Make patient visits more personal. If you want to bond more with your patients, always mention something personal that you’ve learned about them in the past. It’s as simple as checking the patient record to note what information you learned about them at their last visit and asking a follow-up question. It could be about a family member, vacation, or hobby. Showing interest in patients helps build relationships and loyalty.
Work faster… without rushing. For a dentist, effective time management means achieving optimal speed when treating patients. The result will be better performance and higher production. To determine optimal speed, conduct procedural time studies and use the result when scheduling appointments.
Build practice value now. If you’re thinking about selling your practice anytime in the near future, you should start by building more value into it—now. Building value prior to sale can increase the practice sale price significantly at the time of the actual sale. Many practices do nothing to prepare for a sale and as a result, end up with a far lower sale price than they could have if they had spent more time building practice value.
Dentist’s Performance Target: Spend 98% of your time providing direct patient care. Delegate all non-clinical duties—except major decision-making—to members of your team. Provide updated systems and training so they can work efficiently… freeing up your schedule for performing dentistry. You’ll be able to increase production without working longer hours.
Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “New Rules – Doctors Need to Spend 98% of Their Time in Direct Patient Care” by clicking here.
If you’re not happy with an insurance company decision, file an appeal. Many practices ignore this process because time and money can be lost if the decision does not go your way. Keep in mind that being turned down is often an administrative decision the first time. An appeal is often reviewed by someone of higher authority with a better understanding of certain dental cases.
KPI Spotlight: Average Production Per Patient. Have you calculated the average production per patient in your practice? This statistic will provide valuable feedback on practice performance and whether or not the average production per patient needs to be increased in order to hit annual production goals.
Don’t underestimate the value of new patients. The lifetime value of a new patient is $12,500. This means that each time the practice attracts a new patient, it is also attracting some percentage of $12,500 in patient lifetime production. If you think about a new patient in these terms you’ll want ensure that all of your patients have great experiences every time. This is how you build a large and loyal patient base over time.
Additional Resource: Read a FREE excerpt from Dr. Levin’s book, “Customer Service Secrets of Top-Producing Specialty Practices,” by clicking here.
Ask patients if they need help. At the end of every patient visit ask the patient if there’s anything else you can do for them. The answer is almost always “no,” but simply by asking the question you will improve your patient’s perception of the practice’s customer service.
Advice for the Hygienist: Dental hygienists should think about offering homecare prescriptions to patients. This is just a pragmatic way of saying that the hygienist believes this is what the patient should do for home care, and then the opportunity to sell products to the patient presents itself. You don’t have to feel awkward or pushy. You can even let them know that they could go pick up these products on their own. However, if they would like the convenience of purchasing them in the practice, you’ll have them there.
Check your spending on a regular basis. Those practices can reduce overhead by 1 to 2% each year by reviewing what they are spending on specific supplies, materials, and technologies. Every year there are less expensive versions of the same thing and they can gradually add up to a significant reduction in practice overhead.