7 Clear Steps to Managing a Dental Practice Efficiently

Managing a dental practice is no walk in the park, but you already know that. What you may not know is that there are ways to make it easier and more efficient.

Just because “that’s the way it’s always been” doesn’t mean you have to keep doing something the same way. In fact, that phrase is often one of the biggest hurdles to effectively managing a dental practice – or any company for that matter.

Don’t take this the wrong way. Sometimes there are perfectly valid reasons for doing a task the same way forever and ever. The classics are classics for a reason.01-7 Clear Steps to Managing a Dental Practice Efficiently-01

However, when you get tired of the avalanche of papers, the rows and rows of patient files threatening to implode into a mess on your office floor, or finding out you’re triple booked when you’re supposed to be out of the office, it might be time to examine your processes. We’ve found some of the best practices to help make your work managing a dental practice easier and less stressful.

Managing a dental practice in 7 easy steps

  1. Take a breath: It’s hard to make changes if you are so deep in the woods that you can’t see the sunshine. Step back, take a breath, and give yourself some room to learn. Changes don’t always come without hiccups. As you work toward a more efficient workflow, take solace in the fact that even Thomas Edison made mistakes.
  2. Get your team on board: Managing a dental practice, heck, management of any kind, is 82.5% managing people. The simple fact is that if you’re going to be successful, you need a team that will back you up. Remember that changes can be hard for people. Assure your team that everyone’s job will be easier and more efficient, and be willing to hear out their concerns.02-7 Clear Steps to Managing a Dental Practice Efficiently-01
  3. Play to your strengths: Is everyone on your team working in their strongest department? Maybe Judy is scheduling appointments when she would be better at managing inventory. Perhaps Joe is handling billing when he would be most productive in marketing.
  4. Invest in your practice: Managing a dental practice is a lot easier when you have the right tools. Naturally, we think Umbie Dental Care is the best software to help you with everything from scheduling to billing to treatment planning and even multi-location management. Umbie is designed specifically to help you manage your dental practice.
  5. Set goals: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll have a hard time getting there. While a goal by itself won’t help you run your practice efficiently, it will give you direction. If your goal is to increase revenue, for instance, checking your analytic data will help you find areas where you can improve your efficiency, be it scheduling differently or taking on more specialized cases.
  6. Listen to your patients: Yes, you already know that you should listen to your patients because, well, that’s just good bedside manners. Here’s a bonus, though: when you listen to your patients closely, you can get to the root of a problem more quickly. This doesn’t just mean listening to what they say, but also listening to what their dental health is telling you. Are there two old fillings that need replacement? Can you do both of them on the same visit rather than two visits? This means your patient only has to find time for one appointment, and you magically open up an appointment slot for someone else.
  7. Treat your staff like gold: There is one way that is almost guaranteed to make your team more efficient and effective. Treat your staff like gold, and they will return the favor in multitudes. This is fundamental human nature. We’re all more inclined to put in extra effort for someone when we know they appreciate us. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this. Bonuses are great, of course, as are extra vacation days. A sincere “thank you” on a regular basis will do more to create goodwill among your staff than almost anything.03-7 Clear Steps to Managing a Dental Practice Efficiently-01

Bonus tip: Treat yourself like gold 

Managing a dental practice is hard work. Give yourself a nice summer vacation, take a three day weekend once a month, treat yourself to an ice cream cone on Wednesday afternoons, or take that welding class you’ve been thinking about. Just be sure to do something to keep yourself fresh and excited about your career.

What do you think? These are only a few ideas for efficiently managing a dental practice. What tips can you add to this? Let us know. 

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