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Dental Consultant Tips Case Presentation
The other way to get your percentage of staff pay into an acceptable range is to increase collections by increasing the percent of cases that are accepted. If your case acceptance percent runs 80% - and what I mean is that 80% of your patients commit to pay for and complete full treatment plans within a reasonable amount of time - then you're in the Michael Jordan league of case presentation.
An acceptable amount is 70%. Anything less means your dental practice is hemorrhaging money.
This is an area where I find many doctors misdiagnose their dental office’s problem. Production is down, they can't get people in, so they go to the front desk and the receptionist is saying they've talked to this guy, this guy and this guy, but they can't get them in. So the doctor blames the economy or the time of year or his location or that they walked under a ladder while their dental office was being built.
There are legitimate reasons (mainly financial) why a patient cannot move forward with treatment but more often than we'd all like to admit the real reason the patient does not moving forward is not because they can't afford the treatment but because you didn’t edcuate the patient properly and so the patient does not see the real value in the treatment when you presented it. So the patient goes to the front desk and says, “gee that's a lot of money” and the treatment coordinator, for whatever reason, immediately agrees and devalues the treatment and tells the patient to do just what’s covered under their insurance for the year.
Patients will typcially commit to, pay for and complete full treatment plans within a reasonable amount of time when the patient places value on the treatment after proper education. Again, there are legitimate reasons (typically financial) when a patient does not move forward even when they do place vlaue on the treatment but there are many, many times a patient who could afford to move forward does not. Blaming finances can too easily become a self-fulling prophecy.
Here are just few pointers to get patients better committed to their treatment plan.
Pointer #1: Talk to them in layman’s terms. Don’t assume your patient knows anything about dental health. Many times I listen to a dentist presenting treatment and the dentist uses terms that assume the patient just got back from an advanced course on altering occlusion function and esthetics.
Pointer #2: Use an inter-oral camera, an iPad app, draw pictures, show them models or their x-rays. You’ll lose their interest if you don’t. But in doing so, do not violate pointer #1.
Pointer #3: Use analogies. Compare tooth decay to rust on a car. Compare periodontal disease to a post trying to hold itself up in a hole where the soil has eroded. There are a thousand different ways to describe dental conditions in terms your patients will immediately relate to.
Dental Practice Analysis
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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices.
New Patient Phone Call
New Patient Experience and Patient Education
Daily and Weekly Checklists
General Policy Manual
What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.
What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply.
Questions To Ask
Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?
Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.
If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.
Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.
The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant
My name is Kevin Tighe. I am Cambridge's CEO and Senior Consultant. Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually owner. Contributing writer to Dental Economics/DIQ, JADA, AGD Impact and Dental Town Magazine.
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