How to Run a Successful Dental Practice

I lately interviewed Dr. Scott Olson, a dental skilled in Springfield, Missouri. I needed to learn the way he runs his follow and what has labored greatest for him within the areas of staffing, finance, advertising and marketing, and operations.


Q: What strategies do you employ to seek out competent employees members??

A: A method that has labored nicely for me is to rent college students from native faculties that require college students to finish an internship program at a dental workplace as part of their training. The intern program not solely offers the scholars hands-on expertise, nevertheless it additionally offers me the chance to evaluate their ability degree and fervour for dentistry.

Q: Each follow has their very own means of doing issues. How do you get your employees acclimated to your corporation philosophy after they have been employed?

A: Apart from the Dental Assistant program talked about above, we offer all new employees members with an in depth worker handbook, which they’re required to learn and signal. The handbook particularly outlines our insurance policies, greatest practices, and procedures for treating sufferers with care.

Q: How usually do you carry out periodic opinions of your employees?

A: I’m a agency believer in sustaining a dialogue with my employees. That is why I not solely conduct an annual evaluation with my employees. I additionally ask them to judge me and the way I can enhance. The suggestions from the two-way evaluation is unbelievable. It has helped carry our follow to the next degree of care.


Q: You’ve got made the choice to maintain your overhead low by leasing an area in a strip middle. Many different dentists have incurred lots of overhead by finding in costly buildings. Do you assume you’ve got come out forward by adopting this technique and have you considered relocating or including one other location?

A: Though I’ve thought-about relocating the follow to a high-profile location, I am glad I made the preliminary determination to maintain my overhead to a minimal whereas nonetheless offering a cushty surroundings for my sufferers. It has allowed me to save cash and alleviates lots of stress throughout decrease quantity durations. Dentists with excessive overhead normally really feel the pinch throughout slower financial occasions.

Q: There are numerous ratios that dental professionals use to gauge the effectiveness of their follow. Which of them are most vital to you?

A: A very powerful statistic to me is the variety of new sufferers we deal with every month as a result of that’s the basis of our future development. I at all times monitor our outcomes to find out the age, intercourse, and placement of the brand new sufferers which helps me higher goal my advertising and marketing efforts. Collections-to-total-production is one other ratio I maintain my eye on. When that quantity is larger than one, I discover out why.

Q: At first of every 12 months, do you and your employees set objectives for the upcoming 12 months within the areas of revenues, earnings, and affected person counts?

A: We shut down the workplace for a day in early January to debate methods we are able to enhance effectivity, ability ranges, and affected person satisfaction. We imagine that if we are able to enhance the follow in these areas, the revenues and earnings will finally comply with.

Q: Do you sometimes lease or purchase your gear and the way usually do you improve?

A: Up to now, I’ve bought the entire gear I exploit within the follow. Nevertheless, there’s some thrilling new applied sciences on the horizon that I am contemplating equivalent to a brand new era of digital x-ray gear and crown fabrication. I am going to doubtless lease the brand new gear I purchase due to the various benefits of that type of financing.

Q: How do you set your payment schedule and the way does it evaluate with different practices within the space?

A: Our costs will not be the most cost effective on the town, nor are they the most costly. After I set costs, I take a look at the period of time it takes me to finish every process in addition to the related labor, provides, and overhead prices. I then set the worth to realize what I imagine to be an equitable return on funding.

Advertising and marketing/Promoting:

Q: What promoting strategies do you employ to achieve new sufferers and which of them are more practical?

A: We at all times ask every new affected person how they heard about us, which helps us monitor the effectiveness of all our advertising and marketing efforts. Referrals have been a significant a part of our new enterprise the previous two years. We provide a rewards program through which we grant the referring affected person a present card and the brand new affected person a $50 low cost off the price of their preliminary go to. It is a main cause why now we have gotten extra new enterprise from phrase of mouth referrals than every other means. Yellow Pages have additionally been instrumental in getting new enterprise.

Q: You will have regularly upgraded your abilities by attending courses and seminars that educate innovative methods and procedures. Do you emphasize the brand new abilities you’ve got realized in your advertising and marketing?

A: First, attending courses and seminars that educate new methods energizes me tremendously. I am at all times enthusiastic about coming again and making use of what I’ve realized. As for advertising and marketing, it is tough to current in an commercial how persevering with training may be useful. That is why I rigorously clarify the newly realized procedures to the affected person whereas they’re in my workplace.


Q: There’s a large variance within the high quality of dental provides and options. How do you determine which merchandise to make use of?

A: I’m very specific about which merchandise I exploit and it is vital to verify an sufficient quantity of unbiased analysis has been carried out. I am bombarded with solicitations for all types of merchandise and a lot of the “analysis’ is from the corporate. That is not ok. I solely use what has been confirmed to work.

Q: When a affected person checks in, are they introduced in to the examination room rapidly?

A: Our aim is to carry a affected person to the examination room inside 5 minutes after verify in. Evidently, there are conditions that come up which trigger delays, however more often than not we obtain that aim as a result of we worth our affected person’s time.

Q: When a affected person is available in for a verify up and you have discovered an issue outdoors the conventional realm of a cavity that requires intensive work, how do you articulate the issue to the affected person with out utilizing lots of jargon?

A: The phrase “an image is price a thousand phrases” undoubtedly applies right here. After I present a affected person photos of how a cavity that’s left untreated causes injury to the nerve, they get it. I do my greatest to make them perceive what’s going to doubtless occur in the event that they do nothing, versus the result in the event that they select therapy.

Q: For these sufferers who’re on a strict funds, do you provide some sort of self pay financing plan that may enable them to make month-to-month funds for giant balances?

A: We provide a wonderful self-pay financing program by way of Care Credit score. One characteristic of this program is that the steadiness is interest-free if paid inside one 12 months. The funds may be stretched out to 5 years. We additionally provide an in-house 90 day identical as money possibility. We are able to normally discover a strategy to make the financing work for our sufferers.

Q: Like several enterprise, creating relationships with prospects is important to long-term success. What steps do you are taking to ascertain a dialogue together with your sufferers?

A: That may be a hot-button subject for me. Though our aim is to extend quantity, I refuse to compromise the connection with our sufferers. I make it a precedence to spend an sufficient period of time not solely on therapy, however to handle the affected person’s issues, and educate them on issues they will do to enhance their dental supplies well being.

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