I still remember the sense of euphoria I enjoyed after speaking for the Chicago Midwinter Meeting late February 2020 and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach early March when the Hinman Dental Society canceled Hinman 2020. It took me weeks to grasp the enormity of what was happening and even more time to adapt to the new reality as we closed our practices, sheltered in place to flatten the viral curve, and tried to adjust to new weekly CDC and OSHA guidelines. It was a time of disarray and enormous stress, filled with challenges caused by uncertainty and the unknown. Some practices survived, others did not. But hindsight enables us to draw some conclusions from the experience…
- Live within your means. Failing to do so puts the safety and security of your family at risk.
- Have your personal and financial affairs in order. Ensure that your will, living will, and power of attorney are up to date and that family members know where important documents are stored.
- Learn to manage stress. Examine proven techniques to minimize the impact that chronic stress has upon our health.
- Invest in your team year-round. Give your teammates reasons to stay with you. Build loyalty through vision-sharing, team building concepts, valued perks and benefits, mutual respect, and recognition for excellence.
- Know your practice numbers and what they mean. Modify your business practices as needed. Know the top twenty-two procedures you provide that generate 90% of your annual production and adjust your fees annually.
- Communicate well. Ensure that employees understand your expectations and that your patients know that they can count on you. Update everyone as needed due to changing events.
Each of us could add to this list, and I’d suggest doing so as an exercise in future “disaster prevention.” Especially evaluate vision, overhead, team stability, and cash flow. And, as you examine your business practices, take the time necessary to reflect upon the quality of your life and make desired changes. If nothing else, the pandemic taught us that life can change suddenly and dramatically. Choose wisely.
Look where Dr. Kerr is presenting in 2022!
Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting
Saturday, March 19, 2022
“When Life Needs a Sticky Note. . .”
“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time.
Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods.
Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The Spring will come.”