If you read last month’s blog (Three Tips for the New Practitioner), you know I was asked by my good friend Timothy Brown, CEO of the ROI Corporation (Toronto, Canada) to share those comments. He didn’t stop there, however, and asked for three tips for the mid-level practitioner. Here they are:
1. Begin each day with a team huddle.
Confession: It took me several years in practice to understand the importance of the “morning huddle,” but it really does set the stage for success. Because it’s important to establish personal relationships with our patients, the team needs to know everything possible about any new patients being seen. It’s also beneficial to know whether any scheduled hygiene patients have incomplete treatment so that any issues preventing the completion of needed services can be addressed.
2. Schedule each day to meet or exceed overhead by lunchtime.
Once fixed overhead is met, production costs are limited to variable expenses only, with eighty-two cents of every dollar produced thereafter going to the practice’s bottom line. Scheduling just one or two patients each morning for quadrant restorative services, minimizes the number of appointments needed to complete care (which patients appreciate) while enabling the practice to reach its daily production goals.
3. Don’t be all things to all people.
An experienced clinician should still recognize when it’s appropriate to refer a patient to someone else for care. Whether it’s a procedure that’s not yet been mastered, or it’s a patient with a challenging personality whose expectations might not be met, don’t overlook the opportunity to “share the responsibility.” And, remember that non-compliant patients can be legally dismissed from the practice by following known protocols.
Being a mid-level practitioner is an exciting time in one’s career as issues of capacity are recognized and resolved enabling the practice to reach that stage of “business nirvana” known as “peak productivity.”
Dentists are typically well prepared to care for their patients through excellent clinical training, but are grossly underprepared to own or operate a small business in today’s changing and challenging marketplace. Learn valuable real life lessons in this dynamic and fast-paced program which will touch on many of the factors necessary to operate your practice successfully.
“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”
Henry J. Kaiser