Dental Office Training Tips for a Specialty Practice

Making time in your schedule for a dental office training is what brings your practice to the next level

04-dental-office-training-tipsAny good business knows how important it is to keep up with regular staff training. The most successful companies examine strengths and weaknesses on a routine basis and carefully plot out the education necessary for their niche. How do you plan your dental office training, and what do you teach your staff?

Specialty practices are often quite busy. However, there’s no reason you can’t schedule blocks of time to train everyone, from your front office to billing to nursing staff. The better educated and prepared your staff are, the better your day-to-day operations will run.

Block off large chunks of your schedule for training

You might read this first tip and think, “No way! I can’t jeopardize my team’s productivity.” Well, we’ve got good news – if you can set aside time in your well-planned schedule once a quarter for your dental office training, your productivity won’t suffer. In fact, you’ll probably see a boost to your bottom line when your staff are well trained and motivated.

02-dental-office-training-tipsTopics for in-depth dental office training

Scheduling for productivity: How can your staff help keep your office busy and growing? Productivity has a lot to do with a front office staff who know when in the day to schedule specific procedures. When all of your employees have an understanding of the systems, everyone can be efficient.

Sales techniques: Upselling works well in the dental industry. If your patient comes in with tooth pain, there’s a number of treatment options you and your dental hygienists can suggest. Before you consider any selling method, take the time to explain the risks and benefits of each procedure. After you’ve done your best to educate your patients, it’s fair to attempt to upsell your patient on your preferred procedure. Practice this technique with your staff.

Tips for long meetings

  • Take breaks: A long training might make your staff weary. Breaking it up will keep everyone energized.
  • Provide refreshments: So that no one is counting the minutes to lunch, provide snacks and drinks.
  • Stop distractions: Allow your answering service or voicemail to pick up the phone for you.

Schedule short bursts of training in your morning huddle

In between your quarterly training schedule, make the time to meet with your staff for dental office training on a smaller scale. Take ten minutes a week to review topics your team should already be familiar with, but may need readdressing. Brief refreshers won’t over stress your team. If anything, short dental office trainings are helpful for your staff to get their job done efficiently.

Topics for quick dental office training

dental office trainingIdentifying patient types and needs: In a specialty dental office, your patients will have varying needs. Some may be there for elective, cosmetic reasons. Other patients are referred to the practice from their general dentists. Patients may find your office after a tooth injury or pain. Everyone in your office needs to understand the needs – from rushing an estimate for services or blocking off a longer appointment than usually necessary – so they can better treat the patients.

Customer service: Your front office staff aren’t the only people in your practice who need training on how to treat your patients. Referrals and patients will be speaking with the billing department, any assistants or nurses, and specialists. It’s important that each patient is educated and understands what to expect. To provide quality customer service, treat people with respect and kindness.

Employee handbook review: Your dental employee handbook should be reviewed with your staff annually and every time any changes are made.

Tips for short dental office meetings

  • Don’t replace lunch or breaks: Your staff still need a few moments to themselves. To keep their attention, schedule short training on your time, not theirs.
  • Prepare ahead of time: Give your staff print outs of the information so they know what to expect.
  • Pick an ideal time: If you’re already having a morning huddle, then use that time to train your staff. If not, is there a time in the workday where everyone seems to have a few minutes to connect?

Do you have any more dental office training tips to suggest? If so, we’d love to read them! Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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