Start your day the right way. Every practice should hold 10-minute Daily Business Meetings. The benefit of these morning meetings is that they keep everyone on the same page, create an opportunity to discuss any potential problems, and provide a calm and focused beginning to each day.
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Advice for the Orthodontist – Share information with your team. Hold Daily Business Meetings and Monthly Business Reviews to keep everyone on the same page. A Daily Business Meeting, held every morning, gives the entire team a sense of what to expect that day in terms of scheduled treatment, patients, open appointments and emergencies. Monthly Business Reviews should focus on larger issues, such as replacing outdated protocols and improving customer service.
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Advice for the Front Desk Team – Document new patient conversations. Always ask parents of prospective patients who referred them to your practice. Make sure that patient records reflect this information. On the day of the new patient’s appointment, review the information with team members at the Daily Business Meeting.
Advice for the Financial Coordinator – Double-check insurance claims. Verify all claims before submitting so the insurance company has no reason to delay making payment. Double-check all insurance codes. Missing information can mean extra weeks or even months before the practice is reimbursed for its services.
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Advice for the Treatment Coordinator (TC) – Use scripting to manage objections. Many TCs react negatively and defensively to tough questions posed by parents, feeling that their expertise is being questioned. In truth, objections are a normal part of closing the case. Parents and patients are basically saying, “If you address my concerns, I am very serious about having treatment.”
Advice for the Marketing Coordinator – Strengthen referral relationships. Referring GPs and pediatric dentists represent a significant source of referrals. Develop stronger connections with referring practices through consistent communication and frequent interactions. Use a variety of marketing strategies targeted at both doctors and teams. An effective referral marketing program keeps your practice top of mind with referrers throughout the year.
Marketing Seminar: Attend Dr. Levin’s upcoming “Building the Ultimate Ortho Practice” seminar in Columbia, Maryland, on June 2. To learn more or to register, click here.
Advice for the Orthodontist – A well-trained team makes for happy patients. Most patient interactions with the practice will be with team members rather than the doctor. That’s why it’s so important to provide the training and work environment that will help make team members confident, supportive and pleasant in their dealings with patients (and parents). Practice success depends on creating an excellent patient experience, in terms of both clinical care and customer service.
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Help new team members get up to speed quickly. “Training new team members” may not be in your job description, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving sound advice or walking novices through procedural steps they need to master. It will only take a little of your time, may ultimately make your job easier, and will lay a foundation for better cooperation and teamwork.
Align the practice’s annual and daily production goals. Daily goals should be set to achieve the annual production goal. For example, if the practice wants to produce $1 million in 200 workdays, the office needs to schedule $5,000 per day. While practices won’t be able to achieve this exact number each day, it’s a goal every team member can strive for.
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Learn as much as possible about a new patient in the first phone call. Enter the following information in the patient’s file:
- Parents’ and patient’s names
- How they found your practice
- Parent’s cell phone number
- Any special concerns
By documenting this information right from the beginning, the ortho practice won’t have to ask parents to provide it again when they arrive for their child’s first appointment.