Many dental offices focus on increasing their profit margins through narrow tactics such as looking at patient numbers, procedure ratios, pricing of supplies, marketing, or logistics. There are other strategies that can take place such as better secondary or tertiary priorities that include training and practice for the staff and yourself. Training the front desk, dental assistants, manager, and yourself can bring forth fantastic returns such as improved treatment plan acceptance rates, heightened conversation skills, and employee loyalty/retention. Many offices ready for long-term preparedness consider training the staff during office hours, enrolling in group courses, preparing staff for career promotion or advancement.
Therefore the human resource side of the office will take some investment in time and energy beyond just focusing on patient care. Many dental chains offer CE credit/management courses to their members as a long term investment to keep them up to date and prepared to face the complicated world of dental care and management. Some offices keep staff members locked in to simple tasks and protocols that are not only monotonous but do not offer any hope of self-improvement. One staff member shared with me in her previous job she was only allowed to do sterilization work. Simply turning over the chair and setting up for the next procedure was all she could see. She felt the need to leave her office as there was no opportunity to advance her skills and knowledge.
Dental technology has no included more advanced tools that go beyond a Panorex and include CT scans and advanced optics. Even the popular dental software such as Dentrix and Eaglesoft require significant training the master the basics. Training the staff to better utilize such technology will optimize practice flow. Running the office more smoothly and efficiently involves one to survey the staff and take the time to see if they are maximizing the technology before them. A well run practice will need continued optimization. Frequent monitoring and reassessment of what technologies are bringing value are a necessity.
Consider putting in place strict protocols for the supplying your inventory. Some offices under stock and overstock as the more frequent case. Overstocking leads to wasted material. For example, some doctors feel the need to have an extensive array of burrs for their composite setups. In reality learn to evaluate what you truly need for your average visit to know not to over purchase. This includes the more expensive implant materials. Some purchase a large variety of implants that include sizes they may never use.
As you review your office management and staff, try to look beyond just the numbers. When you see which areas are deficient, you can make an educated decision on how to improve your practice flow.
About the Author: Dr. Brian Kuo, DDS FAGD maintains a private practice in Arcadia, California.
Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD
🧑🤝🧑 Investing in your team will have compound returns!