Everyone wants to have the ideal day. The one where you are the best version of yourself, who wakes up early enough to go to the gym and stop for a smoothie without being stressed by traffic. Your dental practice, as a whole, also likely wants to have those picturesque days where everything happens when it needs to. But those days are easier said than done; in fact, they involve a lot of hard work and evaluation of your time.
Once your office spends time auditing your work week you will make room for so many things that are on the backburner. It’s also a great opportunity to see what things may have slipped through the cracks and set new goals. Here are just a few initiatives you can start at your practice that don’t take up much time and will make you the resident dental hero.
Making sure your staff is up to date on their continuing education, professional development, and internal practices are all things that can fall to the wayside when you don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day. A few easy ways to stay up on continuing education for office managers and hygienists is using ADA (American Dental Association) and AADOM (American Association of Dental Office Managers) for their online certifications and webinars.
Taking a moment to reassess your office’s phone scripts and welcoming practices may seem like small touches, but the result demonstrates to patients that the office is a cohesive unit. Also initial points of contact — like greeting someone when they walk in or answering their call in a timely fashion — aren’t just opportunities to be polite, they are proven to be extremely valuable. Within a tenth of a second new patients will decide whether you are knowledgeable and trustworthy based on your facial expression alone. Making sure patients are greeted within the first few seconds of entering ensures your office cares about them and shows you are organized and efficient. These are both great ways to make sure all interactions with your patients are consistent and clear.
Many smaller dental practices face a hard choice to dedicate more time to marketing when so many people in the office juggle multiple jobs. In reality, there are a few small things you can do to kickstart your marketing efforts without taking up too many hours in the day. Start a social media and print mailer campaign. Social media reviews and competitions amongst existing patients are an organic way to get your practice in front of new clients.
Starting long term initiatives like rebranding can be more manageable by considering your visual goals, timeline, and if hiring a designer is the best choice for your practice. Having those things mapped out ahead of time will make the process immensely more efficient. Also taking roughly 5 minutes to make sure your office is listed on Google Ads is an easy win for your office.
The phrase “you can’t see the forest for the trees” is true of many healthcare professions. Even when your office seems to be running well, taking a barometer of your industry knowledge can be immensely helpful. For example, knowing how real-time claims work compared to batch claims can help your office get them processed faster. Understanding the path that a claim takes from the time it leaves your fingertips until a check reaches them can help your office re-evaluate the way that you process claims.
These goals can help you evaluate what your office is doing in contrast to your competitors. Most of all, they can help you find ways to save time in your day, potentially money for your office, and accelerate your personal career.