The following is a new section of the ACP website focused on presenting private practitioners with tips and ideas for their offices. A new topic will be highlighted each month.
Unexpectedly Exceed Expectations
A positive patient experience can contain an element of surprise and delight. "Business as usual" is unremarkable and nobody thinks twice about the"ordinary." A truly memorable experience includes something pleasantly shocking and leaves a positive impression with the patient. Visit Healthcare Success Strategies' Website to read the full article "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition" - a Surprising Lesson for Doctor Marketing for examples and learn more about what you can do to create a positive experience for your patients.
Tips to Control Broken Appointments
The majority of broken appointments occur due to the lack of financial policies and patient education from a practice. By following a few simple tips such as confirming appointments early in the day, removing the word 'cancel' from your vocabulary and confirming treatment and financial plans can decrease the chances of no shows. Visit the Dentistry Today website to learn the 10 Tips to Control Broken Appointments that will help your practice.
Tips for Your Practice in Difficult Times
In times of market stress, marketing stress should increase. Read on to learn tips in marketing, patient education and communication, treatment planning and other ideas to keep your practice thriving in hard times. Read Tips for practice growth in difficult times on the DentalEconomics.com website.
Tackle the Issues of Opening a New Practice Head-on
Thinking about starting your own practice? Make sure you have everything you need to ensure your practice's success and demonstrate your commitment to the highest-quality care you can give. As a benefit to new dentists, the American Dental Association offers resources and practice tools to those just starting their practice and career. Check out the ADA's Practice Management for New Dentists page to download checklists for starting a practice, practice management resources and a plethora of other tools to help you kick off your practice on the right foot.
Be a Leader
A successful dental practice is one with a leader who will take the reins and give direction to the entire office. Most people want to be led and to have someone who will step forward and give focus to a shared vision of the practice. Being a good leader is more of a process than an event. Good leaders develop because they want to become a good leader. In his article The Longing for Leadership Steven C. Reynolds discusses the idea of leadership and what it takes to be a good leader. Read this and other articles on The Journal of Dental Practice Management website.
Spend Your Money Wisely
As Annie Mueller writes on American Express's Open Forum, "There's thrifty and there's cheap. Which one are you?" In her article entitled Where to Save and Where to Spend, Mueller explains that cheap doesn't mean smart. Smart is making good decisions with your money, spending where you need to and saving where you can without sacrificing the quality of your business. Read Where to Save and Where to Spend now on American Express' Open Forum website for more details.
Think Ahead and Implement a Business Recovery Plan
Thinking ahead is an important part of managing a crisis if one does occur. Studies indicate that almost half of the businesses that are forced to close because of a disaster never open again. This is because most of them did not have a plan in place or failed to implement when needed. Proactive planning can mitigate loss, save lives and assure your practice continues to function when it may be needed most. To create a plan for your needs visit the ADA's website and read the Five Steps to Business Recovery Planning to customize your plan today.
Top 5 Web Design Mistakes
A well constructed website plays a pivotal part of your marketing and is the central hub of your company. Potential patients visit the site specifically for its content, meaning its appearance and usability are critically to its successes and how those users view your company. Getting your web design wrong can have a negative impact on your business. Recently posted on Mashable.com are the Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make. The article gives you tips on what to avoid, how to create the best user experience and grow your bottom line.
Start with the right team
Looking for new staff members for your office? If so, while searching for new employees keep in mind: excellent teamwork and communication are the foundations for a successful workplace. As the article Start with the right team on Dental Economics website states, 'great communication equals great production.' In a survey of more than 3,000 dental professionals, 'team challenges' was the number one source of stress. Hiring the right people can increase your office's potential for success.
To view the full list of tips on how to hire the best employees for you, read the full article on how to hire the right people for your office on Dental Economics website.
Accommodate the changing need of patients
Recent survey results released by the American Dental Association still show that dentists are dissatisfied with the rate the economy is improving. Of the dentists who responded to the survey, fewer dentists reported more favorable net income conditions, favorable gross billing index conditions and fewer new patients than the previous quarter.
Despite the slow economic recovery, the survey also reported that dentists are listening and responding to their patients needs. Some of the changes dentists indicated that they have made in their practice to accommodate their patients' financial situations include extended treatment duration to help patients manage their finances, offered third-party finance options and discounts for services. Visit the ADA website to read more on the survey results and other financial options that dentists have implemented for their patients.
Take a holistic approach to workplace health
According to an article published in the 2007 in the American Psychological Association's publication Monitor, job stress costs U.S. industries nearly $300 billion a year according. To keep employees healthy and performing at their best psychologists are recommending employers to think more holistically about how workplace practices affect physical and mental health. Research suggests there is a strong link between healthy workplace practices and organizational improvement. Five categories of employer practice that foster both employee well-being and organizational performance include: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety and employee recognition. For more information visit the APA's website to read the article Whole workplace health to learn more about how to implement these categories into your practice to boost employee morale and increase productivity.
Create a positive work environment
According the a report in the 2006 Gallup Management Journal, better moods of employees equal higher staff productivity. "When there isn't positive praise, both to the team and to the dentist, it makes a person feel underappreciated," says practice management consultant, Lois Banta, owner of Banta Consulting, Inc. "The number one reason a team member quits is because they feel unappreciated and that they didn't matter. The number one reason a dentist doesn't feel appreciated is because they are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the business of running a practice and when the team comes to them with concerns and doesn't offer potential solution, it adds layers of feeling unappreciated."
Ms. Banta is interviewed on the topic of a positive work environment in the Chicago Dental Society's online column On Practice Management. Visit the CDS website to read more of the interview as well as learn 10 tips on making employees happy in the article The power of creating a positive work environment.
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