Advice for the Financial Coordinator – Review the accounts receivable process. To determine the effectiveness of your collections process, answer the following questions:
- Does your practice have a documented patient financial management system that is consistently followed?
- Have you been trained on all financial options and collection systems?
- Do you set time aside each week to work on collecting overdue accounts?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then there are opportunities to improve how your practice handles accounts receivable.
Need additional financial training? Sharpen your financial management skills with Dr. Levin’s how-to book, Practice Finance. To learn more, go here and click the “Read an Excerpt” button.
Script all patient interactions. What to say and how to say it are crucial elements of successful patient and parent relationships. Scripting helps the doctor and the team communicate accurate information in a positive manner. Exceeding patient expectations requires a team with strong verbal skills.
Additional Resource: Improve communication throughout the office with the Communication Reference Set. Learn more by clicking here.
Advice for the Marketing Coordinator – Identify new marketing opportunities for your practice. What strategies has the practice used successfully in the last few years? Which ones need to be replaced? Look at practice milestones, community activities, social media, holidays, and seminars as possible marketing opportunities.
Tuesday Training: Read “Turn Your Facebook Page into a New Patient Generator” by clicking here.
Make patients and parents feel like part of the “practice family.” To strengthen the connection between your practice and parents and patients, substitute the word “we” for “I” during conversations and always give them your full attention. These communication techniques will help increase parent and patient satisfaction, which will generate more word-of-mouth referrals.
Management Monday: Check out Dr. Levin’s popular book, Customer Service Secrets of Top-Producing Specialty Practices. Go here and click on the “Read an Excerpt” button.
Advice for the Orthodontist – Create a practice vision. Where do you see the practice in three years? Do you want to have an office that generates $1 million, $1.25 million or more? Do you want to work only three days a week? Retire by 55? Buy another practice? Writing down what you want to accomplish in a vision statement is the first step toward achieving your goals.
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Set a good example for your co-workers. In any work environment, having a positive attitude matters, but it takes on even more importance in the smaller confines of an orthodontic practice. If you come to work in a bad mood, that can have a negative effect on your fellow team members as well as patients. You will always experience problems. However, if you can overcome adversity with a positive attitude, you will inspire your co-workers to do the same.
Additional Resource: Read Dr. Levin’s article “The Power of Power Words” by clicking here.
Evaluate your facility from a patient perspective. Your office is a reflection of the care you provide. If the front desk area is dusty or if the reception area is dark and dingy, prospective patients (and their parents) will judge your practice by these seemingly minor conditions. The appearance of the office is part of the total experience. If prospective patients and parents are dissatisfied with the physical surroundings, they may go elsewhere for ortho treatment.
Need help with customer service and other systems? Learn more about our management consulting program by clicking here.
Advice for the Marketing Coordinator – Promote the observation program. To help bring potential patients into your practice, make sure your referring offices know the guidelines for sending younger patients to your practice for an ortho evaluation. A strong observation program is one of the best ways to ensure a steady flow of new patients into your office.
Additional Resource: Read a free excerpt from Dr. Levin’s e-book, “Building the $2 Million Ortho Practice,” by clicking here.
Scripting Tip: Don’t say “You’ll have to ask someone else” to parents and patients. You may not know the answers to parents’ and patients’ questions, but take responsibility for getting the answers they need. Rather than leaving it up to parents and patients to ask others, make the effort to connect them with the staff member who can help them out.
Management Monday: Read Dr. Levin’s latest Dental Economics article, “Who Controls Your Practice,” by clicking here.
Advice for the Orthodontist – Decrease your overhead. Reducing overhead by a few percentage points can make a huge difference in practice profitability. For example, a practice grossing $800,000 in revenue with an overhead of 66% is spending $528,000, while the same practice with 60% overhead incurs $480,000 in expenses. This 6% difference in overhead can mean $48,000 in additional profit for your practice. Even a 3% reduction is a savings of $24,000. Overhead is a necessary part of running a practice, but eliminating unnecessary expenses can ensure the practice’s financial health.
Friday Freebie: Read Dr. Levin’s article “Break the Overhead Stranglehold” by clicking here.