Opening a new dental practice means learning a lot of new terms, tools, and skills. We know from our clients that graduating from dental school teaches you to be a dentist—but being a business owner is a whole different ball of wax. We want to help ease that transition (do you have our new practice ebook yet?) and give you some helpful information as you get started.
Although they seem like separate issues, all three metrics influence each other. Improvement in production is the sheer amount of work you do and bill for in your practice. Communication is how you stay in touch and talk with your patients both in and outside of your office. And profit, well, that's what you get to take home at the end of the day or reinvest in growing your practice.
The best way to see growth in your practice is to set metrics and commit to improving each one of these categories. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that.
Like we mentioned above, production is the sheer amount of work you bill for in your office. It's the number of teeth you count, clean, and fill, and then bill the patient or their insurance. That number has to be maximized to keep your practice humming.
How do you get that number up? With marketing, referrals, and returning patients. We've covered many of these tactics in previous posts. The bottom line is that to improve numbers, you have to get more people in the door. And the least expensive patients to acquire are the ones who've walked through your door already. Giving everyone a great in-office experience is a part of maximizing your production—that includes your staff too!
Another way to improve production is to make your office as efficient as possible. Clear, written policies and procedures will go a long way in keeping everyone organized and on schedule. Staff and patients alike will know what to expect and how things work each and every time they come in.
We know everyone is connected 24/7 to their mobile devices. We hardly have to use the phone feature anymore. Not to order groceries or a pizza, not to make a hair or car appointment! Why not leverage our connectivity to our dental practices? Give your patients a number of ways to communicate with you—email and text, as well as online appointment scheduling. Giving them the option to text you or to book online at 10 pm (when they remember) adds to their good experience.
The average patient attrition loss in a year is 3-5%. That means the average practice loses that many patients per year. And that's normal. People move, want a dentist closer to home, or even lose/change insurance. There are lots of reasons, but you want to keep patients happy and make sure they come back.
Keeping your practice top of mind is how to win this game. Communicating with patients about upcoming appointments, reminders to schedule their cleanings, and even to acknowledge their birthdays can be a huge boost. They want to know you care, that's what builds relationships and brings them back.
You know that Bill Walsh quote: "The score will take care of itself"? Well, even if you don't, it applies here. If you're doing what you can to increase production and communicate with your patients, you'll grow. Strong policies, a good staff, and a great patient base will go a long way in building profits. Of course, this is all dependent on your money management skills and being careful about your spending, but the ingredients are all here.
tab32 would love to help you build your practice and improve production, communication, and profit. Our complete, all-in-one cloud-based dental software has all the tools you need to run your practice efficiently. We have a complete suite of communication tools, including two-way text that makes talking with your patients a breeze. Learn more and sign up now for a demo with our team.