Fix Practice Weaknesses with Help from a Virtual Consultant

By Sally McKenzie, CEO Printer Friendly Version

Now is the time for a reset.

Whether you’re already back treating patients or are preparing to return soon, it’s clear that running a dental practice looks different today than it did at the beginning of the year. Your schedule probably isn’t nearly as full as before, with many patients still staying home because of coronavirus concerns or putting off treatment because they can’t afford it. And business systems that were not performing at top level before this health crisis closed your office are probably in even worse shape now, further hurting practice efficiencies and productivity.

The COVID-19 closure has likely done some damage to your practice and is forcing you to think of new ways to get patients in the chair. This is no easy task right now, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for guidance. A virtual dental consultant can help you identify weaknesses in your systems and make the changes necessary to fix them. Through my new Virtual Dental Programs, you can work with an experienced coach/consultant to improve any area in your practice—without ever leaving your office.

Here are a few of the common issues McKenzie Management consultants can help you improve with virtual training:

Declining production. You were likely hoping production numbers would be off the charts as soon as you reopened. After all, you have nearly two months of patients who need to be scheduled. Unfortunately, many patients aren’t ready to come back for routine visits, let alone go forward with needed treatment.

Through virtual training, your dental consultant can help you develop a strategy to improve practice production numbers in the wake of COVID-19. That might mean better patient communications, improving your case presentation skills to addressing new patient concerns. Working with you and your team members, your consultant can help you get more patients in the chair and to accept treatment you recommend, boosting practice productivity and your bottom line.

Low patient retention numbers. For many, this was an issue even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Patients would visit the practice once, never to be heard from again. Now more than ever you need to win your patients over by providing exceptional customer service—but that of course looks a little different now.

Patients want to know you’re taking the necessary steps to keep them safe. Communicate the changes you’ve made to do that every chance you get. Let patients know about additional infection control procedures to new spacing in the reception area designed to keep everyone at least six feet apart. You can work with your consultant to talk about what it now means to provide an exceptional patient experience and to develop a plan to deliver that experience. Team members also can be trained to ensure they do their part.

Too many openings in the schedule. This is likely going to be the case in your practice, at least for a little while. Your consultant can work with you virtually to implement a plan to fill the schedule, which includes reducing the number of cancellations and no-shows you deal with each day. Focusing more on patient education and finding ways to show patients value in the care you provide are examples of how you can do that.

Unproductive job descriptions. Job descriptions are a road map to success. Without them, team members will feel lost and won’t be nearly as efficient or productive as they could be. You need team members at their very best right now, and your consultant can help you create detailed job descriptions that make it clear who’s responsible for which tasks and what your expectations are.

High overhead. If out of control overhead was holding you back before, it’s even more of a problem now. You have to find a way to keep costs down, which I know might seem daunting. Your consultant can go over expenses with you during a virtual session to determine how you can reduce costs moving forward.

Low new patient numbers. Not only do you want to get current patients back on the schedule, you also need to attract new patients to fuel practice growth. Incentives, flexible hours and promoting your practice on social media are all ways to get new patients on the schedule. Your consultant can work with you to determine what method or methods work best for your practice.

High accounts receivable. Reducing your accounts receivable will be key going forward, but this is an area many dentists struggle with. Your consultant can walk you through McKenzie Management’s proven strategies.

While it’s exciting to get back to work after the coronavirus business closures, it’s important to recognize there’s a new normal. There are changes you’re going to have to make in your practice to enhance the patient experience, and any weaknesses your systems had earlier this year are going to be much more noticeable, and troublesome, today.

There’s a lot to think about as you reopen, and it’s nice to know you don’t have to do it all on your own. You can get help from an experienced dental consultant without even leaving your practice. Contact me today to learn more about McKenzie Management’s Virtual Dental Programs and how these trainings can help you succeed in this new world.

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