The Real Cost of Excluding your Business Staff from Continuing Education
“My employer is a CE junky” remarked JC, a Dental Office Manager. “He comes back with new ideas but we know he will go back to normal in about a week.” JC can’t remember the last time her employer took her to a continuing education course. “It isn’t that important because I don’t need the CE units anyway,” said JC. What JC doesn’t understand is that the profession of dentistry is her career, and it is a personal responsibility to continue developing professionally for some of the following reasons:
• She may not keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field.
• She won’t have the relevant knowledge to stay up-to-date and aware of the changing trends and direction in her profession. Change is inevitable and the pace is faster than it has ever been. If you stand still you will get left behind and your skills and knowledge become outdated.
• She may not make a meaningful contribution to your team and become more effective in the workplace. She won’t be able to coach or mentor if she isn’t current on what is happening in dentistry.
• She won’t be able to network with other professionals who also strive to grow and gain more knowledge.
• She may lose sight of the personal responsibility to keep her knowledge and skills current so she can deliver the high quality of service that meets the expectations of patients in the practice and the requirements of the profession.
When dentists ask why their treatment acceptance numbers are down, why insurance claims remain unpaid even after appeals, and why the accounts receivables are high and patients who need appointments are not contacted, I have to relate it to the following:
• Presenting treatment requires training in communication skills. These skills are developed after learning how different types of people process information and decide what they want and what they need.
• Insurance claim follow-up is time consuming and requires knowledge of the appeals process, excellent writing skills and understanding of the CDT codes and their usage.
• Managing the Accounts Receivables correctly means the difference between cash flow to pay bills and scrambling to make ends meet. Talking to people about paying for services and then collecting that money is often an area that many front office people are uncomfortable with until they are trained to “ask” for the payment and get commitment from the patient.
• Making outbound calls to patients to schedule treatment and recalls that are overdue takes verbal skills and focus on a goal objective. Being able to build rapport and empathy with the patient to secure the appointment takes finesse. Simply calling people from a list to tell them they are due is not enough to secure appointments.
Saving money on the cost of having your front office team attend continuing education courses should not be the reason it is not offered. The cost is small compared to the reward of having an educated, engaged Business Coordinator who takes pride in being knowledgeable. The job described as “Dental Receptionist” is so much more in today’s dental practice. The added plus is that you have a member of your team who can help implement positive change in your practice after attending a meaningful seminar with you and/or the team. It is much simpler when everyone is on board after seeing the positive changes that can come to the office.
All of the above are critical to the success of any practice, and continuing education classes are available in all of these subjects through McKenzie Management’s website where you will find information on webinars, our archive of articles covering every topic of practice management, plus other dental management products for your education.
Let’s not forget the 2-day Office Manager Training or the 2-day Front Office Training customized to your concerns and practice issues. Call today and invest in the success of your business team and your practice.Forward this article to a friend
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