The Catch 22 of Dental Practice Success
By: Belle DuCharme, Writer LLC, Director of Training/CE
When you become a dentist owner of a practice your future now requires work to succeed. Besides becoming clinically excellent there are 22 dental business systems that directly impact your practice. If you think that excellent clinical skills are all you need for success, then you need a wake-up call.
It isn’t enough to hire someone with experience running a dental practice (whose practice?) it also means that you, the dentist, needs a working knowledge of the 22 operating systems that are necessary to be working correctly for you to be successful.
Worst case scenario, which has happened to many dentists, is that your key front office person or the entire front office team walks out the same day leaving you stranded and frantic.
If you know how to run your computer, the software, the phone and all the front office protocols you could keep going without too much problem until you hire someone else.
The following are the 22 operational systems necessary to operate a dental practice.
- Recall/recare What is the system to having patients return to your practice?
- Patient retention: How many patients are active and how many have you lost?
- Telephone skills/ customer service that can make or break you
- Financial Arrangements and outside funding
- Scheduling techniques to create smooth flow and good patient care
- Scheduling to meet production goals
- Insurance verification
- Insurance filing and follow-up/appeals
- Collection techniques and communications at the time of service/posting checks/balancing day sheet and verifying production and collection
- New patient system/Creating the “wow” factor
- Patient arrival and dismissal system
- Billing system and unpaid debt collection
- Management of accounts receivables
- Management of accounts payables
- Computer software maintenance/updates and training/running reports/HIPAA
- Marketing and advertising system
- Referral system/ who and what is providing patients to your practice
- Website maintenance and SEO and social media
- Management of dental supplies and office supplies/OSHA
- Hiring of dental staff system/recruitment and onboarding—HR duties
- Performance measurement systems/Employee notices and dismissal system
- Cancellation and no show systems/appointment reminder system
If you can take this list and look at each item and say yes to whether you know how each operates in your practice you will earn a gold star.
It is never too late to learn and you should be proactive to learn about management of your practice as soon as possible. Practice success is a goal that requires attention and planning. Picture yourself in a year and then in 5 years. What do you want your practice to look like and perform like? Set your practice goals and make it happen today.
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