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dental treatment coordinator manual

Letter To New Dentist When Patient Moves

Dr. Name
Office address
City, State ZIP
(or preferably print on letterhead)

Date

Dr. New Dentist
Address 
City, State Zip

Dear Dr. Dentist:

A previous patient of mine, Mr. John Doe, has moved to your area, and has requested that I send records to you.

Mr. Doe’s dental history is quite extensive; I will summarize here the best I can, but feel free to call me if you need any further information.

My records indicate that he started as a patient of Dr. Dentist1 in 1970, saw Dr. Dentist2 a few times in 1986-88, and I took over his treatment when I joined Dr. Dentist2 in 1988.

He went to Dr. Perio for full perio surgery in 1982, and has been continuing alternating recalls ever since.  He has a long history of root caries, isolated perio procedures, root amps, root canal treatments, cantilever bridges, etc.  Any time a restoration is done, the caries is deeper than anticipated, or the roots are softer than expected.

His existing upper removable partial was made in 9/95.  I have recommended implants, but he feels they are too expensive.

Recent noteworthy treatments:


3/6/97              #20 root canal treatment; Dr. Endo
1/14/97            extract #12 roots from under bridge; Dr. OS
5/7/96              #6 root canal treatment; Dr. Endo
8/16/95            extract #3 and 5; made removable partial
6/15/95            #21 root canal treatment; Dr. Endo
3/14/91            #21-20-x cantilever bridge cemented; recemented on 2/91 with C&B
                           Metabond, and pontic cut off.
12/23/92          #28-29-x cantilever bridge cemented; recemented on 2/94 with C&B
                          Metabond, and pontic cut off.
12/92               #30 & 31 extracted due to perio & deep root caries
1/91                 #19 extracted; Dr. OS

I am sending copies of the latest perio chartings Dr. Perio has provided us, and the latest x-rays taken 12/96.  I am also sending a full mouth x-ray series from 1988.  I don’t have a more recent full mouth series, although numerous periapicals and bitewing x-rays have been taken since 1988.

John’s last cleaning with us was 12/17/96; he was due to see Dr. Perio in 3/97.  He alternates Interplak and Sonicare; uses Proxabrush, Stimudents, Superfloss. 

Dr. Dentist, let me know if I can provide any more information!

Sincerely,

Dr. _______

 
Cambridge Dental Practice Management Logo

What Does A Dental Consultant Do? 

Many dentists will tell you dental consulting works. If dental practice management firms had no worth or benefit they could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. What a veteran dental consultant brings to the table are systems and protocols successfully implemented in other practices that have been improved and tweaked over many years. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what works and what doesn't work across all dental practices.

Marketing & New Patients

Practice management consultants generally have little marketing training or background. 

Note: Cambridge'a consultants are Certified SEO and Ad Words Specialists

Dental Office Systems

Key systems dental consultants implement:

  1. New Patient Phone Call
  2. Insurance Processing
  3. New Patient Experience and Patient Education
  4. Financial Arrangements
  5. Scheduling
  6. Confirmation
  7. Unscheduled Treatment Followup
  8. Reactivation
  9. Huddle
  10. Stat Monitoring
  11. Daily and Weekly Checklists
  12. General Policy Manual

Your Staff

You will not get much ROI from your dental consulting if your staff do not have your back. You do not beed a team of cheer leaders jumping up and down with enthusiasm, but you do need staff who are smart and take some pride and ownership in what they do. If there is more than the usual drama in your practice that needs to be sorted out before you will get any real results.

Staff Accountability 

What gets monitored gets done.

The "big" obvious numbers are important to monitor, but when you look at them they are typically already "in the books". You want your team to concentrate and be accountable daily on the "small" stats that bring about the "big" stats. How many practice owners know how many calls were made to unscheduled patients each day or overdue re-care or inactive patients? Many dentists vastly underestimate how much daily "outflow" is needed to keep a schedule full. How may dentists know what % of slots were open in their hygiene schedule each day? How many know how many NP calls there were yesterday, who scheduled and if they end up showing up? More importantly how many staff know considering it's their job to do?

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 re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee, but that employee accountable reports daily on a spreadsheet like this: 1. # of calls or personal texts sent 2. # of contact
3. # of appointments with name and date 4. # of arrivals

It is the employee who is either making themselves valuable to you or not. If they are doing so, dismissing them will never enter your mind. On the other hand, if they are not making themselves valuable, you will be doing them and yourself a favor by giving them the opportunity to find a practice or other employment that is a better fit for them.  

Leadership

What most practice owners are missing is not how to book an appointment but how to be effective leaders. 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. Agreement among all team members is key. Your written office policies should contain those agreements and should answer most questions staff come up with. Doing so will save you much time and simplify the management of your practice. Staff non compliance is a sure sign of poor leadership. The primary reason practices underperform is staff non compliance.  Key traits of leaders. All it takes is discipline: 

  1. Always keep a cool head especially when "under fire"
  2. Realize that all mistakes are an opportunity for you and your staff to learn.
  3. Set a good example.
  4. Always be learning.
  5. Take care of yourself.
  6. Fight the impulse to address multiple issue at the same time. Frantic activity creates spotty results.

Questions You Should 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.

If you do a little homework it should be fairly easy to pick a reputable consultant that is a good fit for you and your practice.