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Dental Consultant Asks: What Are Staff Up To?

Dental Consultant Asks: What Are Staff Up To?

I often talk to clients about the importance of role-playing with your dental staff but that may not be enough. Just because you showed someone how to do it once, doesn’t mean they will continue to follow the procedures you’ve shown them. 

I have a client who thoroughly role-plays new staff members on their job duties until they have their procedures down to perfection but then he didn’t follow up on them until a few months later. Instead he assumed that they were doing the job the way he had shown them how to do it. After all, he was paying them a lot of money to do it that way.

So I had the doctor go around his office and pretend he was the patient. He sat in the dental chair and I instructed the hygienist to present him a soft tissue program.

What we found was that hygienist spoke unbelievably fast and never consulted the patient’s understanding. She would just rapid fire off her speech and then ask, “Do you understand?” The patient would just nod like a robot and she would go on.

We found that nearly every staff member in the practice was doing something different than what was taught of him or her. I had to fight the dentist from going off to get stinking drunk.

What this dentist did when he trained them was a great thing. He wouldn’t just show them how to do the job; he would role-play with them until they were absolutely perfect.

But like I said, that’s not always enough. Sometimes you have to perform some quality checks. Get your staff to pretend you are the patient and have them do what they do. It might be an eye opener for you.


 

Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

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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. 

Systems

New Patient Phone Call

Insurance Processing

New Patient Experience and Patient Education

Financial Arrangements

Scheduling

Confirmation

Unscheduled Treatment 

Reactivation

Daily and Weekly Checklists

General Policy Manual 

Staff Accountability

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.

Leadership

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 

  1. Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?

  2. Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

Shane Blake DDS Coudersport, PAMy 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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