The Top 5 Skills of Great Business Coordinators
I was hired to be a “concierge” office manager in a dental office, but I am so overwhelmed with the administrative duties that it is hard to keep a smile even until noon. I love my job, but being new to dentistry I wish that the doctor had told me there was more to it than just smiling and answering the phone.
Dentists receive very little practice management training in dental school, yet are expected to become CEO’s literally overnight when they purchase a practice and take on the leadership roles of owner/manager. The clinical team operates under the dentist’s direct supervision - what they do is visible and tangible to the dentist’s eye. The business coordinator’s job, however, is not as visible and often thought to be a robotic list of tasks such as answering the phone, keeping the schedule full and collecting the money. The dentist often says, “How difficult can that be?”
Even if you were hired because of your pleasant personality and ability to build rapport with patients, which are very important characteristics, the business of dentistry requires management skills and a sense of ownership of the position. In other words, if the patient does not pay the bill, it is your head on the block. If the schedule is full of cancellations, you will be held accountable. The skills of collecting and scheduling require a personality that is more tough-minded and less emotional. Can a business coordinator be both a tough business person and a caring and warm concierge? The answer is yes, with the proper training. The following are skills that a great business coordinator must possess to build a profitable and smooth operating practice.
1. Personable and Verbal Communication Skills
2. Scheduling Skills
3. Leadership Skills
4. Numbers Skills
5. Time Management and Prioritizing Skills
These tasks can be managed by one business coordinator when the practice is seeing up to 20 patients a day in an 8-hour work day. A well-organized, well-trained business coordinator should be able to maintain the position successfully. Sometimes there may be projects or tasks that can be delegated to clinical staff should there be downtime on the schedule. For instance, if documents need to be scanned, a clinical assistant can do this when not with patients. This is usually a solo, general practice and still represents a large percentage of practices across the country.
For training in the vital skills of managing a dental practice, look to the business training courses offered at McKenzie Management for front office personnel, office managers or the dentist CEO.
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