8 Ways to Improve Production
You know your production numbers aren’t nearly what they should be. Even on days when it looks like you’re going to meet production goals, broken appointments keep you from actually getting there. Your bottom line has taken a huge hit, and so has your confidence. If something doesn’t change soon, you’re not sure how long your practice can survive.
I know lackluster production is both frustrating and costly, but there are changes you can make to boost your production numbers and turn your struggling practice into a thriving practice. Ready to get started? Here are eight tips to help you improve production and grow your bottom line.
1. Hire a Treatment Coordinator. If production numbers are down, so is your case acceptance rate. I suggest hiring a Treatment Coordinator to improve both numbers. This team member will sit down with every patient to go over treatment, then follow up to get them on the schedule. Your Treatment Coordinator should be trained in sales and able to answer any questions patients might have about treatment.
2. Add new services. When patients look for a dental home, they want to find an up-to-date practice that offers the services they need. If you haven’t added new services in years, chances are your practice won’t make the cut. Updating equipment and adding services not only helps attract new patients, it gives your current patients more treatment options. It also helps make your practice more efficient, while renewing your passion for dentistry – leading to increased production.
3. Improve clinical efficiencies. Clinical inefficiency leads to slow treatment room turnaround, and that hurts your production numbers. Before you start treatment, make sure everything you’ll need is in the room. Delegate more tasks to your dental assistant, as your state allows. Without compromising on the quality of the dentistry, challenge yourself to cut procedure times by 10 minutes. While it might not seem like a lot, that small change will significantly increase your production per hour.
4. Focus on education. Look at every patient interaction as an opportunity to educate. Make sure patients understand the value of maintaining their oral health and going through with recommended treatment. Show them what’s going on in their mouth and explain to them, on their level, how you plan to help them improve their oral health. Remember, educated patients are much more likely to accept treatment.
5. Build a rapport. If patients don’t trust you, they’re not going to schedule treatment. In fact, they likely won’t come back to your office if they don’t feel a connection, and losing patients certainly isn’t going to increase production. Take the time to get to know your patients and encourage team members to do the same. Ask them about their jobs and their families. Talk to them about their oral health goals and any concerns they have about treatment. Start making connections with patients, and you’ll see your production numbers begin to rise.
6. Train your Scheduling Coordinator. Make sure your Scheduling Coordinator understands the job isn’t to keep you busy, it’s to schedule you to meet production goals. Set production goals and then communicate those goals with your Scheduling Coordinator.
7. Revamp your recall system. When practices struggle with production, they typically struggle with patient retention too. The recall system is one of the easiest ways to improve patient retention and increase production, yet most practices ignore it. Consider hiring a Patient Coordinator to take ownership of the system. Your Patient Coordinator should reach out to and schedule past due patients. Make sure he or she has access to all the necessary, up-to-date patient information to help ensure these phone calls lead to appointments.
Many practices rely on sending out generic postcards to recall patients, but that simply isn’t enough. Neither is relying on pre-appointing. If you want to boost production, you need to start reaching out to past due patients with a phone call.
8. Focus on your current patients. While attracting new patients to your practice will help increase production, so will keeping patients who already call your practice their dental home. Attracting new patients doesn’t do much to increase production numbers if those patients never come back. Focus on keeping your current patients happy, and you’ll find you have a larger, more loyal base of patients who trust you and your team with their care.
How? Start by improving customer service. Make sure every patient is greeted with a warm smile, and is put at ease from the moment they walk in the door. Train front office staff to help patients if necessary, and offer them water or coffee as they wait. Create a friendly, comfortable environment and you’ll be rewarded with loyal patients and increased production.
Remember, it costs five times as much money to attract new patients to your practice as it does to keep the ones you already have. And current patients are your biggest referral source. If they’re happy with their experience, they’ll likely refer you to family and friends, bringing those all-important new patients to your practice.
Lackluster production can cost your practice big. Follow these tips, and both your production numbers and your bottom line will grow. If you need more guidance, feel free to contact me. Remember I’m here to help.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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