This article is co-authored by Laci Phillips-Newland and Bonnie Pugh.
The beginning of the new year is always exciting. It is new, we have vision, energy, and there are resolutions to make. The key to keeping the vision, the energy and the resolution, all lie with you. Having a dynamic year consists of many things that can become overwhelming. We can break it down into 3 categories to help make it more manageable.
Systems make the world go around. Everyone needs systems, protocols, organization. And yet we have very little of them in our offices. First thing to do this year, create a systems manual. This is your go to manual for information on how to start, continue and finish any process in the dental office. You can start with a checklist with the different departments highlighted. Such as, Administrative, Business, Clinical, Hygiene, Doctor/Ownership and HR. Within each category make a list of all the processes these departments are responsible for. You might have some of these systems and not realize it. For example, do you have a financial policy for your practice, reflecting how your office handles payment? This policy should outline both fee for service and patients with insurance and every patient in your practice should be presented with and sign this form. Another example is reporting. Which metrics do you track, and which reports do you run to gather the information you need. Systems like this will help to make your office more organized and run more efficiently. Systems should be clearly defined, be documented and be located so the entire team can refer to them when any questions arise.
You can never go wrong by focusing on your team. If you take care of your team, they will take care of you. Becoming a great leader or continuing your great leadership involves having a great team to support you. Are you listening to your team? Active listening is one of the hardest tasks in our human space. Are you investing in your team? An educated team, one with great verbal skills and empathy for your patients, is a happy team. A happy team will not only bring in new patients they will also keep your existing patients coming back time and again. Investment does not always mean money. It is time, energy, education as well as appreciation. Keep your team motivated with team meetings and making sure they have a voice in the practice. Appreciate their time, their role in the practice and they will appreciate you.
Patients believe we are more intelligent and better dentists when we have current technology in the practice. Are you up to date and ready to be cutting edge in 2024? Technology can not only make you and the team more efficient and effective it can boost your patients trust. There are very few people who want to go to an old office, with old or no technology to have their personal health care needs met. Our patients today are reviewing websites, checking social media and reading reviews before ever stepping into your office. Make sure what the patient see’s and expects is what you deliver.
Keeping a practice running in today’s world takes many aspects, much time and a tremendous amount of patience. Having an amazing thriving and healthy practice in 2024 takes even more. To make it easier on you and not as overwhelming, break down your goals. Where do you want to be one year from now, what type of growth do you want to accomplish? Then, compartmentalize. Creating and implementing systems, focusing on your team, and utilizing technology will ensure a dynamic year every time.