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  Sally McKenzie's
 Management e-Motivator

 4.18.03 Issue #60
The Big Issue ... Features
Annoucements - The "Coach" becomes a weekly contributor
                           Dentrix sponsors the Management e-Motivator
Sally's Management Tip: Time, Motion & Money
Mark's Technology Tip: Ailing Business Foundation Causes                                            Digital Chaos #3
The "Coach": Office Manager Out Of Control
Spotlight: Dentrix Dictation Simplifies Clinical Notes
The "Coach" Becomes A Weekly Contributor To The Management e-Motivator

Ever wonder if your leadership behavior could improve and, in turn, make your practice more profitable? Being a business owner brings wonderful rewards but sometimes the challenges find us ill-equipped to handle employees, patients/clients, personal issues, financial and/or the human dynamics we are confronted with daily. As executives we need a coach.
We need someone who points out new ways to look at successes, failures, problems and results... ...someone who validates our ideas...someone who helps us to see the forest while we are in the midst of trees and move forward with condfidence. McKenzie Management is pleased to announce its Executive Coaching Program headed by Ralph N. Sardell, M.A. With a 15 year background in business, graduate school training in psychology, medicine, and law, and an advanced degree in counseling, Mr. Sardell brings a wealth of real life experience, as well as academic knowledge and training to his coaching clients and seminars. With a private practice in La Jolla, California, he has established an on-going relationship with McKenzie Management by designing coaching programs for individual practitioners, teambuilding seminars, and conflict resolution programs. The “Coach” will provide you with different perspectives on your day to day issues. E-mail the

  Sponsors the e-Motivator
With more than 11 years of Windows development experience, and more than 18,000 worldwide installations, DENTRIX is designed around the seamless sharing of data from the front desk to the operatory. DENTRIX integrates all front-office and clinical features, as well as technologies like digital radiography, imaging, voice activation, and voice dictation. Dentrix 9.0 brings your office one step closer to becoming completely "paperless" by allowing you to reduce piles of documents and charts throught its handy attachment features. Scan in any document or picture, save them, link the files to a patient, provider, group, employer, referral, or insurance plan for fast easy retrieval. DENTRIX 9.0 also offers tools to help track the productivity of your office with three new practice analysis reports.
Insurance Transaction Summary Report shows which claims have been sent and received for each carrier.
Scheduled Production Analysis Report helps you keep track of your production goals on a daily or monthly basis. View reports on goal production amount, number of units available, percentage of goals schedule, and more.
Practice Goals Analysis allows you to compare your production goal vs. actual production on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis by individual provider.
McKenzie Management welcomes Dentrix as an e-Motivator sponsor.
Discover the DENTRIX Difference!
Ohh Sooo Suhlllowww Time, Motion & Money

Sally Mckenzie, CMC
McKenzie Management

     Let’s play a little word association. Who in your office comes to mind when you read these words: dawdling, procrastinating, leisurely pace, long-drawn out, dragging? The business assistant? The hygienist? The dental assistant? While everyone has days when they are not moving at the most efficient rate, more often than not staff are twiddling their thumbs waiting on the doctor. “What?!” You gasp, “Not me!” Yes, I know the truth can feel like some form of medieval torture. But before you hop on your soapbox and get all

defensive on me, I’m not going to suggest that you rush procedures nor do anything that would compromise patient care in any way.

Rather, what we often find in dental practices is that the doctor is performing unnecessary and redundant steps, or is locked in some archaic routine that was noted for its efficiency sometime during the Ice Age. Ask yourself a few questions: During a crown prep, are you changing the burs multiple times? How many impressions have you had to retake recently? Who’s taking X-rays, you or the assistant? How many times during a procedure do you have to reach for the air and water syringe? All of those seemingly insignificant tasks take time and cost money, and each should be handled by a competent assistant.

Think quadrants; avoid quandaries. One of the most common and easily remedied inefficiencies occurs when dentists do not do all the work in one quadrant in one sitting. Dr. Allan Monack, DDS, Clinical Director for McKenzie Management, emphasizes that even those doctors who contend they do follow this approach don’t do so efficiently. For example, the patient needs two fillings in one quadrant and the doctor will complete all the steps on one filling before starting the second. Dr. Monack advises doctors that it is far more efficient to complete each step on both teeth before going to the next step, which requires different instruments.

