Being the proprietor of a dental practice is not as easy as it may sound. Sure, it is mainly about passion and giving your patients the best dental care, but you do not want to neglect the business aspect of it all.
Your dental practice needs to bring in profits if you want to keep it running, but how do you do that? The best way would be to make some upgrades to ensure that you not only leave a lasting impression on your patients but also sustain yourself and the business.
The fact is, the way you manage your dental office leaves lasting impressions on your patients and significantly impacts your retention rates. You must remain organized, stay on top of best practices, and learn how to run a dental practice with patients at heart. Looking for ways to upgrade your Dental Practice? Here are some useful tips to help you take your orthodontic service to the next level.
You want your business to be among the top oral healthcare providers in your area. That is how you get more patients to come in. To get to the top, you must excel where your competitors have failed. In that regard, you may want to do something that sets you apart from the rest.
For instance, you can offer free consultation services or slash 50% percent off your services from time to time. You’d think that doing such things is a recipe for bringing your practice down, but nothing could be further from the truth.
People are going to get wind of it and flock your facility, making you earn more. Granted, general dentists will get their share of patients, but there will not be as many as yours.
Build an Office Culture
After finding out what makes your business unique and implementing it, you then want to create an office culture. Now, your office culture already exists so you just have to find it. Note that even your surroundings and the décor at your facility play a part in your office culture.
You want to build a culture that portrays good things about your leadership style, your policies, your values, and even the way your staff interacts with patients. The way you do such things can attract reliable and qualified staff, improve productivity, and ultimately keep patients coming back.
You don’t need to be told that when your employees and patients are happier, your dental practice will flourish.
For your dental practice to thrive, you need to think of ways to expand your services because that improves value. It could be that your facility is small and cannot accommodate a significant number of people at a time, or that you do not offer certain services just because you do not have the equipment required.
To upgrade your business, you can find a bigger space to move into or open new branches. You can also acquire the equipment that is stopping you from providing particular dental services.
Get Qualified Staff
Before your patients get into your office, they will interact with your employees. Of most importance, is the receptionist or secretary as they are the face of your office. In that regard, they need to know what they are doing.
You can’t afford to have a front office employee who is not welcoming or doesn’t know how to communicate effectively with patients. In that same line of thought, you do not want a dental assistant who needs to be guided on everything that needs to be done during dental procedures.
Schedule interviews with potential staff and make sure that they can handle the duties that come with their job description. This way, you won’t have patients doubting your expertise just because of incompetent employees.
Get Enough Employees
When it comes to staffing, it is not just about getting competent and qualified employees. You also want to ensure that you have the right number. Why? Because you do not want to overspend your money if you are under-staffed or spend on redundant staff if you have more than you need.
Determine the number of employees you need to keep your dental practice running efficiently and have measures in place to cover for sudden absenteeism. For instance, you can have on-demand hiring platforms to get dental staff to cover for your employees whenever they call in sick or can’t come into work for one reason or the other.
Confirm Patient Appointments
In the course of your dental practice, you will realize that some patients don’t show up for appointments or keep canceling. Such habits will make you waste time and incur unnecessary costs which can be detrimental to your business in the long run.
To that effect, you want to find ways to reduce your no-show rates. Above all, you want to confirm appointments to avoid losses associated with the same. You can do things like send appointment reminders or avoid splitting treatments if possible so that your patients do not have to come later to complete procedures.
Stay Updated on Dental Procedures and Tools
Your dental practice cannot grow if you limit yourself to outdated methods and tools. Technology is constantly evolving and the dental industry is not left behind. Ensure that you have the latest intraoral cameras, X-ray machines, and even patient chairs.
You also want to familiarize yourself with new methods when it comes to dental procedures. If you need to go for training, do it. Upgrading your dental practice involves moving with the times.
Minimize your HIPAA Risks
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a state law that requires medical practitioners to safeguard patient information and prevent it from being disclosed without patient knowledge or consent.
Educate your employees on the same and be strict about them disseminating information about your patients lest you find yourself enlisting the services of medical malpractice lawyers.
Another thing you need to reduce HIPAA risks is to ensure that the technology you are using is HIPAA compliant.
