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12.14.07 Issue #301 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
McKenzie Management
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Dr. Nice Guy

Dr. James Falcourt – Case Study #123

Dr. Falcourt’s practice facts:

  • 2-year old practice in the same location with the same hygienist and business coordinator.
  • The hygienist was only working 1 day a week, even though the practice was seeing 28 new patients a month.
  • The practice has 1,050 “active patients”, including the patients that the doctor acquired when he purchased the practice.
  • The practice employed 4 team members – 1 assistant, 1 hygienist part-time and 2 full-time business coordinators.
  • The practice was collecting an average of $32,000 a month, working 4 days a week.

Observations:

  • There were no business systems in place.  There were no job descriptions for the two business coordinators and they performed redundant tasks.
  • All the team members were eager to learn new tasks and had great attitudes.
  • One of the business coordinators had three years experience in the dental field as a clinical assistant but no training in the business area.  The other business coordinator had a great personality and was very computer savvy but no experience in the dental field.
  • Cathy, the hygienist, would like to work more days in Dr. Falcourt’s practice but he had not indicated that he wanted more days.

it was obvious that BUSINESS TRAINING was non-existent in the office.  Dr. Falcourt had two wonderful employees at the front desk, but without proper training, they could not perform at the level he needed in order to take his practice “to the next level”.

There were no business systems in place, such as protocols for financial arrangements, proper scheduling to daily goals, hygiene retention, accounts receivable management, just to mention a few.  The practice was basically running on “auto-pilot” with some occasional concern from the doctor to his business team about lack of production.

The doctor knew very little about how his practice was performing.  There were no statistics recorded on a monthly basis, no morning or monthly meetings to discuss areas of concern and no one held accountable for their job performance.  He didn’t understand the importance of knowing this information.  It was an obvious case of “the blind leading the blind” and the practice was performing in spite of the team!

Recommendations:

  • Bring in the software trainer and teach the team how to more fully utilize their system, including chairside charting and treatment planning.
  • Conduct morning and monthly meetings to review the practice statistics, review the “To Do” List and address new agenda items.
  • Praise the team when performance is outstanding and “thank” them every day.
  • Be careful about being “Dr. Nice Guy”.  Tell the patients what their clinical needs are and how will these needs be addressed.

Conclusions:
Monitoring Dr. Falcourt’s practice for six months, returned an entirely different attitude.  The team members exuded the confidence they acquired after learning how to implement the systems that were so important in order to run a successful practice.  Two additional days of hygiene were added because the patient retention was greatly improved, with another day soon to be added.

Dr. Falcourt’s monthly collections increased to $55,480, an increase of 73% per month.  He was delivering the treatment plan that he diagnosed based on the clinical needs of the patient and not being concerned about what he THOUGHT they could afford.  His Financial Coordinator was “selling” the dentistry recommended, using tools such as CareCredit™, making the treatment affordable to the patients.

Dr. Falcourt recognized that the practice was not growing or producing as he had expected but he had no idea how to “fix” it. The absence of systems by being ‘Dr. Nice’, had decreased his practice acceptance from patients and employees had no direction. This was not only hurting the practice’s long range goals but the patients and staff.

McKenzie Management’s analysis of the business operational systems helped him to understand the reasons why.  Dr. Falcourt was willing to change and adjust his thinking to realize there was a better way to get the results he wanted to achieve and at the end of the day…be a nice guy.

Our experience has shown that professional practices are at far greater risk than their numbers suggest. This is because dental, medical and chiropractic offices are predominantly staffed by women, both of child bearing age and older. Given that society demands these women have primary responsibility for child care [and, today, elder care] and hold a job, they are the ones who most need time off.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Practice Enrichment Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies….. email info@mckenziemgmt.com.

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