Even as practices are starting to see patient volumes that are closer to pre-pandemic levels, things still seem unpredictable in the dental industry. Practices continue to grapple with uncertainties and long-term impacts of the pandemic that are beyond their control. To build a stronger more successful dental practice in 2022, practices can focus on several key areas that can be controlled.
How to run a successful dental practice in 2022
Define specific goals
Broad, generic goals aren’t as effective as targeted, specific goals that have the power to motivate you and your dental practice.
Recognize even small, incremental wins to drive motivation. To do this, keep your strategies as meaningful and measurable as possible for you and your team. Ask your team members what they hope to accomplish this coming year.
Communicate the company-wide goals to your team members and help each team member understand how their goals tie to the overall goals. Find out if team members are interested in learning new skills or other professional development. By involving each person in the goal setting process, you motivate your team and help set goals that are realistic and attainable. In addition to goal setting, here are a few more examples of specific goals you may want to set for your practice in 2022:
- Add or refine services based on patient need, input, available resources, and ROI.
- Identify possible gaps in skills across your team and tailor continuing education courses to close gaps.
- Create a marketing plan that includes attracting new patients and retaining current patient loyalty.
- Calculate production and collection KPIs that involve debt reduction, savings, and cash-flow.
Elevate the patient experience
The patient experience is comprised of many touchpoints. Each of your team members has a different role to play. As the practice leader, it’s important to empower each team member to enhance the patient experience. Your front desk and business team have their unique contribution to patient relationships. And your clinical team contributes theirs.
The patient experience deserves substantial attention in this era where patients are slow to return for dentistry. There could also be insurance and cost related challenges that an outstanding patient experience can offset.
- Lead each team member across every department to value their personal role in the patient experience. For some it’s customer (patient) service, for others it’s the chair side care standard, or assisting with insurance and financial matters.
- By setting clear expectations for delivering the best patient experience in each role and setting up incentives for going the extra mile, you motivate the team and elevate the patient experience.
- Identify and assign functions according to each team member’s personal strengths. If you haven’t already, guide your team through a strengths profile (e.g., DISC, Meyers-Briggs, etc.) early in the year.
Evaluate systems and processes
It’s useful to complete an annual audit of systems, processes, and solutions for your practice. It’s easy to become complacent when there are no obvious problems but without regular evaluation, it can lead to a decrease in productivity and morale. A routine assessment can help you identify and resolve any problem areas.
An operational systems-analysis gives you the necessary data to evaluate productivity and efficiency throughout your dental practice.
- Make sure your operational systems are driving (not diminishing) your production and growth.
- Audit your scheduling process. Look for patients with unscheduled treatment and work towards scheduling them in the first quarter of the year.
- Analyze your case presentation to case acceptance ratios. Set a treatment acceptance target goal and monitor your presentation narratives for improvement.
- Streamline the imaging workflow for easier access to images and secure collaboration.
- Provide patients with helpful financial solutions. Inventory your third-party options to add new ones and cancel those that are no longer beneficial.
- Manage your revenue cycle. Track your AR and insurance aging numbers.
It may be helpful to implement our Denticon practice management solution to help your practice in each of these areas. Denticon helps you track production, boost recall appointments, increase case acceptance, offer payment options to patients, and help with revenue cycle management. To help streamline your practice’s imaging workflow, our universally compatible Apteryx Imaging XVWeb allows you to access images from anywhere and securely share images via the cloud.
Make 2022 the year you establish success patterns that deliver results now and, in the years, to follow.
Check out these additional resources as you plan for 2022:
Planet DDS solutions to help your practice succeed in 2022
Planet DDS’s Denticon and Apteryx Imaging XVWeb are proven cloud-based dental practice management and imaging solutions in today’s market among solo private practices, private group practices, and emerging, midsize, and large DSOs.
Contact us for a free demo to learn about how Denticon and Apteryx Imaging XVWeb can streamline your workflows, operational tasks, and productivity in 2022, and years to come.