Archive for April, 2013

Do New Patients Want You?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

It’s likely that in your community there are multiple dentists that could expertly address the oral health needs of any and every new patient. There are a host of reasons why one practice scores low and another scores high on new patient appeal. For example, convenient hours and/or practice location, reputation for excellence, offering a variety of services and treatment options, affordable payment plans, friendly staff are just a few of the essentials on the prospective new patient score card. 
 
If your goal is to increase numbers of new patients, consider the work and lifestyle habits of the patient population you want to attract. If you practice in a bedroom community where most people commute into the city and work 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., providing appointments in the evenings or on Saturdays may be necessary. If you are in a major metropolitan area, staggering the lunch hour or adjusting the workday, so that your practice is fully staffed and prepared to offer more lunchtime appointments as well as early morning appointments may be essential to attracting new patients. 
 
In addition to considering whether your hours encourage or discourage new patients, evaluate how accommodating your current scheduling structure is. When prospective new patients call, is there room in your schedule to appointment them within the next week? New patients are calling because they want your services now, not next month. 

Are You ‘Work Hording’?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

How many minutes do you lose every day on unproductive tasks that should be handled by someone else? Thirty? Sixty? Ninety? Most likely, you don’t keep track. If you did, it would be entirely too depressing. Consider for a moment what you are doing when you are most productive. I bet it’s what you enjoy doing the most – the dentistry. When you are least productive you are probably handling all of the issues that come with running a practice – e.g. hiring employees, explaining procedures, managing conflict, responding to concerns with patients, paying bills, explaining fees, answering the common everyday questions, and the list goes on.

 

Certainly, all of the aforementioned duties are part of daily life in a busy dental practice. The problem is that many dentists begin their careers doing various jobs and wearing several hats. Over time, the majority of these responsibilities need to be delegated and managed more effectively by others. But work hoarding is a problem for many practitioners. The consequence is valuable minutes and hours frittered away on …

 

Revolving door hiring practices – Employees come and go on a regular basis.
Team Trainer – You take it upon yourself to “train” new hires.
In-office IT Expert – You like to “tinker with technology.” When there is a problem with the computers, you believe you must be the information technology expert.
Firefighter –You are continually putting out fires, i.e. dealing with the daily problems, situations, and crises that arise.

 

Shore up your management systems and you’ll spend far more time and energies on those productive activities that you enjoy the most and will take your practice the furthest.

 

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For additional assistance please visit our New Dentist Resources page under Practice Management at http://www.thenewdentist.net/resources.htm