month, I'm launching a new series, "Top Obstacles to
Achieving the Ideal Practice." Each week, I'll discuss
on of the barriers likely to be interfering in your ability
to reach your goals. The following week I'll discuss my proven
#1 “Cross Training” Can Leave Productivity Waning
of four-handed dentistry, but have you ever tried eight-handed
scheduling? Well, we don’t recommend it. Think about
your practice. Do you have everybody doing everything and
nobody’s really accountable for anything? Business employees,
assistants, hygienist - are all scheduling patients, answering
phones, dismissing and collecting from patients, and conducting
consultations. Left hand, right hand, upper hand, underhand,
backhand – not a one hand knows what the other hands
It makes many dentists
feel better to refer to this practice pandemonium euphemistically
as “cross training” – everyone just pitches
in and does what needs to be done. Yeah, right. The bottom
line is that no real training is taking place and about the
only thing being done well is the art of dodging bullets as
they come whizzing past.
is trying to cover for each other, what is ultimately covered
up is the fact that revenues are shrinking and patients are
lacking. There is simply no way goals can be established,
let alone met, if individual team members are not expected
to take ownership of practice systems.
employee job descriptions and assigned duties often claim
they don’t want to box staff in. Unfortunately,
it’s practice profit and productivity that is not only
boxed in but buried six feet under with this management approach.
Next week, I'll
explain how to instill accountability and responsibility
in your staff and yield big payoffs for your practice.
VP of Professional Relations
for McKenzie Management
series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return
on investment in technology at its highest level.
If you missed any of the previous issues
in Your Practice Management System
you ever watch the weather channel radar screen and see
rain but there wasn’t any outside? The weather reporter
called it a “false echo”.
Your practice management system may or is giving you
some false echoes about your practice. You are relying
on them to guide some of the decisions you make. Bottom
line … you shouldn’t!
Before you go off and call your software supplier,
don’t. I’ve been there and done that. It’s
not a bug or mathematical error. Their reports are correct;
they just aren’t measuring the right thing(s).
McKenzie Management will be providing an electronic
solution for this shortly but until then, here are a
few of them you should recognize and account for now.
New Patients: Most of the popular
practice management systems measure new patients by
looking for the first transaction date in a patient’s
transaction record and calling it a “new patient”.
Well, all of those emergency “one and done”
patients should NOT be counted when calculating the
overall patient growth of your practice. What you should
do (until we provide the electronic solution) is run
a production report for your comprehensive exam code
(00150). This of course is assuming you use the correct
ADA code. Some of you are still using the old code but
I don’t want to get off on a rant here <grin>.
Active Patients: Some of the practice
management systems look at patients you’ve seen
in the last 18 months, some look at a year, some give
you control. None of these measurements are what they
should be. When measuring the overall patient growth
of a practice you should measure the new patient number
(above) against the leaving patient number. The leaving
patient number is calculated by running a recall report
(or list) for the same date range you ran the new patient
report. Let’s say you received 100 new patients
and there are 200 patients overdue for their recall
in the same date range. Your practice has lost a net
of 100 patients.
Until we provide a universal electronic solution for
this, we want you to make business decisions with correct
information. This time of year especially is a good
time to look back at 2002 to see how you did.
any past issues of Sally's
Newsletters or Magazine
(click an item to view archive)
Year Practice Resolutions 2003
Increase Production by 42%?
2. Set job descriptions for staff with performance measurements?
3. Reduce the accounts receivable by 15%?
4. Get a full one hour for lunch?
5. Bring on an associate dentist in the first quarter?
6. Increase perio treatment in the hygiene department by 28%?
7. Equip another operatory first quarter?
8. Increase fees 3% the first of March and October?
9. Teach dental assistants how to make temporary crowns?
10. Have 2 hour monthly meetings with system measurements?
will yours be?
out NOW how you can make your 2003
resolutions … REALITY!!!!
Your business staff had the training, efficiency, knowledge, expertise
and organization of the
Nation's TOP Dental Management Consultants?
have GREAT employees and know they could be even better with the
proper training, but that's not my area of expertise. HELP!"
do I know if my staff needs Advanced Business Training?
out by clicking here!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
the year off right!!
Get the BEST of the BEST
Dental Manager's Tool Kit
of Sally's Top Selling Books
Cash Flow, Hiring, Hygiene, Performance Measures,
Rate for this week's newsletter subscribers. Receive all 5 books
before 1/10/03 and receive as an added bonus…
Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD
Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion
is sponsored in part by:
Data Express™ (SDX™)
Center for Dental Career Development