As production goes…so goes the practice! Too direct or spot on?
More important is that you’re forced to answer the big question: what can increase productivity in a dental practice?
Frankly, how productive you are can directly impact your dental practice’s profitability. The numbers reveal much about your systems and your team’s implementation.
The facts also provide a good way to evaluate your current workflows and what you can do to increase their effectiveness.
How to Improve your Dental Practice’s Productivity
No doubt you want to close more treatment plans and increase production. The decision to improve your dental practice requires more than putting on a good “face” via your social media channels.
Your patients can force your hand on how to improve your dental clinic. It’s truly about them and their overall experience the moment they begin to interact with you and your team.
First impressions are everything. So it’s a good idea to start there and progress toward more efficient patient-centered work flows.
1. Improve Telephone Conversations and Patient Interactions
Your first patient interaction will most often begin the moment a front-desk team member reaches to answer the phone. Most face to face patient relationships are preceded by a phone call.
A top priority is to train your office staff in front-line customer service.
- Start with active listening techniques. This helps assure they’re paying attention to every detail of the phone conversation.
- Train your team in how to improve the customer experience by using a text message. Today’s communication skills must include this platform as many, if not most, use SMS to communicate.
2. Shrink the Time Dental Patients Spend in the Waiting Room
Time spent in your dental office waiting room should reflect positively on their patient experience. Your patient satisfaction will improve when you give strategic attention to reducing wait times.
Patient flows begin the moment each checks in with your front desk. Provide them wait time information so there are no surprises. Waiting patients will appreciate your up-front communication rather than wondering why it’s taking so long.
Predicting patients time in an appointment can be challenging. But the time patients are actually in the dental chair is often less of a concern than sitting in your waiting room watching the clock.
3. Follow Up with Your Dental Patients to Reduce Late Arrivals and No-shows
Dental care relies on practice management and marketing systems. Your dental practice will increase production when patients are in the chair for treatment.
Treatment plans are the first step. But because patients are busy and prone to forgetfulness it’s vital that your office staff be proactive with follow-up phone calls.
This helps assure that no patient slips through the cracks…and off of your day’s scheduled production.
4. Amplify Dental Patients Hygiene Perception
Your answer could be based on your perception about DSOs in general. Or it could have much to do with the systems you have in place to manage the daily clinical and operational tasks.
One thing is certain whether you choose solo, private practice dentistry, private, group practice dentistry, or the DSO model of dentistry. You can standardize, centralize, and grow your practice with the Planet DDS Denticon Dental Practice Management Software.
Curious how it works? See the Denticon Dental Dashboard in action…
5. Improve Communication Between Front Desk and Clinical Staff Members
Like most medical practices, your front desk staff is a catalyst for patient satisfaction. And your front office staff sets in motion the office communication flow that determines the quality of their patient care.
Improving how you communicate internally can help stop many of your dental practice’s costly mistakes. Practice managers are generally aware of the communication systems that produce effective results from your front office to your back office team members.
- Rely on your office manager to provide the necessary training and accountability systems to assure patient satisfaction.
- Reduce confusion about treatment and financial details by appointing staff members as coders and billers.
6. Listen and Learn from Patient Complaints
A marketing and customer service mindset applies to your dental patient base too. The customer feedback loop increases your knowledge base for improving your customer experience as relates to your patients.
Word of mouth referrals are no longer merely a face to face encounter. Patients now take advantage of online customer platforms to share their opinions and feedback.
Customer retention in today’s business environment can be won or lost at the feedback level. Provide good customer support to your patients and allow them the opportunity to voice their feedback (positive or negative).
7. Be Transparent about Dental Treatment Costs with Patients
Access to dental care isn’t the issue for your patients. But the cost of dental treatment can prevent many from making it a financial priority.
Also dental insurance providers can be discriminant about the dental work they’ll cover. This increases the likelihood that some patients will postpone certain dental procedures.
Either scenario can have an effect on your patient’s overall health care. This makes it all the more necessary for you to be up-front about costs, help patients understand the coverage available through their dental plans, and offer a cost estimator that allows them to finance their treatment.
8. Invest in Improving your Dental Office's Design and Layout
Never underestimate how your office design affects the patient experience. Your dental office culture is clear from the moment a patient walks through your door.
