Honesty versus Kindness
Do you want me to be kind or honest about our dental community?
Are you tired of hearing about the latest and greatest dental products or equipment?
- Haven’t got time for all the practice analysis stuff?
- Can’t find the time and don’t really want to sit with your staff and run the numbers?
If you lack the enthusiasm or energy to give more time or resources to the practice, you are not alone. Many small business owners feel overwhelmed by rising costs and their enormous tax burden. They are also feeling the pressure to modernize their systems, processes and technology. The costs are high, the commitment is significant and the process can be very complicated.
The economic landscape changed in 2008 and we have all made concessions and or changes to reinvent our businesses to compete in this new economy. If your business is operating as it did prior to 2008 than you will find yourself on the wrong side of up.
Unfortunately, far too many dentists are falling behind because our industry (healthcare) is advancing on many fronts. The influx of PPO dentistry requires operational efficiency and effective marketing. The movement towards a digital workplace requires investment in time, money and resources as integration and utilization is critical. And last but not least is the acceptance of the oral/systemic link. Thanks to the internet and mobile technology, information about the oral/systemic link is readily available and this has fueled the “Total Health” movement in dentistry. The Total Health movement resonates with young adults and progressive healthcare advocates everywhere. If our business is to remain relevant, then we must be relevant.
Many practices are modernizing and renovating to keep up with their neighbors. The young doctor who purchased your neighbors practice is turning that facility into a palace. They are replacing chairs, units, lights and all the x-rays. They are introducing CadCam and laser dentistry to their patients and are moving dentistry forward. These doctors are very cognizant of the DSO’s (corporate dentistry) and are creating offices with beautiful furniture, themes and great work flow. Besides the current décor and the capital equipment investment, these young doctors are investing in customer contact and practice management tools. Many are bringing in the big guns (consultants) to help them develop good personnel, systems and operational efficiencies so they can profit in this economy. It is not uncommon for these progressive dentists to operate chart-less (everything in the computer) dentistry. They are using iPADs and reception kiosks to check in patients. They use constant contact software and social media to grow their relevance within their community. Their web footprint is dynamic and well optimized. They use mobile technology for marketing and communicating to their patients and they are averaging between 25-100 new patients a month! While some patients respond better to traditional communication (phone calls and snail mail), we must accommodate them but your resources and focus must be to forge ahead. Remember when kiosks appeared at the airport? At first it was a hassle but today it is a real time saver!
The dental practices that are flourishing in today’s economic environment are actively marketing and investing in technology. Some of these practices are marching forward but are dealing with integration and confidence curves from their recent technology acquisitions. In short order, these practices will learn to integrate their new technology and will be on the fast track to winning the future.
WARNING: Many dentists surround themselves with specialists and friends that share a similar business style and work ethic. Are you ambitious or are you complacent? Are you a procrastinator or a doer? Are you frugal or are you an investor? I have found that knowing the kind of business person you are helps you overcome some natural tendencies. The key is to push your own envelope. Take on a grand project or treatment plan a complicated case. Stretch until you feel you’ve become the best you can be. Another way to boost your morale and your business is to be the first at something. Survey the field and get that cool, new thing or identify a trend and get ahead of the curve. Being first has true rewards!
“The best way to protect your future, is to create it” ~unknown
If winning the future is your goal, but change is difficult for you, than take baby steps. Historically, clinicians are transactional in nature so it will take some time to adjust to these new business models. I have worked with many clients that felt overwhelmed or hopeless just a year or two ago and today they are experiencing exceptional growth and are very optimistic about their future! Please let me know what challenges you are dealing with and I will do my best to identify opportunities and mechanisms to help you win the future.
Henry Schein Dental and Align Technology Inc introduce realine™.realine is an entry level, five-stage clear aligner product designed for very minor crowding and spacing issues that general practitioners see in their practices every day, including dental relapse. realine offers the GP a competitively-priced, easy to use product for patients with very limited treatment goals, especially adults whose teeth have shifted or “relapsed” after adolescent orthodontic treatment. realine is available exclusively through Henry Schein Dental. Check out www.realine.com – The starter kit is just $574.99!
Talk about game changers!
Broadview Networks is a leading provider of hosted voice, data and cloud computing solutions and it is now available to Dentrix G5 users! Integrated with Dentrix G5, OfficeSuite® Dental will enhance patient satisfaction while increasing employee productivity and operational efficiency. Communication with patients is streamlined, combining state-of-the-art phone system features with automated patient database information. Incoming calls from patients trigger an automatic pop-up display of the Dentrix patient notes for staff before the call is even answered. With relevant patient data on the computer screen, practice staff can prioritize calls; quickly answer questions, close treatment and move on to the next call with better efficiency.
The Zeiss difference is Clarity, Performance and Precision. Zeiss microspcopes and loops are not just for specialists. General dentists are acquiring microspcopes and loops at record numbers! Visit www.meditec.zeiss/dentistry Or call 800-442-4020 ext. 4282 for more information.
Have a great summer!