Use your leadership skills in dentistry to keep your patients, your employees and yourself happy—all within your budget.
Dental practice leadership can be stressful. You’re running a business and healthcare practice in one. Taking care of your patients, your employees and yourself is often overwhelming. But once you work out the kinks, it’s possible to keep everyone happy and have a business that’s worth cultivating.
Here are five key areas to work on so you can have it all as a dental practice owner.
1. Optimize your appointment scheduling.
Scheduling plays a huge role in the happiness of your patients and your staff. It’s a huge part of your dental practice management tasks, and it’s incredibly important to get it right.
Your patients want appointments that are convenient. It may help your practice if your patients can self-schedule appointments with an app or to receive reminder calls when it’s time to schedule a dental visit.
Once they arrive at your practice, your patients don’t want to spend all day waiting. That’s why it’s important to be realistic in scheduling patients. Overbooking increases wait times and stresses out your staff. It puts everyone on edge and can lead to unpleasant staff-patient interactions. It can also lead to lost business. Patients may refuse procedures due to time, decide not to return and/or share their bad experiences in online reviews.
Regarding wait times, proper staffing can help prevent problems. The key is to staff to meet demand, but to do so efficiently. Hiring extra help for the busy times can help you maximize your production, keep your patients happy and keep your staff on point.
2. Have a backup plan for staff scheduling.
Everyone eventually calls in sick or asks for family leave. It’s a fact of dental practice management. You’ll need a plan in place that allows you to cope with expected and unexpected absences without compromising your productivity.
Your staff needs at least some flexibility in their work schedules. You need consistent support to keep your business running. It’s possible to have both with a staffing service.
Before signing up with any staffing service, it’s important to consider their rates. Will they charge you for every hour worked or is there a single fee for unlimited access? Turnaround time and service quality are also key considerations. Will you be able to get a qualified, competent professional as soon as you need one or will there be a delay?
The right staffing solution, your employees get the time off they need, your patients get the care they need and you get the steady revenue you need.
3. Keep it positive with your dental leadership and office culture.
Patients can tell if a dental practice is plagued with bad feelings and poor cooperation. Stress and improper communication among staff create a negative environment and can lead to mistakes. Your leadership style is one important piece in maintaining a positive atmosphere.
Hiring the right people and keeping them is another part of developing an upbeat workplace culture. Even temps should fit into your office well and be willing to take part in your practice’s success.
Positivity is huge when it comes to keeping your patients and your employees happy.
4. Good dental practice management includes taking care of your staff.
One of the first things dental hygienists, dental assistants and other professionals look for in a job is fair pay. Someone may take a low-paying job because they need it, but in general, higher pay will help you attract and keep more experienced employees. Your dental hygienists, dental assistants and other staff do a better job when they feel valued. Pay isn’t all of that, but it’s an important part.
This is just as true for your temps and part-time workers as for your permanent, full-time dental employees. Higher rates will attract the most qualified workers and keep them coming back.
A paycheck goes a long way to helping someone feel valued, but human beings need more. Everyone needs a sense of purpose and the opportunity to grow. You can give your employees this by helping with their professional development and setting group goals for your practice.
Professional pay and an atmosphere that fosters growth will encourage your employees to do a better job for you and for your patients.
5. Research dental staffing trends.
Dentistry trends are important when it comes to customer service, practice management, technology and caring for your patients. Trends in dental staffing can be telling, but it’s wise to research your options before deciding on an approach to staffing.
Dental staffing agencies may be popular now, but new technology will soon make them obsolete. Temp agencies and placement firms are expensive and often waste valuable time. That’s why they’re being replaced with cloud-based solutions that reduce your expenses in both money and time.
Want a solution that can help with all of this?
To keep your practice running smoothly and bringing in revenue, it’s important to keep your employees and your patients happy. You can have it all. It basically boils down to hiring the right people at the right time with the right tools.
Cloud Dentistry can help.
Culture and positivity. The cloud-based dental staffing solution gives you access to qualified professionals that can fill out your schedule. You’re able to communicate with them in real time and learn about them from their profiles and reviews. This is great for hiring the right people.
Efficient, flexible scheduling. Instant, online access can also get you the help you need right away. The technology allows you to schedule weeks in advance or find someone who can help that same day. You can schedule help for busy times or get someone to fill in when your employees take time off.
Fair pay. Cloud Dentistry can even help you provide fair pay. You can offer your temps professional rates because the platform charges a low access fee, saving you money over a traditional temp agency.
When it comes to running a dental practice, you can keep your employees, your patients and yourself happy. In fact, it may be impossible to separate the three. Your office culture, leadership and staffing decisions are all important pieces of the big picture.