Productive Dental Practice – Episode #1 – Dental Practice Management Series

Consider a dental practice “nightmare” scenario. You feel like you are running from patient to patient, doing exams left and right, with barely enough time to break for lunch. But at the end of the month, you run the numbers and they are nowhere near the productive dental practice you had hoped. Why? You are not feeling like a productive dental practice.

Realizing the difference between being “busy” and being “productive” is the first step in answering that question. “Busy” is just that – trying to cram as much into your day as you can, regardless of results. “Productive,” for our purposes, is the efficient use of energy to achieve a desired result. So, it follows that improving productivity gets you to the same or better result with less energy output. Still with me?

Now back to dentistry… Dentists are often victimized by anxiety about having a full schedule. The problem with focusing on filling your day with patients is that shortcuts are often made in regards to the quality of the patients brought into treatment. Now, don’t get me wrong. Everyone, regardless of his or her socio-economic realities, needs and deserves proper oral care. The challenge is that dental practices are an expensive enterprise (not so much so for the productive dental practice). Typically, there is lots of overhead, capital expenditures, labor costs, liability insurance, and more fixed costs that just can’t be ignored. If you want to have a financially viable business, then you must balance your needs with the needs of your patients.

Do you know what your “needs” are? Part of the answer to that question is financial, but there is so much more to the concept of “success” than just dollars in the bank. The typical dentist (well, everyone really) needs time with family, or just time away from the chair, to lead a happy and healthy – and yes, successful – life. When our elders are polled about their lives, you usually don’t hear a lot about how people wished they had made more money. They talk about the quantity and quality of time spent with family and friends, how much or how little love was in their lives, and what kind of contribution was made to their community – what legacy did they want to leave.

Your thoughts may be different, and if so, then more power to you. But for most of us, we simply strive to lead a balanced and happy life, and to end each day filled with a sense of well-being.

Becoming a productive dental practice…

Now, what does that have to do with All-Star Dental Academy? Lots. We have been working with dentists for many years, and have seen how a focus on productivity, and the systems that support a productive process, leads to “success.”

You may have heard of Parkinson’s Law, where the amount of “work” you have tends to fill the amount of time you have to do it. Another way to think of it – human nature gets in the way of productivity. It is said that a busy person “gets stuff done,” but if you were more efficient – more productive – then you could get the same amount of work done in a shorter amount of time.

Case study: Dr. celebrates pregnancy with a desire to work less.

One of our doctors was very excited to share her pregnancy with the team at All-Star. The good news was tempered a bit by the fact that at the moment of the announcement, this particular doctor worked with patients five days a week. That wasn’t going to be much fun with a newborn, so she wanted to see if there was anything that we could do to help her and her staff. After some conversation, observation, and an audit of her systems, we proposed a plan that would increase her production to the point where she could work four shorter days, and she and her staff wouldn’t take a hit in the wallet.

The solution was to implement a training system for her team that focused on building rapport with patients (thereby naturally pre-qualifying patients to ensure a good fit, increasing conversion from enquiry to patient, and dramatically reducing broken and changed appointments), and install a preblocking system for scheduling that made the best use of the Doctor’s time.

The results? The desired reduction in office hours and an increase in revenue! This doctor was making MORE by working LESS. It all came from focusing on productivity. Fundamentally, the productivity improvements came from managing time more effectively.

This approach will work with every office.

  • Reduce or eliminate distractions from the office
  • Implement systems to reduce or eliminate no-shows and changed appointments
  • Leverage assistants to their full potential
  • Make a commitment to positive change – be a “Doer” not a “Dabbler”

Today’s dental marketplace is so competitive and subject to external forces that you just can’t be inefficient anymore. You have to be a very productive dental practice to just stay in the game.

I’d like to extend an invitation to you. Join me on a free, no-obligation webinar where we explore the challenge of being a productive dental practice, not busy. We will focus on three critical skillsets that can profoundly affect your bottom line, and your peace of mind.

Click here to register for the webinar.


Limited Time: FREE eBook

"The five-star reviews are rolling in and the phones are ringing off the hook!" - Dr. Jennifer Wayer

1. Get QUALITY patients without selling

2. Banish broken appointments

3. Reduce turnover by 25%

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