Reduce or Avoid Overtime
Did you know that paying employees overtime is one of the major factors that could throw your dental budget off balance? In that regard, you may want to consider other alternatives. Besides, overtimes are usually unnecessary.
You want to optimize your practice for employee productivity to avoid pointless delays that could lead to the need for overtime. Try to find ways of utilizing shifts with staff on-demand, strategic staff assignment, and scheduling. This should reduce the need for overtime.
Provide Dental Insurance Guidance
One or more of your patients is clueless when it comes to their health insurance plan and they may find it overwhelming trying to utilize it. In today’s competitive setting, you cannot afford to disregard the same. Your patients probably want you to be responsible for their treatment as well as their insurance.
Seeing as there are many dental practices all over, you will be competing with many counterparts and they will be willing to offer services that you cannot. Help submit your patients’ insurance claims whenever they visit and consider that part of your competitive advantage.
Outsource as Needed
In your dental practice, numerous areas can benefit from outsourcing. This doesn’t have to do with professional staff such as your receptionist or dental assistant, but rather in areas such as keeping your facility clean where you can enlist commercial cleaning services.
The same goes for repairs that may be needed at your facility. It doesn’t make sense to have an in-house commercial locksmith because you are not going to need their services every day. You simply need to outsource when necessary to save on costs.
Build Your Brand
Most people think that marketing and branding are the same things, but there is a huge difference. Marketing involves creating awareness about your business while branding is what the business is. Currently, the US has more than 200, 000 dentists practicing, making the market extremely competitive.
That means that you have to put your best foot forward as far as branding. Come up with a logo and slogan that is catchy and identifiable. Aside from that, do one thing that your practice is known for, such as cosmetic dentistry services.
Perhaps you have thought about this or not, but online-based appointments will significantly increase efficiency in your dental practice. This includes no-show rates, waiting times, and reducing staff.
By automating your services, you can reduce many time-consuming and unproductive aspects of your business. Find lengthy procedures in your practice, such as patient surveys and billing that can gain from automation.
Focus on Consistency
One of the most fundamental principles when it comes to keeping your dental practice thriving is being consistent. If you reward your employees for outstanding performance, do it every time. If you discourage bad behavior, do it every time it happens.
The same goes for your patients. If you offer tea or juice as they wait to get in to see you, ensure that it happens all the time. This builds trust and dependability, both of which you need to ensure that your practice thrives.
Interacting with your peers in business, experts, and entrepreneurs in other industries, you get to learn a few new things that you can apply in your practice. You can also learn new trends and business practices that can be beneficial to your practice.
As you network, you will also be introduced to new people who can help during times of crisis. For example, it wouldn’t hurt to know of one or two disaster restoration companies that may come through in case your business faces the same.
Make the Most Out of Working Hours
Determine your target patients and ask yourself questions like what times they are at work and if the time you operate is good for them. If not, you may want to consider changing your hours of operation. If most of your clients work nine to five jobs, you may want to have your clinic open in the evening.
Keep your Facility Hygienic
Nothing screams unprofessional and unreliable like a dirty and unkempt facility. You should therefore strive to keep your dental premises as clean as can be and not just on the surface. Sure, your waiting bay and office may look clean and tidy, but what other areas?
For instance, your clinic should have good drainage and be connected to septic tanks to ensure that your waste goes to the right place.
Have Accurate Records
Whether your practice is big or small, it will benefit from having accurate records. How so? You see, records will help you measure the performance of your business and help you take the right steps.
Records also help assess your practice’s potential in case you want to acquire a loan, expand, or sell. Note that record-keeping keeps your practice in compliance with the law.
Separate Your Finances
It is easy to mix your practice’s proceeds with your earnings when you are the owner, but this is often a recipe for disaster. To be on the safe side, you want to separate the two. Knowing which is which makes profitability computation effortless.
Pay Your Taxes
Pay what you owe. It is as simple as that, unless you fancy being in trouble with the law. The IRS can impose brutal penalties or, in the worst-case scenario, come after your assets if you fail to pay taxes and you do not want that.
It is also important to pay on time to avoid getting a bad name from your creditors as this may affect your future business relations.
You can set concrete goals for your business, but it takes effort and commitment to see your dental practice upgraded and flourishing.
With all the tips here, you should have an easy time taking your business to the next level.