Although the doctor often is not nearly as time efficient as he or she thinks, the total effectiveness of the office is contingent upon each member of the staff. Dental Assistant Suzie thinks she has to do everything herself, right down to scrubbing the instruments. Dr. Joe, meanwhile, is cooling his heels waiting to begin treatment on a patient and wasting time and money while Suzie Scrubber finishes up. Instruments should be “bundled” according to set-up and placed in the ultrasonic cleaner.

Use plastic barriers in operatories. This significantly reduces cleanup time. Contain materials according to procedure. The assistant should use the time that the doctor is anesthetizing a patient to ready the second treatment room, sterilize instruments, and prepare to seat the next patient. If your state allows for expanded functions for assistants get them trained and start taking advantage of this.

Motion is time and time is money. Through maximum use of time and motion efficiency, you’ll waste neither time nor money.

Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here

Building On The Theory

Mark Dilatush
VP Professional Relations
McKenzie Management

Technology Tool Box

How An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause “Digital Chaos”

        Last week, we identified some of the components of your business foundation and why it is so important for them to be set up properly before automating them. This week we will focus on just one of those systems, break it down, and give it some definition and clarity.

We are going to start with the most important business system – Your Team!

Staff/Personnel was rated (by dentists) as the second most important aspect of a dental practice. Staff came in a close second behind patients. Staff/Personnel was rated number 1 in the “what causes you the most stress” category. So, one might conclude dentists are more comfortable and less stressed managing the patient relationship than they are the staff/personnel relationship.

Hidden Theory: Might this be caused by a dentists thorough understanding of clinical dentistry and the lack of thorough business understanding?

Hey, it’s tough managing staff! If you are a dentist reading this – I empathize with you! If you are a team member of a dental practice reading this – cut your doctor some slack! Help him/her set up the business foundation of the practice.

Last week we established that automating poorly designed business systems doesn’t make sense. It does make sense to establish sound business systems and apply technology to them to accelerate and leverage the opportunity.

In this article, we identified your team as the most important business system in your dental practice. So, what do you think happens if your team responsibilities and reporting mechanisms aren’t set up properly? What do you think happens if you introduce technology into the mix? You’re right – total digital chaos!

Below are some guiding principles for leading your team:

Performance measurements

Your computer system will NOT provide mutual respect. Your technology platform will support direction, clarity, performance measurements and recognition. I’ve said this a million times before – most dental practices foster an environment where the best performers get treated the poorest. Why? Because in a team where everyone just “pitches in”, the individual cannot be recognized. Frustration, finger pointing, back biting, rumor mongering, and other dental practice “nasties” start. Who is the most frustrated? You got it (and rightfully so), the one that is performing at the highest level.

Technology does not necessarily mean a happy team. A satisfied team needs to come first.

We receive referrals from existing clients who invite other dentists to their practice. It normally takes more words than this but they say something like “I was just at Dr. So-n-so’s practice. What did you do for him? He has an incredible practice!”

I can tell you this. We ALWAYS secure the foundation first. We then exploit existing resources (personnel and technology) to accelerate progress. We then budget additional resources as a safe and predictable percentage of growing revenues to leverage EVERYTHING.

If you think you suffer from “digital chaos”, it’s OK – thousands of dental practices are in the same boat. If you are in that boat, take a look at the business foundation of your dental practice. If you are contemplating a high tech future, make sure the existing business foundation is currently producing substantial growth in support of your philosophy, vision, and professional goals.

This week we discussed your team as a business system in support of your foundation. Next week we will discuss other business systems, their foundation, and proper implementation of technology to exploit the opportunity.

