Doctor, We’ve Locked Sally in the Closet …
Thinking of starting up a new dental practice in 2009? Opening a new dental practice for the first time can be daunting. Starting with your dream and a blue print to back it up, the journey is only beginning.
McKenzie Management offers a Dentist Start-up Program that delivers a complete program for learning the right way to look, listen and act to avoid mistakes often made by dentists who do not get the help and advice they need to lay a successful foundation for their practice. Before you make a final decision on the location of your practice, consider the following questions:
What kind of dentistry do you want to do? Do the demographics and psychographics of the area support the kind of dentistry that you want to do? Have you had a demographic and psychographic survey done on the area where you intend to open your practice? (The Community Overview report is included in McKenzie Management’s Dentist Start up Program) For instance, if you want to do high end cosmetic dentistry, are you in an area where people would be interested in this type of dentistry? What is your plan to do the dentistry of your dreams?
Do you want to specialize? What is your long term goal? Do you see yourself going back to school to study endodontics, orthodontics or another specialty?
Do you want to create a niche practice? How do you want to stand out in your community? Do you want to be just another dentist on the block or do you want to create a memorable experience for patients in your practice. What is the competition doing? How can you set yourself apart from the competition? What is it that you can provide that the competition doesn’t?
What kind of patients do you want to treat? Do you want to treat children? Do you want a family practice? Do you want to serve the poor or the affluent? Is your focus high end cosmetic services or basic dental care?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years and in 10 years? What are your vision and your mission statement for your practice? Write them out and share them with family, friends and team. Have you a written professional business plan with goals of achievement outlined?
If you have already purchased or leased your practice, McKenzie Management can direct your marketing efforts and guide you into setting up all of the business systems to manage your practice the best way possible.
What do you need to do next? There are many things to do before you can open your doors. Here is list to assist you in that direction. This list will vary from state to state.
Licenses (vary from state to state):
Supplies and equipment
Sign up for McKenzie Managements Dentist Start-up Program today to guide you to developing the practice of your dreams and making 2009 the best year ever.
Interested in having Belle speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
Dr. Joe Griffin – Case Study #146
As a part of practice management consulting, consultants find themselves with “sensitive” information shared to them by the team about their employer and by the employer about the team. These unresolved issues can and often create conflict in the practice.
For Dr. Griffin there were two situations causing conflict in his practice:
None of the team was willing to share their clinical concerns with Dr. Griffin. Dr. Griffin did not want to take the time or be direct about his expectations. His pent up frustrations eventually boiled over in a tirade.
Don’t assume that your clinical team knows what you know. Years of experience in the field does not always equate to the level of knowledge you need. Due to the differing temperament types of employees, many assistants and hygienists are non-confrontational and are hesitant to inquire about questioned treatment rendered. As a result, they formulate their own opinions about what they see-right or wrong.
Train your team to see what you see and why you formulate your treatment plans and deliver your treatment as you do. If you are thinking, “Why do I need to explain anything to my team? It is this mentality that creates the stress in your office and breaks down teamwork. Once a month, during the scheduled team meeting, dedicate 10 minutes to discussing a treatment case with your team. Explain what was done and why.
In addition, when you implement new technology, new techniques and new materials, educate your team as to what you expect from them in order to perform this new procedure.
Doctor - Express Expectations
As you work with your team, clinical and business, there are times when you witness a behavior that is not acceptable. It is important that you discuss your concern with him/her privately. It is not effective to disclose your observation at the morning meeting to the group because the person that you need to address may not recognize that you are directing it to them. Afterward, if you feel that it would be helpful to share the information with the team, do so, without mentioning names. Employees do not like to be “singled out”, as they find it embarrassing and hurtful. If you continue to operate with your “head in the sand” the behavior will be repeated until the situation creates an emotional tirade from you, the frustrated dentist.
The Team Should Ask Questions
In order for your team members to feel comfortable asking questions, you must encourage them to do so. You should see the question as an opportunity to educate not as a personal criticism.
Here is an example of some dialogue: “Dr. Griffin, I noticed during the procedure with Mrs. Jones that you did_____________. So I can have a better understanding of why you did that, would you explain it to me?” Dr. Griffin’s response would be, “Mary that is a great question. Let me explain.”
If you don’t have a format in which your team members can ask questions without reprimand, you will be the hot topic at the lunch table. “You are not going to believe what I saw Dr. Griffin do this morning with Mrs. Jones. Can you believe this_____________?” And the conversation goes downhill from there.
The delivery of dentistry frequently changes. Attending CE courses yearly maintains your level of excellence. How many of these courses are attended by your clinical team? It is your responsibility to relay what you learn to your assistants and hygienists (and business team when applicable) so you and your team are always “on the same page”.
If you want a strong, supportive, educated team, invite them to learn more and expand their knowledge of dentistry. Your patients will notice a difference. How nice is it to hear from your patient, “Gee Dr Griffin, you and Suzie work so well together. You don’t even have to talk to one other. She just seems to know what you need.”
Knowledge is power. Share your knowledge and encourage your team to ask questions so they can increase their power.