New Opportunity in Your New Practice
It’s a package deal. You just bought a practice from a retiring dentist. You get the patients, the equipment, the records, the parking spaces, the computer system…and the staff. Inheriting employees can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re lucky, they will be instrumental in your success, thanks to their established relationships with patients, knowledge of practice systems, and openness to change. If you’re not so lucky, they will present a host of challenges, barriers and frustrations, particularly if you don’t establish your expectations from day one.
Taking over a practice requires change management. The dentist must share her/his vision, goals, and expectations for the practice and the team immediately - not a year or two after settling in. Helping employees to adapt to the change in leadership and helping the doctor determine if this team is the right fit for his/her practice starts with clear direction and written expectations from the doctor, as well as ongoing feedback. Otherwise, the dentist may well find him/herself in the middle of a power struggle.
Make a conscious effort to establish open and clear communication. Give your new staff plenty of direction and feedback. Establish expectations for employees early on, and if necessary, provide training to enable them to meet those expectations. Make sure they know how you want things done. Hold regular staff meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page and can quickly address problems, concerns, and specific challenges as changes are being made.
Identify issues that could be problems with patients or among the team. If you are instituting a new collections policy or other major change that will affect patients, it’s imperative that the doctor and staff talk through a well-developed strategy for implementation and work through major changes step-by-step. This will enable doctor and team to anticipate resistance and plan to positively and proactively address it.
Create a problem-solving environment, so that employees feel comfortable speaking up and asking for direction, guidance, and assistance if they are having difficulty reaching a goal. If you become short-tempered, impatient, negative or cutting, staff will shut down and shut you out. Focus on building team commitment and communication up front and you will significantly reduce the pain of change and establish yourself as the leader of your practice and your team.
Next, gear up your external communication and marketing efforts to bring new patients into your new practice. Below are 12 tips to get your name out in your community. Best of all, many of them won’t cost you a dime.
Establishing a successful new practice with a new team in a new community takes time and real effort. If you would like help with your new acquisition, contact us at 877-777-6151 and inquire about our Practice Acquisition Program.
For more information on this topic, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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