how serious the problem is, and how much time the patient will need to be scheduled for.

Secret #6 to Improve Dental Practice Efficiency: Hire a Consultant

Running a dental practice can be complex and challenging. But when things in the office run more efficiently, they are also more effective and productive.

At Prosperity Dental Solutions, we have what it takes to help make your dental practice more efficient and profitable. Your patients will also like the changes because your improved efficacy will allow you to spend more time with them so you can give them the attention and care they deserve.

It may seem like a daunting task to get your practice running like a well-oiled machine, but we are here to help. And the result will be well worth your efforts.

Call (817) 975-4576 today to schedule a complimentary call with me. During this time, we can discuss your dental practice goals and desires and see if we have what it takes to get you there together.

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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Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

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dental practice synergy

Have you ever thought about how much synergy can improve your dental practice? Maybe you have no idea what dental practice synergy is all about. Synergy—(sinərjē)—the cooperation or interaction of two or more substances, organi…

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