Create strong connections between team members. Even a small group of people who work together will develop highly complex interconnections—some positive, some not. As practice leader, you can (and should) take responsibility for team relations. Actively encourage cooperation and camaraderie while discouraging conflict and negativity.
Monitor practice financials. Practice leaders must regularly track overhead and production. This data will enable you to see how your practice is progressing toward its profitability goals. With accurate and up-to-date financial information, you can make better decisions regarding future investments in the practice, including marketing and technology.
Look for ways to achieve the practice vision. A vision forces the practice to clearly focus on objectives. It maps out a clear direction for your practice over the next three years so that the doctor and the team can enjoy the highest levels of satisfaction. The excitement of pursuing a realistic vision makes working in the practice a more rewarding experience.
Appreciate parents. Thank new parents who choose your practice for their child’s dental needs. Learn about them as individuals. These things help create stronger—and hopefully long-term—relationships. Pediatric dentists and teams stand out by creating a positive patient experience and letting parents know that their children are the chief concern of the office. This requires a combination of excellent pediatric dentistry, outstanding customer service and a well-trained team that truly cares for and about patients.
Training and systems go hand in hand. When the pedo practice has documented, step-by-step systems, it is much easier for team members to learn the office’s protocols and processes. Writing down each step of each system ensures that the entire team is operating from the same playbook. Remember, an office with step-by-step systems runs far more efficiently than one without.
Memorize the practice’s vision. Your practice will achieve greater success—more quickly—if everyone on the team knows what success looks like. That’s what a vision statement provides. Created and shared by the doctor, the vision shows where the practice should be in three years. By memorizing it, you’ll be inspired to make it a reality.
Provide educational materials to pediatrician practices. Focusing on doctor education is the best way to work with pediatricians. This can include short updates, case reviews, annual pediatrician seminars and regular communication concerning mutual patients.
Create value for hygiene care. How does your practice refer to the hygiene appointment? Do staff members call it “a cleaning” or simply “recall”? Neither term accurately describes the hygiene appointment. Using a term such as the Cavity Prevention Appointment more accurately reflects the importance of these visits.
Use this 9-week follow-up with overdue patients. Don’t let patients slip into inactive status. When a patient is overdue, initiate this “3 Threes” technique. Place a phone call (preferably to a cell phone) weekly for three weeks, followed by a weekly email for three weeks, and finally three letters, one per week, to complete the process. This technique will reactivate many patients.
Advice for the Pediatric Dentist – Replace outdated computers and software. Technological innovation moves at an increasingly accelerated pace. Trying to get by with 10-year-old computers or software is like asking employees to work with one hand tied behind their back. Every time a computer crashes, it’s costing your practice hours of lost productivity. Consider upgrading computers and software every five years.