So you’ve taken the plunge, done your research, signed the papers, and now you own a dental practice. What’s next? Whether you’re just starting your journey — or you’ve been in the business for a while — there are a few key areas you’ll want to pay attention to run your practice successfully.
Ultimately, that success comes down to the overall patient experience you provide. The following suggestions will help your practice rise above the competition.
Engage your team members.
Focus on the details — every patient interaction matters. We call them micro-moments: a smile of welcome when a patient walks through the door — or a quick joke to help reassure a nervous child. Those moments begin with the relationships you build with your staff and that you encourage your staff to cultivate with each other. How you and your employees engage — those micro-moments — translates into the micro-moments you and your employees create for your patients.
Champion a positive office culture.
No one wants to work (and healthy people don’t thrive) in a toxic environment. Want to deliver an exceptional patient experience? Cultivate a happy, vibrant office culture. How that looks depends on you and your employees — it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all deal. But certain ‘tools’ work well, like regular 1:1s with your key staff, mentoring opportunities, defined career paths, guidance creating goals, and even team-building activities or outings. Keep your finger on the pulse of your office and encourage transparency to build trust with your leaders.
Find the right balance of personnel.
Knowing which key hires you need takes some serious calculating — something else a consultant can advise on. While there’s no perfect formula to determine your most effective staffing ratio, various formulas factor in production, volume, salaries, and other variables to help you calculate your personnel needs. Don’t forget to look at your operational processes, too — updated business systems, proper onboarding processes, and continuing education plans, for example, also help your existing staff work efficiently. Ensure they have the best (and right) tools to contribute effectively.
Incorporate continuous improvement with regular training.
Your staff and patients benefit when teams have regular opportunities to update their skills. By investing in training, you invest in your staff’s careers. They’ll remain happy, productive, and effective, and your office will remain a supportive work environment committed to success and patient satisfaction.
Elevate your practice above the competition.
How? By creating a unique dental practice. So, where do you start? Analyze your top competitors and identify their top two or three unique identifiers. Have you defined what sets your practice apart from the others? If not, start there! For example, maybe your office has state-of-the-art imaging equipment another office lacks. Highlight that differentiator at the top of your marketing materials. Why? It shows current and potential patients that by investing in your practice and giving staff the best skills to do their jobs, you’ve also invested in your patients’ health.
Expand your services.
Another way to gain a competitive advantage over other practices — and increase your lines of revenue — includes adding more services. If you opt for this approach, proceed with caution to ensure you have the staff and other resources available. If adding services overextends your team or diminishes the patient experience, you’ll want to rethink your strategy.
Maximize your team’s productivity.
You’ve got many options to capitalize on working hours since you’ve only got so many in a day! The software you choose and policies you develop can help support (or hamstring) your employees’ productivity. If you’ve not already incorporated policies like a 24-hour cancellation notice, fee schedules for missed appointments, or flexible hours to accommodate more patients’ schedules, for example, now’s a good time to start.
Want to learn more? Contact us.