1. Make sure your deposit slip matches the cash/checks for the day. This is where you are most vulnerable. 2. Signs of embezzlement in end of day adjustment report are a. Patient refunds b. No cash payments c. Non-approved adjustments/write-offs. 3. Put refund checks in the mail yourself. 4. Lock down your credit card terminal with a code so only the practice owner can issue refunds (thanks Alex). 5. Take note of any employee working unusual hours, living beyond their means or who rarely takes vacations. They may also be unusually territorial or evasive when discussing practice finances. 6. All staff...
The whole concept of "apprenticing" an employee has virtually disappeared with most practice owners vastly underestimate what it takes to effectively train staff. It is an on-going process and often requires having the patience of a saint. A couple training tips: 1. Just because you showed someone how to do something once doesn't mean they will continue to follow the procedures you've shown them. You have to perform some quality control checks. 2. An invaluable training tool is to tape record the person even if just a role playing-training session. Listening to oneself speeds training up remarkably and can be a...
IMPORTANT Some states allow you to thank a referring patient after the fact of the referral with a nominal gift ($10.00 - $25.00) however, the referring patient cannot have an expectation of the reward. A personally signed thank you card or note, ideally from the doctor, is smart and good manners. You can offer a credit to new patients. The amount can be $50.00 or $100.00 or more. You can also offer a free cleaning or exam or nothing at all. It’s totally up to you but, most find a dollar value works best. If you offer a dollar amount still submit your usual...
The Achilles' heel of many a dental practice owner is to avoid dealing with unpleasant staff situations. A good example is a recent new client of mine.
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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.
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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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