Are You Putting Tools in your Teamís Toolbox?
Over the years we have all witnessed many changes in our industry. Not only changes in the clinical arena, but also in the business arena. While most dentists have kept current on all the latest gadgets, materials and bells and whistles that are used on a daily basis, they often fail to explore options for bringing the business equipment, software and systems into the 21st century.
It is not difficult to understand why – after all, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Dentists read trade magazines relative to what they are interested in, and unfortunately, team members in the business area are not reading similar trade magazines that relate to their part of the dental world. As a result, the doctor is often unaware of what products and services are available to make the business more productive, efficient and customer service aware.
Example #1 – Practice Management Training
Doctor – please make sure that your entire team (yes, updates affect the clinical team as well) receives annual software training to learn what’s new. It is a small investment for the return that your team will receive in learning shortcuts and working more efficiently.
You may say, “All they have to do is ask and I will be happy to provide training for them. No one has asked.” Again, they don’t know what they are missing, so they don’t know to ask. They aren’t reading newsletters, trade magazines, listening to webinars or participating in other forms of education to keep them current, so they are in the dark. Enlighten them!
Example #2 - Business Equipment
Document Scanners: Let’s assume you are chartless. You may not be aware of this since you don’t spend time working in the business area, but your business team spends a lot of time scanning papers. The majority of the time I see these employees using the copier/scanner/fax machine, which can be extremely slow to scan. But they don’t know any different so they don’t ask for a more expeditious scanner that can scan multiple pages, insurance cards, backs and fronts, etc. in a matter of seconds. Bar scanners are very cost efficient and you can install one at each work station so they don’t have to get up every single time to scan something.
Credit Card Scanners: If you have more than one work station at the front desk area that takes payments, how many credit card machines do you have? I would guess one. This means at least one person has to get up every time to run a credit card payment and maybe everyone has to get up because of where the credit card machine is located. Guess what? You can obtain software and scanners that attach directly to the monitors and only one combined report is generated to balance at the end of the day.
Check Scanners: Are you the one in the office who makes the deposit every day? Maybe you enjoy chatting with the tellers. Or maybe one of the business team members takes the deposit daily and drops it into the night depository. Most banks have equipment available that allows your business team to scan the daily checks and funds are deposited directly into your assigned business account – no more going to the bank every day unless there is cash. Imagine the time saved by you or your team?
Doctor – ask your business team if these options would help them to be more productive. They may not know that these options are even available. Encourage your team to stay involved with the ever-changing aspects of their profession. Include articles from our newsletters, other trade magazines or webinars in your monthly meetings. Invite your team to add more “tools to their toolbox” by learning what is available and sharing how it would help them to help you.
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