6.16.17 Issue #797 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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What Is Your Chief Complaint?
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

“Doctor, we have an emergency worked into the schedule at 11:00 am, he has a toothache in an upper molar.” - Dental Assistant

Every patient who shows up to see you has a reason for coming. We call that a “chief complaint” because that is the motivator for the visit. As defined by the dictionary, a chief complaint is “a subjective statement made by a patient describing the most significant or serious symptoms or signs of illness or dysfunction that caused him or her to seek health care.”

When a patient calls the dental office to make an appointment, they have a clear picture in their mind of why they need to seek dental care. They may not know the reason for the pain or the bleeding or any of the other symptoms, but they know they must reach out to a trained, skilled professional in the business of dental care for relief.

Who in their right mind would tell a patient they should try to solve the pain problem by treating the symptoms themselves? Self-help is a billion-dollar industry in this country and continues to prosper because people believe their answer is in a book, a webinar, a seminar or in a Google search.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D., an authority on the psychology of sport and parenting and author explains: "Change. Whether you call it self-help, personal transformation, growth or just plain change, it is a goal to which virtually everyone aspires. Gaining self-esteem, losing weight, improving relationships, achieving success, getting rich or finding happiness are just a few of the ways in which people the world over want to alter their lives. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on whether we can change the way we think, feel and behave in ways that will encourage the pursuit of those goals.”

Dental practices struggling to make ends meet and find the answer to saving their business have “chief complaints” about their practices. Asking doctors and team members what problems are blocking their practice success, I get the following listed in accordance to frequency. These are the top seven chief complaints:

1. Production is down
2. Cash flow is poor
3. Staff conflict
4. Staff want raises
5. Turnover of key staff is ongoing
6. Cancellations and broken appointments are daily
7. Customer service/telephone skills are poor

Sound familiar? One of the key blockages to solving these problems is unwillingness to change what is currently being done. If it doesn’t work, why wouldn’t you want change? Fear is unspoken, but many times I have heard that change is not implemented due to the thought that “things could get worse.” When you don’t know what to change to make things better, procrastination and avoidance become defense mechanisms.

Do you really think self-help is the answer when you are not only willing to change but don’t know who, how or what to change?

McKenzie Management can take your chief complaints and analyze your practice systems one-by-one, just like a dentist would gather a patient’s health history and diagnostic information such as radiographs, periodontal charting, caries detection, bone level, cone beam and other scanning techniques to achieve a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.

Bring your chief complaints to a full-service practice management consultant who has successfully treated the symptoms and eradicated the diseases of sick practices for decades. Let a trained and knowledgeable consultant guide you through the minefield of staffing issues to help get your team on your side and bring the practice to a new level of success.

Don’t waste any more valuable time on self-help. Call McKenzie Management to discuss your chief complaints and get the answers and action you need.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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