During the summer months, we’re all looking for a little rest and relaxation and quality time with our families. For many of us, the summer is when we get in the car or go on a plane to a beach or a special destination for our annual vacation. For others, spending time on the golf course, in the garden or at the pool is the agenda. The only downside to the summer is that as adults we still have to work during these glorious days.
One cannot talk about this summer without making mention of the state of our economy. We still have high unemployment, high gas prices and our government is engaged in partisan politics. I believe the government will operate more efficiently once the battle over the debt ceiling is resolved. Thousands of work programs and infrastructure projects will begin after the two leading parties agree on some difficult modifications to our fiscal budget and entitlement programs. In the long term, this will reduce the unemployment numbers and will put us back on the track to prosperity. My personal concern is that democrats and republicans will fail to reach a compromise and will play the blame game until the Presidential election of 2012.
During the last two challenging fiscal years, the dental community as a whole, has focused on efficiencies and implementing technology to improve their operations, profitability and relevance. These changes have resulted in a more marketable dental brand for those proactive businesses. This is apparent when I perform a D.P.A.T. (Digital Practice Analysis Tool) for my clients. In most cases, these clients have improved their operations, clinical opportunities or the flow of data/patient records.
Additionally, the D.P.A.T. provides a roadmap for the senior dentist that is trying to sell his/her practice in a buyer’s market. The D.P.A.T identifies clinical opportunities and key elements of the practice that can enhance its appeal. This is critical since younger dentists have the burden of school and personal debt. They are shopping for that perfect, turnkey practice because they lack the resources to invest in a practice and then renovate it. A well run dental facility with current equipment, a premium practice management software program and a professional dental team, will be most desirable!
Do you remember any of these companies?
Crazy Eddie – E.F Hutton – Arthur Anderson – MCI World Com –
Montgomery Ward – Enron – Atari – RCA – Circuit City?
Many of these companies were major players regionally, nationally and even internationally in their day. Unfortunately, these companies lost their edge, mismanaged the business, failed to comply with regulatory or legal issues and lacked the foresight to secure their future. Today, we are in a technological and information revolution which requires all of us to examine the way we go about our business. Even in a difficult economy, some businesses thrive!
Sometimes, a little tweaking or a minor adjustment can make a big difference!
What needs tweaking? Challenge your employees to be part of the solution at your next staff meeting. Offer a reward to any team member who identifies an office system, policy, dental material or piece of equipment that will enhance the performance and reputation of the practice. Buy lunch or give a gift certificate for the best ideas presented! Have your team vote for the best and easiest suggestion to execute, as this will ensure some buy-in when changes are implemented. Evaluate everything. How you answer the phone, confirm appointments, re-activate patients, treatment plan, make financial arrangements, market the practice, incentivize employees, determine job descriptions, how you utilize your practice management software, and honestly appraise your elective activity/success.
Two other worthy activities are:
1) Meet with the specialists you refer to. Ask for their honest, insight as to how you can improve your practices likeability and exposure. They may share what other practices are doing in your community!
2) Let’s work together on improving your practice. I am here to help you and will advise you as I would a family member. *Note: I have a huge database of professionals who can help you with just about any aspect of your business.
Do you still conduct business the way you did a decade ago?
The internet has shrunk the world and information is available at your finger tips today. Mobile communication and information access will continue to change how we communicate, do business and gather information.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Did you know that approximately 80% of your patients have a smart phone that receives text messages? Do you confirm appointments with e-mail and or text messaging?
- Are you still confirming appointments on your patient’s home answering machine and with costly mailings?
- Do you offer creative financial solutions including third party financing to improve case acceptance?
- Does your hygienist post intra-oral images (of needed operative dentistry or areas of concern) on the camera monitor for you to address upon your examination?
- Are you using E-service to determine your patients’ available, insurance benefit balance before they come in for their appointment?
- Do you do any formal marketing?
- Do you use social media?
- Do you have an optimized website?
Want more Patients?
Adopt the philosophy of P.T.S. P – T – S = Prevention, Testing and Screening.
Progressive, general dental practices should be focused on prevention, should embrace saliva/ DNA testing and must perform assisted cancer screening. Call me to discuss how implementing P.T.S. can help your business grow and attract more patients!
Want a Free L.E.D. Curing Light?
If you use 3MESPE, Dentsply Caulk, Kerr, GC America, Heraeus Kulzer, Vivadent or Voco composite – then you may be eligible to get a free curing light. Most of these companies will give you a light for buying a specific amount of composite, cement or bonding agents! Call me before buying a light. You may be able to get a free light for bulking up on items you use frequently or would have bought anyway.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!