The Catch 22 of Dental Practice Success

By: Belle DuCharme, Writer LLC, Director of Training/CE

When you become a dentist owner of a practice your future now requires work to succeed. Besides becoming clinically excellent there are 22 dental business systems  that directly impact your practice.   If you think that excellent clinical skills are all you need for success, then you need a wake-up call.

It isn’t enough to hire someone with experience running a dental practice (whose practice?)  it also means that you, the dentist, needs a working knowledge of the 22 operating systems that are necessary to be working correctly for you to be successful.

Worst case scenario, which has happened to many dentists, is that your key front office person or the entire front office team walks out the same day leaving you stranded and frantic.

If you know how to run your computer, the software, the phone and all the front office protocols you could keep going without too much problem until you hire someone else.

The following are the 22 operational systems necessary to operate a dental practice.

  1.      Recall/recare What is the system to having patients return to your practice?
  2.      Patient retention:  How many patients are active and how many have you lost?
  3.      Telephone skills/ customer service that can make or break you
  4.      Financial Arrangements and outside funding
  5.      Scheduling techniques to create smooth flow and good patient care
  6.      Scheduling to meet production goals
  7.      Insurance verification
  8.      Insurance filing and follow-up/appeals
  9.      Collection techniques and communications at the time of service/posting checks/balancing day sheet and verifying production and collection
  10.   New patient system/Creating the “wow” factor
  11.   Patient arrival and dismissal system
  12.   Billing system and unpaid debt collection
  13.   Management of accounts receivables
  14.   Management of accounts payables
  15.   Computer software maintenance/updates and training/running reports/HIPAA
  16.   Marketing and advertising system
  17.   Referral system/ who and what is providing patients to your practice
  18.   Website maintenance and SEO and social media
  19.   Management of dental supplies and office supplies/OSHA
  20.   Hiring of dental staff system/recruitment and onboarding—HR duties
  21.   Performance measurement systems/Employee notices and dismissal system
  22.   Cancellation and no show systems/appointment reminder system

If you can take this list and look at each item and say yes to whether you know how each operates in your practice you will earn a gold star.

It is never too late to learn and you should be proactive to learn about management of your practice as soon as possible.   Practice success is a goal that requires attention and planning.  Picture yourself in a year and then in 5 years.  What do you want your practice to look like and perform like?  Set your practice goals and  make it happen today.

eAssist Helpful News and Billing Tips; Edition #112

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