Odds are you've been running your dental practice for a couple of years now, but is there a way that it can be even more successful?
Look no further because we have the best tips that you need to implement today to improve your dental office.
Establish A Company Culture
Company culture is going to be crucial to prevent a united front for both your staff and your patients.
Although we all have a base understanding of what company culture means, what are some things that you should keep in mind when trying to establish your own company culture?
We recommend keeping in mind things such as the reasons why you founded your practice, what sets you apart from the competitors, and what is your ultimate vision for the practice itself?
Having these core values and visions regarding your dental practice will allow you to help set a direction for the rest of your team moving forward. It is always important to remember that everything starts from the top and that you as a dental practice owner dictate the culture of your office.
We consider these some of the pillar values of a dental practice.
So, you have a set of your pillar values moving forward, but you're going to need people that you feel can accurately embody them.
You want to bring in team members that you feel match with the core values that you would like your dental practice to represent. These will be your team members that will be interacting with patients on a daily basis multiple times a day. It is impossible for you to do every position in a dental practice, which is why we need to rely so heavily on our team members. We also need to trust them enough to embody those company core values that we have set.
If you would like your dental practice to be known as extremely professional then this may come into account when bringing on team members and taking into account their personalities. The same as said when you would like to be the dental practice that is known for being very friendly and hospitable with their patients.
The culture that you decide to foster within your own dental practice is what will be reflected by your staff when treating patients.
Follow Up With Patients Before Their Start Time
This is one of the best ways to make sure that your patients are actually showing up for their appointments. Dental appointments are often scheduled months in advance, with it being very common for them to be scheduled six months in advance. If you have patients that don't put it in their phone as soon as you give them the date, odds are they are going to completely forget.
Following up with them before their start time and date allows you to be a little bit more informed about the status of the patient. In the worst-case where they are unable to attend it will give you some time to call other patients to see if you can move up their appointment time for them. Considering appointments are made so far in advance and dental practices tend to be booked completely, you may have some patients that are thrilled to have their appointment moved up.
We understand that nothing can throw off your workday and have your schedule fall apart like having patients not show up. this also prevents those awkward phone calls to patients when you are waiting for them at their appointment time and they are not there.
There may even be instances where you call the patient at the time of their appointment, and then they tell you they are going to head that way then. At that point, they may be running as much as 30 minutes late and you might as well reschedule them completely.
Having patients that don’t show up for their appointments can stress out to your entire team and it doesn't allow you to accurately projector the bottom line when planning.
Strike A Balance With The Number Of Employees You Have
Striking a balance with the number of employees you have is going to be crucial to running an effective dental office.
Having an appropriate amount of staff ensures a couple of things. It ensures that all your staff has an appropriate amount of responsibilities without being underworked, or being overworked. If either of these areas is occurring then it will lead to detrimental effects against your dental office.
If your staff is feeling overworked then they will burn out quickly. Nothing can run good staff members into the ground like having way too many responsibilities. It will also leave your staff feeling underappreciated and earn a bad reputation among the dental community. This may make it even harder to find temps to cover the days where your staff calls out.
Ultimately, the worst-case scenario is that overworked staff will lead to a high turnover rate at your dental office. This will add an extreme amount of stress on you as a dental practice owner and your office manager for having to try to reschedule all of their patients until you can get a steady staff.
If your staff is underworked then they will have a lot of standby time. Standby time is the time where they are not necessarily doing any of their major responsibilities, and you may be losing money on these stand-by times. Your staff may also not feel fulfilled when they have a large amount of standby time. It is important to remember that a large portion of the individuals that go into the dental field have a passion for helping others. If they feel like they are standing around and not doing anything then they may feel unfulfilled due to their passion not being fulfilled.
This may also lead to an increase in the financial stress that you feel as a dental practice owner. The odds are that you are having underworked employees due to the fact that there are not enough patients to accommodate these employees. This may also result in you having to let some of your staff go, and possibly pay for unemployment benefits. In some cases like this, we always recommend taking a look at the marketing efforts that you are putting forward.
Overall it is always important to remember that your dental practice is still a business. This leads to you needing to make the best decisions for your business and order to maintain its operations. One of the biggest expenses of any business tends to be the payment of their employees. That is why it is crucial to be sure to balance the number of employees you have carefully.
Create A Welcoming Environment
This is for the benefit of your staff as well as your patients.
You want your staff to enjoy coming into the dental office, and creating a welcoming and warm environment amongst your team is crucial to doing this. This will ensure that your staff continues to come into the office and it should overall lead to a lower turnover rate.
Regarding your patients, it is common that a lot of individuals have some form of dental phobia or anxiety. Creating a warm and welcoming environment will help ease their anxiety.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to improve your welcome area. You can improve your welcome area by implementing some small and easy-to-do changes. Changes such as making sure the furniture is comfortable, having calming pictures or artwork, including flowers or other Greenery, readable entertainment, and a television on a relatively low volume.
Something important to note here is that all of these features are relatively low and stimulus. This is important because we do not want our patients who already have dental anxiety to feel more anxious.