When managing your own dental practice, it’s important to consider a few elements to keep your practice running smoothly. Some of the main elements to consider are leadership, communication, teamwork, and hygiene. While some dentists may rank one higher than the other, incorporating each of these elements into how you manage your practice is crucial.
If you are looking to grow a successful dental practice, here are a few ways to help you accomplish that:
When considering profitability in hygiene, time is key. Here are a few things to accomplish getting the most value out of your hygiene appointments:
- Review your hygiene appointment beforehand. The average appointment is about 60 minutes long.
- Give ultrasonic, hand instrument, and polishing 30 minutes prior to preventative care.
- Document what screenings are available in your practice or products you are preparing to integrate.
To determine if your hygiene time reflects your best results, add five minute increments to each item above. Many practice management consultants agree that practicing six-point periodontal charting is the best way to transform a hygiene department. The hygiene department is that backbone to any dental practice. By being diligent and using six-point periodontal charting for every adult patient, your hygiene department will become more profitable.
For a dental practice to thrive, communication is an essential element. Your team should meet weekly to discuss patient records. As a team, you should also go over the hygiene schedule and fill any openings. Make sure your team is prepared to answer any questions that a patient might ask. An office that has the best answers to a patient’s question is going to be the most successful. It’s important to establish the kind of environment you want your dental practice to have, you want your patients to feel warm and welcome when they enter your office.
Not only is communication between you and your team important, but communication between you and your patients will determine your success. Listen to your patient’s problems and concerns before you start pushing dental procedures on them.
Another important part of communicating with your patients is making sure they know your financial policy. It should be presented and signed by all patients. When setting your financial policy remember these three things:
1. Make all payment options transparent.
2. Offer incentives to patients so they’ll pay early.
3. Don’t see any patients until they know what the payment arrangements are.
Ultimately, the financial policy you decide upon will depend on the dynamics of your office.
If you plan on expanding your office, make sure you and your team are prepared to promote the position. Have a clear understanding of what kind of person you are looking to hire. Once you have hired someone, make sure you have a thorough training program set up for them.
The key to having a well-functioning office is a satisfied staff. Your patients will be able to see the level of satisfaction in your staff. If your staff give off an unhappy attitude, your patients will take notice. Make sure during your staff meetings that your team is learning, growing, and engaging with one another.
As the leader of your dental practice, it is extremely important for you to have a positive mindset. Take personal responsibility for things that go wrong, don’t point the finger at someone else. Be passionate and committed to your work, your staff members will see this, and it will encourage them to do the same. Make sure you are clear about the mission and vision you have for your company.
As a manager, if you strategically incorporate each of these elements into your dental practice, you will be well on your way to success.
Trisha Banks is a blogger for Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry in Lakeway, Texas. Trisha wanted to find a few basic elements of how to manage a dental practice.