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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management


Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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October 25, 2002

You have 42 work days to reach your year end GOALS . . .
  • Will your production exceed last year minus fee increases?
  • Will your patient retention increase to add days of hygiene?
  • Will you take home more money?
  • Will you make it?

    Find out here!

    Sally McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #35

    Avoiding the ‘Ringy-Dingys

    “Yo! Mrs. B., Dr. C. needs to get you in the chair for your six-month scraping. How’s the 9 a.m. slot for you?” At this moment, you should be cringing. The mere prospect of a dental employee speaking to a patient in such a way would have the chin dropping and gasps of disbelief expelling from your oral cavity. But don’t think it doesn’t happen. It does. When was the last time you and your team evaluated how patient phone contacts are handled? It’s a critical detail that is often overlooked, yet it is from the phone conversation that patients first assess the level of professionalism in your office.

    As important as what is said is how it is said. The impression employees make with the patient is entirely dependent upon how they speak. The first objective is to deliver the message clearly. Second, present the message so that it is pleasing to the patient.

    Sally’s Recommended Actions

    1. Analyze presentation skills by recording and listen to phone conversations with patients. You can purchase a telephone recording device, inexpensively, at Radio Shack.

    2. Know your patients, including how much time they will need, if they will need to be pre-medicated, areas of concern noted at their last visit, scheduling frequency, phonetic pronunciation of their name, and account history. These points should be documented in your computer.

    3. Use clear pronunciation. Mumbling, mispronouncing words, and using incorrect English grammar seriously undermine telephone effectiveness.

    4. Use the patient’s name frequently. This enables the caller to come across as personal and sincere. However, always be respectful of the patient. If you are speaking to an older man or woman, it is most appropriate to refer to them as Mr. or Mrs., rather than by their first names. "Mrs. Blackwell? Hi. This is Carol from Dr. Bennett's office."

    5. Follow a well-rehearsed script. This ensures that all of the necessary points are covered. "Our records indicate that you are due for your professional cleaning and dental exam. Are mornings or afternoons best for you?"

    6. Listen to Patients. As important as presenting an effective script to patients is listening carefully to what they are saying to you as well as what they are not telling you. "I'm really busy right now. I'll have to call you back." "Mrs. Blackwell, would it be helpful for me to call you back in 2 or 3 weeks?"

    Never take phone communication with patients for granted. It is the first point of contact your patients have with your practice. Make sure it’s not their last.


    What if ... As a Dentist, or Office Manager, You Felt More Confident About The Business Side of Dentistry and Managing Your Staff?

    Now you can... Courses designed with your specific practice needs in mind. The Center for Dental Career Development
    Advanced Business Education for Dental Professionals
    1-877-900-5775. www.dentalcareerdevelop.com



    Technology Tool Box

    Mark Dilatush
    VP of Professional Relations

    for McKenzie Management


    1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

    A series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level.
    Top Ten Technology Do's and Don't's #5

    Purpose: Every week we will publish one of the top ten. Unlike the “Tonight Show”, these are not in any particular order. These are compiled from watching 20 years of mistakes and helping to fix those mistakes. We would rather our clients just avoid the mistakes!


      We have our new practice management system installed and we are through basic training. How do we systematically fold new automation procedures into our daily routine?

    What NOT to do:

    Do not leave it up to your team to implement

    Jump in with both feet before you understand the process within the practice management system design.

    Do not assume that automating your daily routines will provide positive results. If your daily routines are providing poor results now, automating them will most likely accelerate the poor results. Recall is a perfect example. If you are losing more patients than you are bringing in new, chances are your recall system needs an overhaul. Why automate something that’s already broke?

    What TO do:

    Plan, prioritize, agree. Have a team meeting. Bring a calendar. Prioritize a list of new features in the software that you all feel will benefit the practice most. Using the calendar, mark one new feature each month starting with next month. Track your progress month to month.

    Measure: Your current management methods (without automation) are producing results. Are these results healthy results? Automating a poor process will just accelerate poor results. Make sure the manual business system you are trying to automate are at least providing flat to semi-positive results before adding it to your technology platform. If your manual processes are producing negative results, seek advice on proper procedures before automating them.

    Review: Every month at the team meeting, someone brings the automation calendar with them. You look at what you automated last month, look at the results, determine the impact, adjust the implementation if necessary, and move on to what you have on the calendar for the coming month. Everyone familiarize yourselves with what’s coming next month, discuss it, forecast any potential hurdles, and forecast the results.

    Make the implementation fun! Put team members in the system and practice the steps on their record(s). Everyone should be aware of the benefits/results of the new implementation. This is key to getting the whole team involved and keeping them involved.

    12 Hours CE Credits


    Sail the Eastern Caribbean on Holland America World's most luxurious Ships the MS Zaandam

    March 29 - April 5, 2003 -
    Work with two of the most dedicated knowledgeable experts on Finance and Management in the United States — Sally McKenzie, CMC and Dr.Hugh Doherty, CFP. They will share sound advice on how to develop a profitable practice which will lead to your future financial security.
    It will be a "one of a kind" vacation where you come back richer!


    This issue is sponsored in part by:

    DentalTown - Never practice solo again! DentalTown.com is a free community, hosting dentistry's MOST ACTIVE message boards, classified ads and a dental event calendar.The site is open to dental professionals throughout the world, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you visit, you'll wonder how you ever practiced without it! Log onto http://www.dentaltown.com TODAY!

    McKenzie Management - A full service, in-office dental management consulting company specializing in the business, clinical, and hygiene areas of practices nationwide.You can find McKenzie Management at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com

    CareCredit - The nation's leading patient financing program - offers 3, 6, & 12 Month Interest Free Payment Plans and low-interest Extended Payment Plans for treatment fees from $1 to over $25,000. All plans offer low minimum monthly payments and a revolving credit line for additional treatment or add-on charges, without the need to reapply.
    Call 800-300-3046, x519 and let the representative know you're ready to increase production, reduce accounts receivable, and increase cash flow with CareCredit patient payment plans. Or visit the website at http://www.carecredit.com

    The Center for Dental Career Development - Providing Advanced Business Education for dentists and training for business employees as well as Team Building Retreats for the entire dental team in Beautiful La Jolla, California. You can find The Center for Dental Career Development at http://www.dentalcareerdevelop.com

    Lares Research - Make Your Practice Profitability Soar! SoftCare boosts your hygiene department profitability to a new level. Treatment of periodontal disease with the Lares' PocketPro Lasers is easy to learn and offers a quick and dramatic return on your investment. Lares lasers will also make your dentistry faster and easier. Visit us at http://www.laresdental.com/products/lsc/default.asp or call 800-347-3289, ext. 1 and schedule an educational presentation.

    HPSC - Finances, via lease or loan, dental and office equipment, leasehold improvements, working capital and supply contracts at fixed competitive rates, with no points, variables or hidden fees. HPSC also offers a variety of financing programs to dental professionals seeking to set up, expand, buy into, or acquire a practice.

    INFORMS - Allow InForms to participate in your successful practice by becoming the "ONE STOP SOURCE" for your front office needs. We carry a full range of products including: recall and appointment cards, registration forms, exam forms, statements and envelopes, folders and labels. Call us at 1-800-722-4884 or email us at informs@bellsouth.net today to receive your catalog.


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    Copyrights 2002 McKenzie Management - All Rights Reserved.