Dental Practice Management: 4 Ways to Slice Through the Overwhelm
Do you feel buried by stress and doubt? Is your practice plateaued in the doldrums? Are you looking for a clear path forward? Cut through the overwhelm with a new strategy that will help you launch your practice to new heights of success and banish the burdens that are holding you back from the life you deserve.
Cut Through the Overwhelm of Running Your Practice
We’re sharing 4 ways to help you get started right now, plus an invitation to transform your practice into a well-oiled machine with our Launch Program.
1. Decode Case Acceptance
Case acceptance is a pillar of practice revenue — but earning patient buy-in requires a strategic approach. Too many dentists try to close in the chair in the brief minutes they have left with their patients after an exam or routine treatment. It’s an approach that sets dentists up for failure. Distractions, impatience and limited time to convey urgency create the perfect conditions that make patients flee from the chair as fast as possible. It’s downright uncomfortable for everyone involved.
How should you approach case acceptance to guarantee a higher rate of success? You treat it as another department within your practice.
- Create a separate space in your office for discussing patient treatment options.
- Hire or train a person whose priority is to sit down with patients and explain what treatment entails, why it is necessary, and options for covering the costs.
- Give your patient time to ask questions about the process, express concerns about treatment or discuss out-of-pocket costs without feeling stressed, lectured, or pressured.
This approach delivers a higher rate of case acceptance with the added benefit of ensuring every patient is completely informed about their treatment plan.
2. Boost Patient Retention
Increasing case acceptance can draw in more revenue but it is important not to forget who keeps the lights on year-round. When you retain a healthy base of regular patients you ensure your practice always has appointments on the books. A steady stream of “regulars” means you don’t have to spend your time in a perpetual game of trying to fill up a bathtub without a plug. You can also provide much better care to a patient with whom you have a charted history and a familiar relationship. Even better, long-term patients are an excellent source of referrals.
You can increase patient retention in a number of ways. For example, your staff should schedule your patient’s appointment while they are checking out. If they cannot commit at that time, have the front office make a note to call them within a day or two.
And speaking of calls, do you have a systematic approach to appointment reminders? Do you send out regular emails to patients to inform them they are due for a cleaning or that their benefits are about to lapse? These touchpoints keep your practice in their peripheral and encourage them to stick to twice-yearly cleanings and exams.
3. Align Your Team to Avoid Overwhelm
You call your staff a team for a reason — you’re all working together to win! However, that mindset only works if you cultivate it from day one. Too often, team is an adjective, not a verb. We use it to describe our staff without reinforcing the ideals that designate a group of people as a team: shared goals, cooperation, cohesion, and earnest effort.
If you want to cut through the overwhelm, unite your team under a shared vision. Show them the benefits of a coordinated practice:
- higher rates of patient satisfaction
- job security
- steady work
- diversified and more complex cases
- patient retention
- opportunities for growth.
While they are doing their part, it is important you do your part, too. Pay your employees a wage commensurate with their skills. Create opportunities for professional development. Offer a work environment that is well-organized and respectful of everyone’s time and effort. In short, give your team a reason not just to want to come to work, but to want to work with you.
4. Collaborate with Community
If you want to create a referral pipeline that also builds your brand, you need to collaborate with your community. Make your practice known by participating in outreach efforts that support dental health. Create awareness about the importance of regular dental care. A small investment of your time, say, paying your hygienist to visit a local school and share tips for brushing, can result in new patients, a great return on such a small investment.
Giving back to the place your practice calls home also builds trust in your team and you as a dentist. People feel far more confident about recommending a dentist they have seen working as an active participant in their community. Helping others will help you.
Launch Your Dental Practice to New Heights of Success
Do these tips make you feel empowered to transform your practice? They’re part of NextLevel’s dynamic Launch Program. This is an immersive, personalized coaching plan that will equip you with the essential tools to achieve your goals. Our experienced coaches help you slice through the overwhelm, craft a vision for the future, and dive right into making it a reality.
Learn more about the Launch Program and sign up here.