5 key Items For Dental Practice Management
It is vital to acknowledge the following five elements to operate a smooth dental practice. These few critical factors should be considered when running your practice, as many dentists overlook these items – or do not know about them. If these issues are chronically overlooked, it may lead to problems in your dental office.
Commonly Overlooked Dental Practice Issues
Below are five of the most frequently overlooked issues in dental practices:
- Time Management – This management element is more for a newer dentist. However, this may apply to even a more seasoned dentist to review on occasion. Nothing may be more frustrating than a patient waiting longer than he or she may have scheduled. Learn how much time it takes for each procedure to be completed. It may take you longer to perform a procedure than you realize. As you begin to recognize the average time procedures take, you’ll be better prepared to place a schedule in place that works for you and your patients running a smooth operation.
- Team Meetings – Team meetings are a vital part of running a successful dental practice. Team member, more often than not, want to be apart and contribute to your business. Asking your staff members for input will allow them to contribute to the practice. Team members are more likely to make suggestions in a meeting setting that allows for input. Make sure to have set topics before your meetings to avoid going off track. Additionally, follow up on any changes you decide to implement.
In some cases, you may need to mediate conflict in your dental office. This may be done within a team meeting if more members of your team are affected. However, if the conflict is between two members only, it may not be right to present the issue among the group, but in private. You may consider a conflict mediator if the problem seems to be beyond your control.
- Tracking Finances – Finances are central to operating an effective dental practice. It is imperative to set budgets for your marketing, dental equipment & maintenance, dental supplies, lease or mortgage, team, and staff members. You should know how much money you need to keep your practice running, how many dollars are owed and collected, and what patients are scheduled for upcoming treatment. Being aware of these numbers will help you know where your practice stands and allows you to adjust your goals accordingly.
If you fail to plan, then you might be planning to fail. Budgets are a significant part of running a successful dental practice. As a dental marketing company, we find on average dental practice should plan to budget between 1% and 5% of their total gross profits on marketing every year to compensate for attrition. Attrition averages between 10% and 20% every year. Attrition accounts for moving, change in loyalties, and competition. Dental practice start-up should plan between 5% and 10% for the first four years of operation.
- Trust – Your team is the foundation of your dental practice. If your team comes to you with a problem regarding another staff member or any other practice issue, we recommend taking them seriously. Keep in mind it’s your business, but be considerate of different opinions and ideas – especially issues. Otherwise, your staff member may begin to feel that you don’t trust them or values their insights, which can decrease overall morale. You may have a personal conflict with a member of your team; in such cases, it’s very appropriate to let them go.
- Leadership – Leadership is the ability to provide direction, put plans into motion, and motivate employees to carry out these plans. Some people are driven more by the recognition of a job well done than by a monetary raise. If you are finding it difficult to manage your team, you may consider hiring a practice management consultant to help you improve your skill sets. Remember being a dentist is only a part of operating your own dental practice.
Ignoring these five aspects of dental practice management can weaken your dental office and prevent it from flourishing. Additionally, you may end up with dissatisfied employees and patients. Make sure to address the above issues in order to help your practice be as successful as possible.
We are dental marketing specialists. To put together a marketing plan or to update your dental practice’s website, please contact Pro Dental Designs. We’re here to help you bring in new patients, retain current patients, and run your practice as smoothly as possible. For more information, please contact Pro Dental Designs today: dental logo design, dental websites, dental marketing company, dentist marketing, etc.