Except for the collections process, which comes after the fact, all the areas of expertise have a direct bearing on practice production… which should be targeted at an increase of 15% per year. The most successful growth strategies therefore depend on the smooth orchestration of skills in every aspect of practice operation. This means that, as each new system goes online, there will be a synergistic effect, and growth can become exponential once your overall improvements reach critical mass.
The following steps, though arranged in logical order, are not meant to be pursued like numbered instructions. In reality, you and your staff will be moving back and forth between these reas as you progress toward your goals.
You recommended dental treatment to the patient, explaining the situation, pointing out the benefits, and answering all questions. Yet the consult did not end in case acceptance. Although the patient didn’t say no, she didn’t say yes either. She said she would “have to think about it.”
Increasing production depends on many factors, but first on the list is new patients. They not only replenish your patient base but also typically represent more production on a per-patient basis. The question is, how do you generate a steady and substantial influx of new patients month after month, year after year? Aside from traditional external marketing—which can be very costly and seldom yields satisfactory results—there are three proven new patient strategies that you can implement:
Dental practice production consists entirely of the chairside care you and your hygiene department provide. Yet most of the administrative tasks performed at your office have a direct bearing on practice productivity. If the step-by-step systems for carrying out such tasks are well-conceived and used consistently, your production potential increases accordingly. Here’s a proven process for implementing high-performance systems:
You generate most of your practice’s production (your hygiene department accounts for the rest), so how you spend your time during the course of the day has a profound impact on productivity. When chairside providing direct patient care, you’re bringing in revenue. Conversely, when you’re handling administrative tasks, no dentistry is being produced. This, in a nutshell, explains why you should delegate as many non-clinical duties as possible to staff members.
Promoting Comprehensive Care
One point I consistently emphasize in my seminars is that dentists have to do more with what they already have. Nearly all doctors perform a comprehensive exam on new patients, but many don’t provide this essential service to their long-term patients. If you’re not making an annual comprehensive dentistry exam part of every patient’s treatment regimen, you’re missing a big opportunity to deliver excellent care and generate additional production.
Any of your patients who haven’t been seen for 18 months or longer may be well on their way to becoming former patients. Even if you currently have an abundance of new patients showing up at your practice, initiating a reactivation program makes sense in today’s competitive dental market. Follow this process: