Running Your Practice As A “Lean, Mean, Dental Machine”
Dr. Jill Sartin—Case Study #424
Dr. Sartin was experiencing high levels of anxiety during the past few weeks. Production in the practice had leveled off, old money that was being collected had now run dry and the practice did not appear to be busy. "We need to be working!” she exclaimed.
Dr. Sartin’s Current Practice Statistics:
The two dentists were associate dentists. The doctor owner, Dr. Sartin, was on site most of the day performing non-dental related work. She would see a patient from time to time. The associates were paid 30% of their production collections. It was determined that the associates were unaware of how low production affected total overhead. The practice overhead was never discussed with the associates. As far as they knew, the only people that were being affected by their poor production were themselves, because they were making less money than before.
It was pointed out to Dr. Sartin that not only were the low-producing associates affecting the production, but the staff overhead was not being supported by the production figures. This practice was providing employment for too many employees!
After analyzing the Profit and Loss Statement for the past nine months, the scheduling and the potential of the existing employees, the following recommendations were made and implemented:
2. In order to run "lean and mean," the Schedule Coordinator was taught how to schedule in order to allow two dentists to work with 1 assistant each. Previously, these doctors were not fully scheduled more than one day in advance and the patients were scheduled incorrectly, causing staffing inefficiencies and poor patient service.
3. Specific job descriptions were clearly defined and given to the Financial/Hygiene Coordinator and the Schedule Coordinator so that there would be no question regarding who would perform what tasks daily, weekly and monthly. A check and balance system for accountability was put in place to monitor results.
4. The schedule included times when the doctors would work alone in the operatory.
5. The Financial/Hygiene Coordinator learned the importance of keeping the hygienists scheduled to their goal, because the hygiene department was very productive and was actually keeping the practice alive.
The practice most likely will bounce back after these economic issues are resolved, but from now on Dr. Sartin will always run a lean dental machine. If you are “running on empty,” take a hard look at your team, scheduling systems and your performance indicators to determine what decisions you may need to make. Need help? Give us a call.If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Practice Enrichment Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email email@example.com.
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