What is a DSO and why should your dental practice be concerned about them? Could your practice benefit from partnering with an area DSO? How could building your own DSO be a profitable and desirable venture? A DSO, or dental service organization, provides contract support services for dental practices. These include:
- Human Resources
- Marketing & Branding
- IT Service
- Capital & Financing
- Tax Services
- Risk Management
- Practice Support
DSOs provide their partner dental practices with advanced technology, career growth opportunities, compliance monitoring assistance, and more vital support that spares each dental practice from the necessity if investing in all these technologies and areas. If you are interested in partnering with a DSO or creating your own thriving DSO, we can help with advice, support, and practical steps.
How Could a DSO Benefit Me?
Are you a dentist or owner of a dental practice? What are some practical benefits of partnering with a DSO? Choose any of the areas listed above and imagine how skilled and talented support in this area could improve your patient care, billing, customer support, or other areas. For example, let’s examine your administrative responsibilities.
The chores of hiring, payroll, and dealing with insurance companies requires experienced and knowledgeable team members. How easy are they to find? When you partner with a DSO, providing these skilled people is the responsibility of the organization and not you, the dentist. Consider how this can improve your balance at work, and allow for more personal time with your family.
Plus, this personnel brings with them the necessary knowledge and setup for using the latest technology, software, and other components that you may not have been able to afford. The DSO provides these resources; they are able to take advantage of bulk purchasing agreements that save money and provide many services for all their partner dental practices. Even simple items like dental floss can be obtained through bulk purchase agreements.
If you are a new dentist, working at a DSO could be a good option when starting your own office right out of school is not. Paying off school debt could be your priority, while also gaining the needed experience and knowledge to open your open practice. You also get the opportunity to learn the latest technologies and practices and see many different dental practices in operation. You can use this knowledge and experience when the time comes to design and open your own dental practice.
What Does it Take to Build a Successful DSO?
Remember that a dental service organization is a support organization that provides a primary resource – people. Your successful DSO must be a people business that focuses on building strong relationships, both with your employees and your partner dental practices. Keeping this fact at the forefront of all your decision-making will keep you focused on the main thing even as you build different aspects of your DSO. What does that look like in practice? Here are four principles for keeping people as your primary focus.
Be a Leader
Lead with passion. Enforce your organization’s purpose, mission, and values on your team. Be a role model for your values. If your aim is to serve others, serve others passionately and respectfully. And expect these values of your team. It is important to have open communication and effectively communicate your expectations to your employees across the board. Maintain a positive attitude about your company and its goals and expect this attitude from others with whom you work. Enforce a “team player” attitude.
Being a good leader also means ensuring your team is adequately trained and has the tools needed for their jobs. An open-door policy is essential to ensuring your team knows that their needs can be voiced. Let others know that you can appreciate constructive criticism and can use it to the company’s advantage. Invest in your team because they will help get you to the top.
Ensure Financial Stability
What kind of financing or investors do you have in the works for your DSO plans? Your financial plan is a staple in your DSO journey. Often, dental loans provide up-front financing for new DSOs. But this may limit you when your business begins to grow and thrive. The right investor could be an option. Consider contacting a financial adviser with your goals and plan prior to starting your organization to ensure safe and reliable financing that will not inhibit your company’s growth.
This feeds into how you are able to provide for your team members. Those professionals who work for you that will go out to serve your partner dental practices must be adequately compensated. When planning your DSO, you need to pay close attention to the pay scales for the different professionals in all the regions you plan to serve. Plan appropriately to support your team and offer good benefits to help build loyalty and professionalism from the beginning.
Invest in Your Team
Your people are your profit. Strategies and processes are important, but if you do not have top-notch people working with you, your business will suffer and partner dental practices will vanish. You need experts in every area of your organization – not just excellent dentists. This includes your hygienists and clerical staff.
Hire well but also train well. Webinars or training sessions are a start. Consider using a third-party company to help train your team for excellence. Select carefully who you want serving in management positions. The right leadership can make or break your business. Remember, investment equals growth.
Create a Culture of Excellence
Make it a goal to standardize that culture of excellence at every location. Patients should be the top priority at every partner dental practice. The morals and high standards of care should be the same at every place of business. Try standardizing your processes as well, not just the way you treat your patients.
For example, the way the staff greets patients, the way the phones are answered and the theme of patient-centered care should all be the same within the organization. That way, patients will recognize excellence and this trickles back through the dental practice to your DSO. Patients are your biggest marketer. Make your DSO stand out by creating a culture of excellence.
Could a dental service organization considerably raise the quality of your dental practice while alleviating many of your headaches? Contact Strategic Practice Solutions, LLC for more information about what we offer to help your dental practice become even more successful.