4.20.07 - Issue # 267 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Monitoring Your Practice Success

You are back to your office after attending McKenzie’s Advanced Business Training and you are all fired up to succeed.  You now know the business of dentistry and how to focus on success.  How do you stay on top of your game?  What signs do you watch for to measure success and know when to take immediate action when something is not right?  Foremost, don’t get complacent.  It is critical that you and your staff maintain communication about the practice on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  The morning huddle and the monthly Business Planning Meeting are just as important during a growth period as they are during a slump.  Morale of the staff is an ongoing nurturing process with thoughtful praise and perks for jobs well done.  As the practice succeeds and becomes more profitable, remember that the team is paid for their contribution to the success of the practice.

Often I hear of offices dropping their morning huddle and monthly business meeting because they are too busy and don’t feel the need.  This is a sign of trouble ahead that manifests in sloppy, incomplete work, lower new patient numbers, system failures, and staff turnover. 

For those of you that enjoy the sport of football, you know what happens when the intended receiver drops the ball, lost points, field position and team morale.  If you take your eye off the dental business monitors of your practice the same thing happens.  The critical monitors are as follows:

  1. Number of new patients per day/month/year. Is the practice growing?
  2. Overhead percentage goal is 55%.  Every % that is over 55% is less profit.
  3. Average daily production of doctors and hygienists.
  4. Average daily collections.  Over the counter collections at 45% and overall at 98% of monthly production.
  5. Overhead percentages in line with accepted industry standards-as taught in the course.
  6. Staff salaries 19-22% of gross production.
  7. Patient retention of patients in recall should be no less than 50% of the new patients per month.
  8. 90 day past due AR is 10% or less.

All business systems must be as efficient as possible because more diligence will be necessary to keep up the stats.  Without the critical meetings with team members, no one knows how the practice is doing and what things can be done to improve.  The days are full of purposeless chaos.  For instance, a day without the morning huddle doesn’t catch an undelivered bridge case; a patient that needed to pre-med and wasn’t reminded; 3 patients needing a full mouth series; and emergency patients put into the schedule at the worst possible time.  Mapping your day with the guide of the morning huddle planning form would have eliminated these unexpected events.  Without the monthly business meeting there can be no place to discuss production and collection goals, ways to attract and keep new patients, ideas to improve systems in the practice, and most of all for staff to connect and improve communication.

A dental practice cannot succeed with under trained or under directed team members.  Mentoring and coaching are part of the training program within the dental team purpose.  When a new hire is brought into the existing team it is very important that this person be given the time and attention to get them performing at 100% in the shortest period of time.  Written job descriptions with areas of accountability and stated performance measurements are mandatory. This information is provided during the Advanced Business Course.  Giving the team member purpose over just a job is important in building long term team players.  No two dental practices are alike in operations or philosophy and even the most experienced person will have to relearn some job skills to get to an acceptable level of performance in the new practice.  “Dr. So and So used to do it this way” must be dropped and new skills adopted.  In general, it takes three months of supervised training to get a new hire up to speed.  Don’t assume that they know their job because they say they do.  Monitor the performance during the 90-day training period and have a senior team member check the accuracy of the work with the intention of coaching - not criticizing.  Front office accuracy in new patients, collections, production and retention can be checked by the daily and monthly reports run by the computer.  Instructions on reading these important reports are also incorporated into the curriculum no matter what system you are using.

Becoming complacent, and “dropping the ball” when hiring and training, can cost you far more than you anticipated.  If you have the proper systems in place, this transition can be smooth and pleasant.  Give your team a “touchdown” for success and send them in for the Advanced Business Training at McKenzie Management.

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


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