Productivity, profitability, production, sometimes it seems that dentistry is all about the numbers. Let’s face it, you’re in business to deliver outstanding care to your patients AND make a living, right? I tell the teams I work with all the time, the numbers are a tangible way to track how well we are taking care of our patients. We have to track the numbers so we know where we are doing well, where we can improve and how to set goals for growth.
But you know what I’ve learned recently? Productivity isn’t about money. When we do what’s right for our patients, when we are laser focused on delivering the best care possible, the money will follow. So, we’ve determined that productivity is about :
Relationship- There’s a difference between relationship and rapport. Rapport is when we know and like someone. Relationship can be defined as an agreed upon course of action between two individuals. When you and your patient agree to move forward with treatment, you’ve cemented your relationship. From that point forward you build on that patient-doctor relationship by caring about the patient, being sincerely interested in their life and being committed to delivering the very best care for them. You can also draw on that relationship by asking your patients to hold fast to their commitments to you and your team: being on time for their appointments, trusting your recommendations and referring their friends and family. When this type of relationship occurs, it supports your productivity.
Efficiency- Be prepared! Having everything you need for that patient BEFORE they walk in the door will keep you efficient. Documenting treatment and personal notes in the chart will help you continue to build that relationship. Creating and then implementing clear treatment protocols will help you and your team make quick, consistent treatment decisions. Delegating certain tasks to your highly skilled assistant makes you more efficient.
Focus- Defined as a clear vision, focus is what drives your team and keeps you productive. If you’re focused on building relationships instead of just diagnosing treatment, your case acceptance will go up. If you are focused on educating patients using your intra-oral or digital camera rather than just talking them to death, you’ll be more productive. Setting time aside for team meetings will help you stay focused by dealing with all the petty distractions rather than letting them build up and take you off course.
Action Steps for Productivity
- Find what you have in common with your patients- make a connection
- Determine what specific tasks you can delegate to your team
- Be sure your team is trained to perform those tasks at a high level
- Delegate with confidence
- Focus on what you want to achieve TODAY
- Clear up any “office clutter” with regular team meetings
Define your focus and goals at those meetings