If you have any questions, concerns, or stories related to this article series, please email me at

Interested in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club? Click here

Office Manager - Out Of Control


The Coach

Giving dentists and their staff different perspectives on day to day issues

Dear Coach,
I have an office manager who has been with me for 25 years, very set in her ways and unwilling, supported by numerous excuses, to try

anything new. When we go to seminars, she constantly nods her head indicating that we are doing whatever the speaker is saying when I know this is not true. My frustration level is reaching its peak. I might mention that after 25 years many of our patients are friends or relatives of hers and…I don't like confrontation. What do you think?
Frustrated in Tucson

Here are some key points to consider:
After 25 years,

  1. She nods her head, because she is certain that she is doing something right, since you keep her around.
  2. She nods her head, because she wants to believe that she does what the speaker is advising.
  3. She nods her head, because she wants the speaker to believe she is a smart person.
  4. She nods her head so that you will not question her decisions, even if they are different from the speaker’s address.
  5. She is simply protecting her achievements.
  6. It is reasonable that she is afraid of change and innovation, and so she protects her old system by nodding her head and deflecting your attention and the speaker’s attention into believing that she is in agreement with everything being said when in fact, she is not.
  7. Now what about you? How does it feel to be held hostage? Every employer feels this way when they realize that they cannot do business without their employees. However, from your question, she must be a very popular person in your town.. Nevertheless…you are intimidated, and that does not feel good.
  8. The fact that you are non-confrontational does not diminish your responsibility to express yourself to your office manager. It is simply enough to ask a question and let her answer.
  9. If left alone, she will institute any system she finds comfortable; however, if asked a direct question, she will react to the potential of being wrong somewhere down the road. This is a type of vulnerability that healthcare professionals are uncomfortable with.
  10. People in the healthcare industry take great pride in doing the right thing and the right way. Therefore, if you ask her a direct question, she may feel obliged to answer it honestly.
  11. Once you have gotten her to answer “No, we do not” it is not so far to say…Let’s try that.
  12. Of course, she will reject it and give you a list of reasons why it will not work; however, remember that you heard the speaker build a case around this principle and she was there, and it sounded good at the time…remember, she was nodding her head.
The Coach

Are you a Victim?

Unfortunately ... many dental practices still aren't tracking critical metrics and they've fallen victim to some common pitfalls:

9 out of 10 practices have staff turnover every 15 months.
92% of dental practices lose more patients per month than replace with new patients.
85% of dental practices grow less than 10% a year.
72% of practices' payrolls are more than 20% of revenues.

Discover the performance metrics that you should be looking at on a regular basis. From scheduling to overhead to staffing and hygiene. Our Comparative Baseline Analysis will give you the information you need to start improving your practice immediately. Get the information you need to make smarter decisions that have a real impact on your business.

Yes, I want McKenzie Management to measure my performance.

Wish Your Chairside Assistant Were More Efficient?

Optimizing Team Performance!

How long have you been practicing inefficiently? Are all those compromises you've been making worth the price of lost production and the physical wear and tear on your body? Wish you could choreograph your chariside team for optimal performance? If so, then this DVD "Optimizing Team Performance" was designed for you! This training resource was produced by Risa Simon, a certified management consultant, published author and one of dentistry's top clinical management speakers. Don't waist time watching videotapes when you can dial up topics of interest from the DVD's scene selection menu. Scenes include: Posture & Positioning, Magnification & Illumination, Assistant Access & Visibility, Ergonomic Work Zones, Chairside Efficiency Techniques, including Instrument & HP Transfers for efficient 4 handed & 6 handed dentistry - a must for every office!
Price $59

Action Steps to Build Your Practice Now!
Examine everything in your office from the point of view of a new patient.
Fill your reception area with handouts, brochures and giveaways that clients will take with them.
Contact 3 former patients this week.
Contact 3 recent referral sources and thank them!
Review your business card, stationery and brochures for update.
Buy a year-at-a-glance wall calendar and plan your marketing and business strategies in advance.
Make sure every patient leaves every appointment with a firm handshake, a warm smile and a gracious, genuine, Thank You!
Spend 10 minutes everyday thinking about your ideal patient and clarifying exactly what you do that adds value, makes them excited, serves their needs.

"The information and the way it’s delivered was essential to my training. If used, there is no way it will not work. My understanding of the numbers and what they represent have really given my confidence a boost. I can track and monitor the systems now. Implementing everything I learned at The Center, will make my performance like night and day."

Leslie, Office Administrator


Advanced Business Training For:
· Dentists
· Office Managers
· Financial Coordinators
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
· Hygiene Coordinators

Test Your Skills NOW!

The Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental Professionals
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037

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realized by thousands of dentists since 1980.
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