19 Apr “There aren’t enough hours in the day to be a dentist and an administrator!”
The lament of many dentists as the day unfolds with a full schedule for the next 8 hours with patients in the office for treatment with the dental team and also with the hygienist. If there are evaluations/exams on the hygiene schedule that means that the dentist has to leave one room and go into another room within the same hour and this goes on all day because each hygienist sees about 8 patients in 8 hours.
Many dentists see the immediate need to have a qualified Office Manager to run the gamut of administrative tasks that the dentist is too busy to do. Some of those tasks are taking care of staffing issues like illness or other absenteeism of team members, conflict between team members, payroll hours and documentation issues, appointment control and cancellation and broken appointment follow-up, making sure that the deposits and reports are in balance and the list goes on.
Office Managers often delegate what they don’t have time to do but in many offices that have only one at the front desk or even two are derailed by the demands of billing insurance, claims appeals, insurance verification and patient billing. The success of the insurance department in a dental office is contingent on the time needed to properly manage the claims to get them paid.
Here again most dentists don’t have time or even want to hear about administrative failures unless at the end of the month there isn’t enough money to pay the bills. Then the Office Manager hears loud and clear that something is wrong.
The clinical arena doesn’t understand failure and that is why the dentist has a licensed, skilled assistant with him/her all day long. Many dentists have two assistants to keep things moving smoothly making sure all tasks are complete.
What dentists don’t understand is that the front office needs skilled and trained people to keep it running smoothly too.
Technology has opened the door to hiring more people from the virtual world. They don’t have to be present physically if there is accountability in the system to show their progress and success.
Outsourcing lab work has always been part of dentistry and still is for most dentists so why not outsource dental billing and documentation and filing of dental insurance. Lack of office space or the drama and expense created by hiring another person is no longer a concern when the person works from a remote computer far away.
eAssist came to be because a dentist, Dr. James Anderson, had a vision of a great need for this service.
Along with the service he created systems that guarantee that if there is measurement and accountability there will be success.
It is true, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be a dentist and an administrator and there aren’t enough hours in the day for an Office Manager to be an office manager so outsource the work to experienced experts and enjoys doing what you like the best, engaging with patients and improving clinical skills.