11.24.06 - Issue # 246 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Desperate Dentist Desires Diligent Dental Dynamo
The Search for the Perfect Dental Business Manager

As a Business Manager/Office Manager for over twenty-five years in many types of practices, my biggest challenge has been and still is finding qualified and dedicated people to fill the important positions in dental practices. 

In the last fifteen years I have observed the quality of applicants in general to be lacking in promptness, work ethics, personal appearance, training and desire to set personal or professional goals. For instance, I placed an ad in the local paper for an experienced Scheduling Coordinator/Receptionist.  After going through the resumes and setting up interviews, half of the people did not show up or call to say they weren’t coming.  One woman showed up in jeans and a low cut sweater.  One applicant did not know the name of the computer software system used at her previous office and confided in me that she “didn’t like” computers.  Another woman who had three years “experience” said that no one took the time to train her beyond filing and confirming appointments.  None of the applicants interviewed had any definitive short term or long-term goals for their own future.  Just securing the next job was the only goal.

I have nurtured many a frustrated dentist through this challenging arena to find good and sometimes great people for their offices.  What’s going on?  Why is there a shortage of experienced people for all dental positions?  Experience is not standardized in the business end of dentistry, as it was when appointment books were “books” and a pegboard ledger system was the norm. You can be experienced with customer service, but if you have poor computer skills you are doomed to working at the car wash.  You may have excellent knowledge of how insurance companies reimburse but can you get the patient to buy dentistry beyond what the insurance company will participate in paying? The need for marketing skills is steadily on the rise and will continue to be a desired ability as dentists compete for the same demographic patient base.

There are several dental software programs to choose from and each has a different language of the tasks that it performs.  If you have a working knowledge of Dentrix at one office, you will have to go through a training period at your next office if they have Eaglesoft  or another program. Knowing how to create and read the reports generated by these programs is a must to insure the success of today’s dental practice.  Now with the click of your mouse, you can create reports with much more detail about the practice than the dentists’ accounting firm can create. Business Managers in today’s world must have a good to excellent experience level in the use of the Internet for sending and receiving attachments from other offices or to and from insurance companies. Confirming by e-mail will soon be standard. Being able to create a document in Word or to create a spreadsheet in Excel is a skill that wasn’t necessary in most offices ten years ago.

Training your Business Manager to “hire” the right people is one of the most important factors in creating a successful dental practice.  Hiring wrong can cost thousands of dollars in scheduling, posting and insurance billing errors.  Lack of marketing skills can bring the practice to a crawl in a short period of time and will take much time and energy to recreate. 

The investment in The Office Manager Advanced Training Program offered at McKenzie Management is sound insurance against the waste of revenues in hiring wrong.  How to create job descriptions with areas of accountability, testing of applicants, discovering the best personalities for the job are part of the learning program.  Learning how to read the reports generated by the dental software and applying the data to a workable marketing strategy is critical to success and is customized to your office needs.

It is important to remember that in the new dental office of today no matter what the “experience level” of new hires you will have to provide additional training beyond the educational experience already achieved.  This may be accomplished in the office by bringing in trainers specialized with the software program and sending your employees to a professional organization (McKenzie Management) for formal training.

For more information on McKenzie's Advanced Training for Front Office and Office Managers, email training@mckenziemgmt.com, call `1-877-777-6151 or visit our web-site at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com/

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McKenzie Management
A Division of The McKenzie Company, Inc.
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La Jolla, CA 92037
Email info@mckenziemgmt.com
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