Grow Practice Profits with These Tips
Like it or not, your practice is a business. As nice as it would be to just focus on treating patients and perfecting your craft as a dentist, you really have to embrace your role as practice CEO if you want to be successful (and of course you do).
As the CEO, you must pay attention to practice profits and understand what influences revenue losses and gains. I know just thinking about all that can seem overwhelming, but not to worry. You don’t have to do it all on your own. I’m here to help and have put together a few tips to get you on the right track so you can start growing practice profits.
First, Put Together a 10-Point Financial Assessment
1. Are you bringing in as much money as you believe you should/could be?
Answer these questions honestly and you’ll learn what you need to know about your practice’s financial health. From here, you can develop a plan to grow the practice and finally start reaching your full potential.
Create a Financial Policy
Not sure what should be part of this policy? Here are my suggestions:
Collect Payment at the End of the Appointment
After you put the policy together, give it to every new patient you see and remind existing patients of the policy before they schedule treatment. It’s also a good idea to put the policy on the practice website.
I know you likely didn’t become a dentist because you wanted to own a business, but it’s still part of the deal. You’re the CEO of your practice, and tracking financials is essential to running a successful business. If you need more guidance, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help.
Next week: Collections holding you back? Make these changes to grow practice profits.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
Prioritizing Patient Satisfaction
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” - Bill Gates
Everyone wants good practice reviews on Yelp, Google and other sites. It is something we ask our patients to do when they are happy with the outcome of their dental treatment. We need to see it and hear it to feel we are on track to be the best dental practice around.
“What about the unhappy patient? How do you address them?” I asked the Office Manager of a practice I was working with. Her response: “Luckily we don’t get many and because we have more good reviews than bad, we just ignore them.”
While we know that every business gets the occasional crank and often these people represent a small fraction of our patient base, should we consider if there is any truth in their dismay?
Most dental staff are aware of which patients have shown disappointment with anything that happened in their appointment that day, whether through eye contact, body language or verbal encounter. Some people may not react physically or verbally, but instead will put up a scathing review online later at home. Being sensitive to the patient and attempting to “walk in their shoes” for a moment will help you diffuse a retaliatory action in the future.
Ensuring that all patients are listened to and each complaint or negative encounter is addressed is the best way to make an unhappy patient happy again. It isn’t just the online reviews you should be concerned about. “Word-of-mouth” complaints made to friends, family, co-workers and the community in general will hurt your practice growth. Ignoring one unresolved conflict can cost you dearly in patient referrals, and can also cost you if the patient is angry enough to pursue a more investigative, professional complaint process.
State Dental Licensing Boards in each state have a complaint process for patients. The complaints reviewed are for dental care and the licensees providing the care, not billing and fee complaints. There is an online form they can file.
State Dental Societies have established a dispute resolution system called peer review to help resolve the occasional disagreement about dental treatment. Peer review provides an impartial and easily accessible means for resolving misunderstandings regarding the appropriateness or quality of care, and in certain instances, about the fees charged for dental treatment. A peer review committee will attempt to mediate the problem.
Insurance Companies: If the patient is in-network with an insurance company and feels they have been over-charged for substandard care or unnecessary care, they can easily file a complaint.
What you don’t want is an escalation of a customer service issue that could have easily been resolved if the team had a plan to address all complaints.
According to Fred Joyal of Futuredontics, 1-800-DENTIST and author of Marketing is Everything:
“One of the top reasons customers do not return is the ‘indifference’ of just one staff member.”
Each patient in your practice encounters more than the dentist and assistant for their appointment. They may interact with the entire team at some point. One person can make the difference in this patient’s decision-making process. Each person must listen and show they care.
1. Assess the personal and clinical needs of each patient on the schedule that day. Make sure someone is available and sensitive to that patient’s special concerns.
2. Know what the insurance estimate is or what the costs will be, and that the patient understands so there aren’t any misunderstandings.
3. Welcome the patient with enthusiasm and ensure they won’t wait long. Keep them posted if anything changes in their wait time.
4. Escort them to the treatment room and see that they are comfortable in the chair. If it is cold, offer a blanket or neck support. Don’t leave the patient alone for more than five minutes.
5. Pay attention to what the patient is saying or showing in body language and offer your help at that time. Don’t brush it off and assume they are just having a bad day.
6. Make sure the patient understands the treatment they are receiving and any post-op care for home.
7. Call the patient later that day or night to check on their healing and show that you care.
McKenzie Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe: To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie management newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Management Company, LLC activities
please send a descriptive email to: email@example.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Management Company, LLC - All Rights Reserved.