Do you work one day a week for no production and profit? A study by the Levin Group Data Center shows that practices that are experiencing a new level of scheduling problems and breakdown are most likely not following strict scheduling policies. Practices tend to go through ups and downs in regard to following policies because they begin to make exceptions for certain situations and the exceptions tend to grow. When you start to experience a scheduling breakdown, review your scheduling policies and encourage everyone to follow them to the letter.
Management Monday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “Dentist as CEO – Effective Scheduling & Practice Growth,” by clicking here.
Get the best price on anything the practice buys. There may have been a time when you didn’t have to worry about controlling expenses, but those days are gone for most practices. Get in the habit of shopping for lower-cost options. Periodically check with different vendors to see if you can get the supplies you need for less. Before committing to a major expenditure, get competitive bids from different sources.
Friday Freebie: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “Total Overhead Control – Why Is My Overhead Too High?” by clicking here.
Let the doctor know when a patient breaks an appointment. Making the dentist aware when someone misses an appointment achieves two objectives: it keeps the doctor in touch with the practice’s no-show rate, and it gives him or her an opportunity to reach out to the parents. They will be much more likely to reschedule if the pediatric dentist is able to call and express concern.
Additional Resource: Read a FREE excerpt from Dr. Levin’s book, “Power Cell Scheduling,” by clicking here.
Sell the practice. Every pedo practice needs a brief script to begin the marketing process with parents of potential patients. Summarize the aspects of your practice that differentiate you from your competitors. Make sure that everyone on the team is comfortable repeating the script over the phone and face-to-face with parents of prospective patients.
Whitepaper Wednesday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “The Power of Internal Marketing,” by clicking here.
Leave personal problems at home. Parents and patients should never be able to tell that your day didn’t start off so well because you got caught in traffic… or see anything in your behavior to suggest that you are anxiously awaiting a message. Parents and patients should only see caring, upbeat professionalism from you and all team members. Deal with personal issues outside of the office.
Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously” by clicking here.
KIP Spotlight: Average Production per New Patient. In order to increase the average production per new patient you can do three things. First, make sure the new patient phone call has high value. Second, the doctor should work to build a positive relationship with every new patient by learning about them personally. Third, focus on excellent case presentation skills and follow-up consults as needed.
Management Monday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “The 3-Step Method For Accelerated Production Growth,” by clicking here.
Plan for emergencies. Every dental practice has emergencies that can ruin the practice schedule for the day. The good news is that you can plan for them. Set up an emergency scheduling policy to determine if it is an emergency that needs to be seen immediately, that day, or within the next few days.
Friday Freebie: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “New Rules – Simplify The System” by clicking here.
Create better interoffice communication. Any patient who is referred for interdisciplinary care should trigger a conversation between the two offices. All too often, written communication goes unread with critical patient information overlooked, such as predisposition to care, personality type, dental background, etc…. all of which can compromise patient care. Better communication can prevent such possibilities.
Additional Resource: Read a FREE excerpt from Dr. Levin’s book, “What Dentists Can Learn from Top CEOs,” by clicking here.
Advice for the Pediatric Dentist – Set clear expectations. To perform well, team members need to know what they are supposed to accomplish. Providing staff accurate job descriptions helps them fully understand what they will be held accountable for. If specific tasks need to be completed on a certain day, the dentist should convey that information to staff members during the morning meeting.
Whitepaper Wednesday: Check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “A New Method of Evaluating Dental Staff,” by clicking here.
Advice for the Front Desk Team – Answer phone calls promptly. Make every effort to answer the phone on the first or second ring. It could be the parent of a prospective new patient calling to schedule a consult. By answering the phone quickly, you are able to speak with parents while they are highly motivated to work with the practice.
Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video, “The First Phone Call” by clicking here.