4 Stress Management Solutions for Dental Administrators
A dental office isn’t always the easiest place to work, and the administrative staff has a long list of responsibilities that includes patient collections, customer service, dental billing processes, and so much more. These all add up to an overwhelming day-to-day workload. If you’re not paying attention to your daily operations, it’s easy to get lost in an unprofitable situation that seems almost impossible to get out of. We understand this scenario all too well and are here to help. So in this article, we’ll explore the most common stressors and stress management solutions for dental administrators.
Dental administration is stressful
No matter where you fall on the spectrum of dental administrative employment, you have an ever-growing list of job responsibilities. Office managers need to ensure that everyone is fulfilling their obligations while also looking out for the business. Front office staff need to remain cordial and poised with patients while also completing every dental billing process. While no one’s perfect, it can be helpful to recognize when problems start to get out of hand. Identifying these problem areas, and knowing how to manage them, will help you feel a stronger sense of accomplishment and balance in your work life.
Four common stressors and stress management solutions
1. Maintaining a consistent collection ratio
If your accounts receivables are overdue, unmanaged, and out of control, you’re losing both time and money. Accounts over 90 days past due are past typical collection times, and you might be stuck losing thousands outstanding every month. This affects your collection ratio each month, which may be directly tied to office upgrades, employee bonuses, team building activities, and more.
What’s the solution? We’re here to help. We can take the ever-changing, chaotic, skill-based dental and patient billing processes off your plate. This means you can focus on accurate treatment planning, collecting patient co-payments, and providing excellent patient care. We can even set up a dedicated patient billing line so you don’t cringe every time the office phone rings!
2. Filling the schedule ahead of time
Patient scheduling is a constant frustration in most dental practices. One day you’re utterly slammed with people, the next day it seems like every patient is calling to cancel. You run a recare report and it is long and completely overwhelming. Clinicians are sitting in the break room with nothing to do — not the best use of their valued time!
What’s the solution? Whether it’s been weeks or months since you’ve seen your patients, we will provide a personalized, professional message to them to welcome them back to your office. Let us help re-engage your patient and get them back on your schedule where they belong!
3. Improving team communication and synergy
It might seem obvious if certain members of your team aren’t working well together, and tension can build if issues are aired out and addressed timely. But how do you resolve seemingly superficial conflicts without seeming like “the bad guy?” Office morale can ebb and flow from month to month, and patients can feel the lack of enthusiasm when they interact with office staff. So how do you lift staff spirits when this happens?
What’s the solution? Schedule regular team meetings to discuss problems in processing and implementation of office protocols, and offer everyone a chance to speak. Schedule team building activities that improve team collaboration and communication. You can even start a gratitude jar or board where team members can write down what they appreciate about each other every day!
4. Educating patients on the importance of oral health
Every dental practice should have educational patient materials to help patients understand the paramount importance of frequent professional cleanings and treatments. As dental professionals, it’s our job to inform and educate on why dentistry is beneficial, and it’s a great way to show your community the value of your profession.
What’s the solution? Create brochures, pamphlets, or newsletter emails to educate your patients on the importance of oral health. Utilize your social media accounts and get creative with your marketing! We have a terrific resource for you to use to inform patients on why dental cleanings are essential to their overall health.
Noticing, reducing, and managing workplace stress can seem like an administrative task in itself. But as these tips show, the importance of a healthy and efficient workplace can’t be underestimated or neglected, or your patient care will suffer. No dental office can claim to be 100% stress free; however, every team member can work together to create a more comfortable and successful dental practice. We are always here for you, to give you the opportunity to focus on what really makes a dental office an amazing place to be.