4.13.18 Issue #840 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Revenue-Generating Tips to Grow Practice Production
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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To have a successful dental practice, you need to establish production goals and then actually meet those goals. When you continually fall short, it can lead to financial struggles, extra stress and low team morale – which I’m sure isn’t exactly what you imagined when you first decided to become a dentist.

Dealing with lackluster production can be pretty frustrating. Low production numbers keep you from meeting your full potential and reaching your goals. But if you’re willing to make a few changes, you can grow your production numbers and start generating more revenue in your practice. Here are my tips to help you get there. Hygiene

Offer more services (and then promote them). This will not only give your patients more treatment options, it will also help renew your passion for dentistry. Consider investing in CE to update your skills and expand the list of services you provide. Doing so will attract new patients to your practice as well as keep existing patients coming back.

When you invest in new equipment or add a new treatment option, don’t forget to let patients know. Put promotional materials in the reception area and send out e-newsletters highlighting the service. It’s also a good idea to tell your patients about the service chairside, especially if it’s an option that can help them reach oral health goals or improve their condition.

Consider hiring a Treatment Coordinator. You’re a busy dentist, and likely don’t have a lot of time to talk with patients about treatment recommendations. You do your best, but if patients don’t fully understand why treatment is necessary, they won’t schedule. A Treatment Coordinator can handle presentations for you (and all other producers), spending as much time as necessary talking with patients about treatment options and addressing their concerns.

Revamp your recall system. Investing in the recall system is one of the easiest ways to improve patient retention numbers as well as grow production, yet most dentists choose to ignore this system. Don’t be one of those dentists. I suggest you consider bringing on a Patient Coordinator to take ownership of your recall system. Give this team member access to all the pertinent patient information and develop a well-thought-out script to use when contacting past due patients. Getting these patients back in the chair will do wonders for your production numbers and your bottom line. 

Evaluate your clinical efficiencies. If clinical inefficiencies plague your practice, your production numbers will take a hit. Here are a few tips to help you improve those inefficiencies and increase production per hour:

- Make sure everything you need is in the room before you begin treatment
- Delegate more tasks to your dental assistant (as your state allows)
- Without compromising the quality of care you provide, challenge yourself to cut procedure times by 10 minutes

Make education a priority. Educated patients are more likely to accept treatment. If you and your team members provide that education, patients are also more likely to feel a connection to your practice and stay loyal. Use every patient interaction as an opportunity to educate and you’ll grow production and generate more revenue.

Train your Scheduling Coordinator. Establishing production goals isn’t enough. You also have to be scheduled to meet those goals. If your Scheduling Coordinator isn’t trained to do this, he or she might only be scheduling your days to keep you busy. Provide the proper training and you’ll find your days are more streamlined and more productive.

Focus on your current patients. While it’s important to attract new patients to your practice, it’s also critical to keep your current patients happy. Remember, it costs five times more to attract new patients than it does to keep the ones you already have.

How can you foster patient loyalty? I suggest you focus on customer service and building a rapport with patients. Create an exceptional experience from the moment they walk in that lasts until they leave. Provide a comfortable atmosphere and keep interactions helpful and friendly. Once chairside, ask patients about their family members, jobs and oral health goals. Developing a rapport will help build trust, and that will make patients more likely to accept the treatment you recommend.

When production numbers are down, your practice will struggle. Team morale will take a hit, as will your bottom line. Don’t just sit back and tell yourself production will get better soon. Take action and start making changes to move your practice forward. Feel free to contact me and I’ll help you get started.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Keep Patients Happy and Accepting Treatment
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Dentist Case Study #234

The Doctor’s Concerns: “While the practice was pretty successful during my first 12 years of ownership, I seem to have hit a rut. Patients aren’t keeping their hygiene appointments or accepting my treatment recommendations nearly as often as I’d like and it’s eating into my practice production and bottom line. I also spend a lot of time treating emergency patients these days, but I usually don’t see them ever again. This is all very frustrating for me and my team members, and I need to find a way to get more patients to accept treatment.”

The Problem
This doctor contacted McKenzie Management because he knew something had to change – he just wasn’t sure what. One of the first things that became clear was that he needed to offer more flexible treatment options. He typically would only talk with patients about what he thought was the very best (and often most expensive) solution to their dental problem. The problem? Sometimes, patients can’t afford the very best. He lost a lot of revenue because he didn’t think to talk with patients about ALL their options. Patients were only accepting treatment if they found themselves in an emergency situation, which isn’t exactly a great way to grow the practice.

Our doctor also needed to add more services to his dental menu, which was something he hadn’t done in years. If patients were interested in clear aligners, for example, they had to find another practice to meet that need – costing him money and patients.

The Changes McKenzie Management Suggested
We encouraged our doctor to learn new skills and incorporate more services, which he did. Now his patients have more reason to come to his practice and accept treatment, and he’s having more fun with dentistry.

He’s also presenting patients with all their treatment options, not just the one he thinks is the best. His patients are now more educated and can make informed decisions about their oral health. If money is tight, they can opt for more affordable treatment that puts them back in good health, rather than skipping it altogether. He is also offering flexible payment options like CareCredit.

The take-away: Never assume you know what patients want. When you do, they’re less likely to accept treatment. Find out their goals and perceived barriers to care, and go over all their treatment options to better address their needs.

Look at Emergency Patients in a New Way
This doctor didn’t really like treating emergency patients, even though he found himself fitting them into his schedule more and more. He would do his best to get them out of pain as quickly as possible, but didn’t spend a lot of time providing education on the importance of maintaining oral health or the services his practice provides. Neither did his team members. His reasoning? Emergency patients never come back anyway, and he didn’t want to “waste” any more of his time than he had to.

After working with McKenzie Management, he started seeing emergency patients in a new light. He realized they weren’t just interruptions to his schedule, but they truly represented an opportunity for practice growth.

If you and your team members take the time to educate emergency patients and show them you care, they just might become loyal patients who refer your practice to family and friends. They can fill holes in your day and will likely get to their appointment on time. They can also be “cash” patients because they aren’t “patients of record” yet (assuming you don’t participate with their PPO plan).

Just remember to have different expectations for emergency patients. They’re likely not going to be interested in a comprehensive treatment plan (at least not during the emergency visit). Their goal is to get out of pain. If you can help them do that successfully, and provide a little education along the way, there’s a good chance they’ll start to see the value of dentistry and make their next comprehensive appointment with your practice – leading to a boost in practice production and revenues. 

Six months after we started working with this doctor, his production increased and overhead dropped. He started incorporating new services, presented patients with all their treatment options and focused on converting emergency patients into loyal patients. His efforts paid off, and he is now reaching production goals and bringing more money into the practice.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you implement proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com

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