Take advantage of design options and various dental products that make a positive first impression. Attention to design details can set the tone for team productivity and ultimately…practice production.
9. Upgrade the Lighting in your Dental Office
Dental office design doesn’t stop with colors, furniture, or other amenities. Your dental office lighting can have a major impact on your patient experience from the waiting room throughout your dental practice.
- Consider your lighting fixtures and the availability of natural light instead of traditional fluorescent light.
- Use recessed lights and decorative light to set a mood and eliminate uncomfortable brightness.
- Provide adequate task lighting in the business and clinical zones of your practice. This will enhance productivity and reduce eye-fatigue.
10. Start your Dental Team's Day with Morning Meetings
Daily productivity is the direct result of how you set the tone for the day. Your team meeting or morning huddle is the launch point for you as a successful dentist and for your dental team members.
An effective morning begun in your morning meetings has an impact on most, if not all, of your dental practice management tasks such as:
- Case acceptance and emergency patient protocols for the day
- Management of overhead and profitability
- Lab case handoffs and delivery
11. Maximize Automated Billing
Dental offices thrive on prompt payments via an effective accounts receivable system and insurance claims processing. Billing software is available to help keep each running smoothly in your dental practice.
Automated billing will benefit your practice management processes like your automated system for appointment reminders. You’ll experience an increase in cash flow, will save time, and reduce the stress on your front desk team.
12. Upgrade your Payment Platforms
With automated billing in place adding payment technology can help your dental practice initiate transactions quickly. Most patients are accustomed to using a credit card.
Having a payment processor available for taking payments in your dental office increases your productivity and profitability for each dental service provided. A simple pos system shifts the liability for the dental payment to the patient and eliminates additional collection tasks from your team.
13. Offer the Latest in Dental Technology and Digital Communication
Among dental professionals you can no longer be in-the-dark about cloud-based dental practice management software. Scheduling, managing, planning, and providing dental care is now a more seamless process with this dental software solution.
Cloud-based dental software is now more secure. And with added security, among other core benefits, there’s less reason to stay tethered to cumbersome, outdated platforms.
14. Make Sure all your Treatment Rooms are Fully Equipped with Supplies
Productivity is enhanced when you determine to be prepared at every point throughout your dental treatment rooms. Having each operatory supplied identically enables you to provide any procedure at any time.
Decrease set up issues and you eliminate delays that cost you time and money.
15. Provide Employees a Digital Scheduling Solution
The quality of customer service you provide your patients can be affected by day to day employee transitions. An efficient scheduling platform can enable your team members to schedule in minutes tasks that include:
- Time and attendance
- Shift scheduling
- Time off requests
- Time tracking
- The ability swap shifts
Don’t allow employee scheduling time to negatively impact your dental business’s schedule of patient care. Mobile apps are also available for tracking employee related data so everyone can give attention to productive customer service.
16. Keep Innovating and Offer New Services
Your commitment to ongoing innovation helps develop loyal dental patients. In fact, it’s core to how to get more dental patients into your office.
You’ll increase your success for attracting new patients and securing a quality patient referral in the process when your patients feel like you’re keeping things “fresh.”
Apply an innovation-mindset to how you approach your practice marketing too. Implement a dental marketing strategy that gives new and current patients less reason to look elsewhere for their dental care.
17. Increase Morale by Integrating a Bonus System
The extent to which you reward employees will often affect their productivity. Keep in mind that your reward system isn’t merely about monetary bonus structures.
For example, consistently provide feedback and encouragement as a first step in your bonus system.
- Reward punctuality
- Reward increased patient numbers
- Reward sharing information
- Reward hitting targets
18. Make an Effort to Bond with your Dental Team
Every step you take to enhance your dental practice’s productivity is a step toward improving your dental team. Help them succeed and…you’ll succeed!
The right operational tools, like a Dental Dashboard, can produce the right (and needed) results. Planet DDS’ Denticon Dental Practice Management Software is one of those innovative tools that enhances team productivity by standardizing, centralizing, and ultimately growing your practice. Get an Inside Look at How Denticon Works
Contact us for more information about how Denticon can streamline your patient care systems including the tasks associated with your daily operations and practice productivity.