Identifying Room for Growth
What happens when you feel like your practice is “stuck in a rut” when it comes to increasing production, adding patients, or upping your daily production goals? If you’re already maximizing delegation among staff and the time spent with each patient, you might have to get a bit creative when it comes to identifying more room for growth.
Ask A Friend
Do you have a friend, mentor, or classmate who runs a successful practice that’s within driving distance? Ask if it’s ok to come by and observe some of the office functions on one of your off days, to see how you can get some ideas on making your own practice more productive. Or just have a heart-to-heart over the telephone with them to pick their brain on what has made their business as successful as it is.
Poll Your Staff
Some of the best ideas that companies use toward maximizing profits come from people who are “lower down on the totem pole.” That is, they’re ideas from hourly paid employees who see the ins-and-outs of the business on a day-to-day basis. Major retailers have improved profits by thousands of dollars simply by implementing changes that are suggested by their staff.
If you don’t already have one, set up a suggestion box for employees to share ideas – and then discuss them either personally with the employee or at a staff meeting. Make it worth their while - if it’s something that can make a big impact on production, give them a bonus. This will deter them from using the “suggestion” box as a “complaining” box.
Think Outside of the Box
Are you up-selling products like whitening kits, oral hygiene packages (such as water flossers or brushes?) If your state board allows, consider getting certified in something like Botox or dermal fillers. Some offices even add “spa” packages like foot massages, aromatherapy and the like to enhance the atmosphere, as well as the patients’ desire to come back for treatment!
Expanding Your Office Hours
Before you balk at the idea, it’s a good idea to find out if some of your staff might be open to working early mornings, evenings, or weekends. Some do! Consider setting up a “hygiene only” day one or two Saturdays a month where the dentist doesn’t have to be present, but patients of record can be seen when the office would otherwise be sitting empty.
Consider Getting a Consultant
Although many consulting firms can come with a high price tag, you might be able to pay a consultant a one-time fee to come in and make suggestions on how to improve production numbers. It’s easy to fall into a rut, but a 2nd pair of eyes may be spotting things that aren’t quite so obvious: like fee schedules, code changes, or adjunctive services that you’re not charging for, but should be.
If you think you're at the best you can get, but numbers aren't changing - then it's a sign you need to get help. Not only are you a healthcare provider, but you're also a business owners. You owe it to yourself to make investments that help your business be as productive as possible.