McKenzie Management, Inc.
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June 17, 2002
For a FREE
Analysis of Your Practice by Sally
This issue is sponsored in part
- A full service, in-office dental management
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McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #16
All Systems Go...
All Systems STOP
You feel like the Terminator's latest
target. More patients than you can count have said "Hasta la
vista, baby." The staff is engaging in another round of war
games. And the creditors are prepared to take no prisoners.
"What is happening to my business?" you lament. These
are just a few of the telltale signs of management system
Scary as it sounds, the practice management
infrastructure can fail before you even recognize there is a
problem. Like termites in the walls, the signals of practice
breakdown are never as obvious as their detrimental effects. They
are often subtle, gradual changes that can be quickly lost in the
day-to-day busyness, the personality struggles, the communication
snafus, the staff changes, etc.
Take a few critical steps to reinforce your
- Consider personalities. Personnel and
personalities significantly influence the systems. Personality
testing for applicants enables you to identify which candidate
has the best temperament for each position. Certain people are
perfectly comfortable asking for money, clearly, others are
not. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter Test found in the book
"Please Understand Me," by David Keirsey, or online
excellent tool in placing current and prospective employees in
positions for which they are best suited.
- Do it right the first time. Employees,
particularly those involved in collections and scheduling,
must be provided the tools and training to succeed and be
expected to meet certain performance measurements.
- Police your policies. Office policies
guide your staff. At a minimum, establish a financial policy
that you are comfortable with and stick to it.
- Recall and retain patients. Delegate
responsibility for the recall system to someone who will be
accountable for its success. Give them the tools and the time
necessary to succeed. That person is the patient coordinator.
Sally's Recommended Actions:
- Monitor your systems at least monthly.
Designate particular staff to report on specific systems each
month. For example, your business manager should be reporting
on the level of collections for the month and if the practice
will achieve its monthly collection goal.
- Expect payment at the time services are
rendered. Many patients don't pay because they are not asked.
Make it a standard operating procedure to request payment.
"Mrs. Jones your fee is $125 will you be paying with
cash, check, or charge?"
- In lieu of extending credit to patients,
partner with a patient financing company, such as CareCredit (http://www.carecredit.com).
- Expect your patient coordinator to make a
specific number of patient calls each day and to schedule a
specific number of appointments. She should ensure that a
certain number of patients complete treatment and that the
hygienist is scheduled to meet established financial goals.
Want to MOTIVATE
your TEAM ?
Check out McKenzie's "POWER
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