Aldridge & Associates, LLC

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The "L" in the Success of Dentistry

Location – There is no substitute for a well-researched dental office location, existing or new. The average neighborhood changes every 10 years and it is incumbent for the dental practice executive to be familiar with the socio-economics of his/her respective patient base. If your office is located in a poor location, it may be time to relocate your practice or change your business philosophy. The savvy businessman will obtain a Demographics Site Analysis ($400 - $500) every 2 to 3 years and evaluate the number and location of home owners (by zip code and carrier route), apartment dwellers, dental competitors, traffic flow, average income per household, average number of household members, average age per household (baby boomers born between 1946-1964 have more expendable income), insurance dependency and much more. For example, it is very difficult for a practice built upon treating edentulous and geriatric patients to survive in a neighborhood saturated with young families with an average age of 35 and with 3 children per household. Your business philosophy (level of quality, service and price - QSP) needs to match your customer profile or you may experience catastrophic results. It starts with knowing what your patients want and where they live.

The "K" in the Success of Dentistry

There are over 200 meaningful KPIs that should be measured on a monthly basis to evaluate the success of any dental business. Unfortunately, the concept of “what gets measured gets done” is neither taught nor discussed in the conventional dental school curriculum. Analogous to a metabolic chemistry panel utilized by our medical colleagues to determine a patient’s general health, the astute and informed business owner should learn how to evaluate the overall “Business Health” of their respective practice through what I refer to as a “Business Panel 200.”

The "J" in the Success of Dentistry

Job descriptions serve different purposes for the employee or employee candidate and human resources department. Well thought out job descriptions help organizations increasingly understand the experience and skill-sets needed to enhance the success of any company. They assist in the hiring, evaluation and termination of employees. A well-prepared job-description should serve as a basis for interviewing candidates, orienting new employees and finally in the evaluation of job performance.

The "I" in the Success of Dentistry

Intra-Oral Cameras – If you and your dental hygienist are not using intra-oral cameras with big-screen monitors on every patient you are doing yourself, your team and the patient a disservice. When you incorporate intra-oral cameras on a regular basis your case acceptance will SOAR! Intra-oral cameras, large screen monitors, co-diagnosis (“What do you see on the screen Mrs. Jones?”) and printed color pictures of the patient’s dentition (your recommendations) will move more dentistry than the best clinical treatment you can ever provide.

The "H" in the Success of Dentistry

Handoffs – For continuity of care it is imperative that your entire team understands the importance of mastering patient “handoffs,” or a transfer of responsibility, to convert the case for the patient and TEAM'S benefit. Just like a football team that practices the “down and out” your personnel should master the “handoff” or transfer of information from one TEAM member to the next. If you don’t know how to perfect this communication technique, then get help! If you want to operate at the highest level while providing the highest level of customer service it is imperative that this responsibility is cohesively shared by all.

The "G" in the Success of Dentistry

Growth – Conservatively your business should be growing 5-8% per year. If you are not, then get help. You need a DIAGNOSIS by someone other than yourself to develop a business treatment plan before it is too late. Turn to an expert who has walked in your shoes. As a great golfer once said, “I don’t need help on how to correct my swing from someone who hasn’t stood on the 18th hole of the Masters with the world watching.”

The "F" in the Success of Dentristry

First Impressions – Over 90% of new patients will formulate an opinion based upon their 1st impression. Is your house in order? Do you routinely inspect your office weekly? Windows, ceiling tiles, restrooms, uniforms, employee hygiene, dental lights, baseboards, floors, plants, etc. I recommend that next week you take a few minutes and lay in each dental chair, including dental hygiene and ask yourself, “What does the patient see?”

The "E" in the Success of Dentistry

Embezzlement – Don’t think it can’t happen to you? Do you have a full proof system to ensure your day sheets are equal to your deposits? Does your daily schedule and end of day match? In the banking business the teller doesn’t go home until they balance to the penny. Over 50% of dental offices are embezzled. Still don't think it can happen to you?

The Other "D" in the Success of Dentistry

Demographics – A well prepared demographic study that incorporates your patients average age, income, number of children per household, education level, number of homeowners, apartment dwellers, location of competition and estimated 5 & 10-year growth by carrier route is a 1st STEP.

The "D" in the Success of Dentistry

Dental Hygiene – In the average General Practice, the hygienist should account for 25-33% of your daily production with 40% of your patients enrolled in a “Soft Tissue Periodontal Program” in your office.