The following are practice management tips and resources to help you gain a competitive edge and have a positive impact on your production.
Tip #1: Reactivate inactive patients From the recent economic downturn, most likely your inactive patient file is at its largest. In order to maximize production opportunities, make sure that 98% of all patients are scheduled before they leave the office. If the patient is unable to make an appointment, ask permission to call them next week to reserve a time in the schedule for them. Many patients that have been inactive for the last nine months will be willing to schedule an appointment if they are actively contacted by your staff. Inactive patients who have experienced the office environment are much more likely to return if provided a little nudge as opposed to moving on with a new practice environment.
Tip #2: Save time, see more patients, make more money A few simple time management adjustments can really make a difference in your day and allow you to see more patients. One way to save time is to make sure you start on time. Patients should never 'camp out' in a room. Make sure to arrive to the office even 15 minutes early every day to review last night's faxes, lab results, etc. Another tip is to have patients fill out their own history forms in the waiting room. These patients typically can fill out a form just as well as you can. You can then clarify everything they filled out with them during their visit.
Read this and more tips on time management in the article "How to save time, see more patients, and make more money" by Dr. Daniel Konold on the ModernMedicine website.
Tip #3: Save green by going green The Eco-Dentistry Association has relseased a report that includes recommendations on how to make your practice more eco-friendly, save up to $50,000 a year, and receive a return on your investments. Examples of green alternatives you can use and save money include: reuseable instead of paper cups, digital billing, charting, and x-rays, and energy efficient light bulbs.
Visit the Eco-Dentistry Association website to read more money saving tips as well as other ideas you can use to make your practice more eco-friendly and live a greener life.
Tip #4: Go where there's growth Thinking about opening a new practice? Factors to consider when choosing a location include competition, convenience, and future potential. Also in order to set your practice apart from the competition, make your practice unique with a personal touch and good patient communication.
Tip #5: Take advantage of social media Is your practice on Facebook or Twitter yet? If not, you should be, but be sure to approach with care. Social media is a virtually free marketing tool that can be used to build awareness of your practice and network with both patients and dental professionals alike.
An example can be found in an article posted on the Cleveland Examiner.com. Dr. Wes Moore, a dentist practicing in Fort Smith, AR utilizes social media to create long-lasting relationships with his patients and the community. Recently, Dr. Moore used his Facebook Page to promote the free dental work he had performed at the Community Dental Clinic. In addition to Facebook, Dr. Moore also uses search engine optimization for his company website and LinkedIn.
The ACP has developed a Social Media Toolkit as a resource for members. This toolkit is a brief overview of background information on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube; and how to get started. Download your toolkit today to learn more about how you and your practice can become a part of the phenomenon. Other resources on Public Relations and tips for National Prosthodontics Awareness Week are also available.
Some helpful articles to get you started:
Tip #6: Collaborate marketing efforts with other prosthodontists in your area. Teaming up with other prosthodontists, dentists, or other healthcare industry colleagues in your area may not only reduce the cost of marketing efforts but also allow you to make more of an impact on your community.
Tip #7: Utilize search engine optimization to attract more website visitors - and new patients Do you know where your website ranks on Google searches? If your site does not pop up too high on the list, there are a few quick changes you can make that could help with your Google ranking.
Read Healthcare Success Strategies' five tips in their article Healthcare Search Engine Optimization - Making Friends with Spiders, Crawlers and Bots on their website now.
Tip # 8: A great team can drive productivity What is the most important element of your practice? Is it technology? Location? Interior design? While each one of these elements adds value to your overall practice, probably the most important is having an excellent team. A highly effective staff enables the practice to provide better patient care, lower stress, and increase production. All prosthodontists and healthcare providers should look at their staff and evaluate each individual's commitment to the team and the practice in order to have optimum quality.
Read the full article on how to evaluate your practice team and increase productivity on the Dental Economics Website.
Tip #9: Invest in staffing and technology to improve patient relations Proper investment in staffing and technology related day-to-day operations can improve the impression your practice conveys and help insulate your business from economic downturns and other events beyond your control.
Tip #10: Combine your efforts with other prosthodontists and advertise on local TV Want to increase the exposure of your practice and build awareness of the specialty? Consider working with others in your area to spread the word through marketing.