As a dentist, you are the manager and leader of your dental practice. You may even own your practice, and if you do, that’s just one more title added to the running list you carry. There is a lot riding on your shoulders. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of all the various tasks and responsibilities that come with running a successful practice. From scheduling appointments and managing staff to handling finances and complying with regulations, there is a lot to keep track of. That’s why it’s essential to have a solid understanding of dental practice management basics.
First and foremost, effective communication is key in any dental practice. Hopefully, this is a word at the top of any list of basic management skills, but management begins and ends with communication. This means not only communicating with patients but also with staff and other healthcare professionals. By establishing clear lines of communication, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the practice runs as smoothly as possible. When communication is clear, you maintain a positive work environment, ensure top-quality patient care, and set clear expectations for every person within your dental practice.
Another important aspect of dental practice management is financial management. This includes everything from setting fees and accepting payments to budgeting and forecasting for the future. Although it’s true that you opened a dental practice because you care about taking care of people and giving them healthy smiles, you and your dental staff also need to get paid. Not only that but all of those big hunks of machinery rolling around your office aren’t cheap. Financial management is one of the most important aspects that must be at the forefront of managing your practice; you have to stay organized and keep accurate financial records to ensure the long-term success of your practice.
Technology And Equipment
If you haven’t noticed by now, the technology and equipment you use in your practice are key factors in delivering high-quality patient care and ensuring positive experiences in your dental practice. Staying up to date on the equipment used in your office allows you to offer patients the advanced procedures they may be looking for, which leads to an increase in patient loyalty, and ultimately an increase in revenue. Utilizing new technology can offer you more ways to keep up with patient data and track appointments, among many other things.
While actually staying up to date with new technology and equipment is important, properly maintaining and managing equipment is crucial to the success of your practice. This includes keeping track of inventory and ensuring that everything is clean and generally in good working order.
Marketing and Branding
Your patients are the reason behind your practice. Obviously, your goal is to bring patients in, give them the treatments they need to have healthy mouths, make them loyal customers, and boom – problem solved. Mission accomplished. But how do you get those patients in? There are several ways you can attract patients, including word-of-mouth referrals, social media, local ads, etc. A thoughtful marketing strategy could be crucial in helping you reach your patient base.
Consider your dental practice. What are you offering and who is it most beneficial for? Once you’ve branded your practice you can decide how you can most effectively use those marketing strategies like local ads or social media.
Dental practices are subject to a variety of regulations, including those that come from HIPAA and OSHA. Your practice’s ability to maintain records is crucial. All health practices including dental practices are required to protect and maintain the confidentiality of patient information like health records and billing information. It’s important to stay up-to-date on these regulations and ensure that your practice is compliant at all times.
Because compliance with HIPPA and OSHA regulations is so important, it’s a good idea to document every procedure you have in your office and ensure that your staff are trained on the procedures that you use for everything, even as minor as the way you clean the countertops. This way, there are no surprises for anyone. Every staff member is aware of the expectations for the procedures and operations in your dental practice. You can also utilize a risk management assessment to see where you may need extra help before a HIPPA or OSHA violation does occur.
If you’re looking to take your dental practice to the next level and see more growth for the new year, consider seeking out Strategic Practice Solutions to help you streamline processes and better manage all the various tasks and responsibilities that come with owning and operating a successful dental practice. Strategic Practice Solutions is the perfect way for busy dentists like you to get some extra help. We can help you create custom solutions with one-on-one consultations and coaching to fit your needs and find the best options for your dental practice.