The Dental Office CEO: 5 Tips to a Sustainable and Profitable Dental Practice
August 30, 2013
As a DentalPractice Management Consultant I discover inefficiencies in the dental practice and turn them around into sustainable and profitable systems that benefit your patients and provide motivation and enthusiasm for the entire team. There are many ways to create an efficient dental practice that consistently increases profits. There are over one hundred ways the CEO of a dental practice can unknowingly create failure for their dental practice.
In this article I list five ways to create a top performing and profitable dental practice.
1. Leadership (TOP PRIORITY!)
Dentists had a dream of becoming a dentist and living a great life. Few, had a desire to become a dentist because they wanted to be a business owner.
As a Dental Practice Management Consultant most of the dentists we have worked with wanted to come in at the time of the 1st patient appointment and they leave before the last patient has left the office. Our dental business philosophy creates leaders in the practice owner. We educate and support the dentist – The CEO of their business to lead their team and create other leaders within their team to carry out the day-to-day tasks for improved patient care and consistent strategies to increase practice growth and profits.
2. Make Timely Decisions
As the CEO of your business, there will always be challenging situations that only you can create solutions. Of course you can enroll your team members to strategize but some of the decisions you will need to make are when to terminate an employee, when to add another treatment room and how you will deal with conflict. You will set the tone and office culture through your decision making process. How timely you can make these decisions will also create your own economy. What is your process to solve challenging situations? How do you stop a challenge from becoming a problem?
3. Create a Strategic Plan with Attainable Goals
If you don’t have a plan, you have planned to fail. I am writing this during the last half of 2013 and now is the best time to plan for your team annual strategy session. This is a time to review your office systems; what has worked this year, what is not working and what systems need to be created. At your team strategy session talk about production, collections, insurance issues and goals that are attainable for the next year. How many days do you need to work in 2014 to accomplish these goals? Bring a calendar and plan your perfect schedule for 2014.
Clearly communicate to your dental team what they need to do to accomplish the goals. Clearly define how they will do what needs to be done. Every team member’s contribution to accomplish the goals is crucial.
Always define the why you are doing what you do and the why these goals need to be accomplished.
4. Define Your Philosophy of Care
Does every team member understand the philosophy of patient care for your dental practice?
When I recently led a workshop I talked about philosophy of care for the periodontal patient. I realized a few hours into the workshop that the dentists, hygienists and assistants in the course, did not understand how to develop a philosophy of care. They had never addressed their office philosophy of care for the various types of services they offered.
In the afternoon of that workshop we took a step back and began to set up their very own philosophy of care. It was enlightening for all and a lot of fun to work through this process.
Answer: Reverse engineer the patient care your provide. Write down each of the services you provide and what type of patient will receive this service.
- For example you will write down “Philosophy of Care for the Periodontal Patient” (Or you will insert the correct patient type, i.e. Implant Patient or Care for the Patient at High Risk for Caries, etc.)
Step 1 is to write down the ultimate goal for providing this service to your patient
Step 2 is to write down the steps to accomplish your end goal
Step 3 is to research your products, technologies involved in the services necessary to provide patient care
Step 4 is to research the appropriate fees and insurance billing. (UCR/ insurance contract, etc.)
Step 5 is to discuss as a team patient barriers to accepting your care
Step 6 is CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES!
5. Be Open to Others Ideas and Feedback
Great leaders are open to the ideas of others. Be open to receiving feedback from the team and especially your patients. Encourage your team and patients to speak openly about any topic –let their voice be heard.
Listening to the feedback of others is a great way to find that missing piece of the puzzle. Always be open to making the best decisions based on your business goals, the benefits to your patients and team members.
As a Dental Practice Management Consultant these are only a few of the ways I have found to create a consistently sustainable and profitable team. These are only a few suggestions to gain raving fans and a team that is motivated and enthusiastic about coming to the office and working as a cohesive team.
We are entering into the last quarter of this year – 2013- plan to end with more success than ever before. You have about 90 days to plan your end of 2013 and create.
I would like to hear from you. Do you feel “heard” at your dental office? Does your office have a plan? How are things going this year in your office?
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene department that works enthusiastically, creating a high performance teams, improving patients’ total health and consistent profits to the dental practice.
She is an author for journals such as Dentistry Today, HygieneTown and RDH. Debbie speaks internationally about systems and services in the dental hygiene department to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine, improving the total health of patients’, utilizing the most recent science to prevent disease and consistently increase profits.In 1984 she graduated from USC in Los Angeles in with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the instructors, purchased all the equipment, worked with project managers on the building of the school while managing a 2 million dollar budget.
Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world and is considered a leader in creating consistent profits to a dental practice through services and systems in the dental hygiene department. You can read more about her new 30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program to get a taste of what she has to offer. This is only a small sample of the value her programs bring to a dental practice!