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Management Tips: You Are Not Just A Dentist But Also An Executive!

by Amanda Duffy | Nov 15, 2021 | business plan, dental entrepreneur, dental executive, dental practice, Dentist, entrepreneurship, Healthcare, healthcare executive, management
Management Tips: You Are Not Just A Dentist But Also An Executive!

Building a successful dental practice takes more than just being a dentist – you are also an executive.

Therefore, you are also responsible for the growth and smooth running of your business. This requires an additional skill set beyond medicine and patient care. Learn to organize, focus, delegate, and use technology that will simplify your life—and keep your patients happy.

Are you a Dentist or an Executive? 

As a dentist, you are providing dental care to your patients, but there is much more to it than that, including taking your patients’ dental records, performing examinations, taking x-rays, scans, and other tests, as well as educating patients on matters such as disease prevention or maintaining their oral health. As an executive, you are in charge of all the aspects of running a company, such as recruiting, business development, employee management, marketing, relationship building, and more.

Most dentists in modern practices must learn to straddle both disciplines to have a successful business, one that grows and delivers the services its patients require.

Managing a Dental Practice As A Dentist and Executive – Tips

Develop Your Business Model

Decide what your business model is going to be and what kind of patients you want to attract. Do you want to focus on providing high-end technology for a premium price, specialist dental care, such as oral surgery or orthodontics or general, family dental care for the local community? You will need to give it some thought.

Ultimately, you will have to put together a business plan with an overview of your practice now and in the future. Include the services you offer, the staff you have on board, and overheads. You will need to address your location and who your clients are, and whether the demographics of your clients are likely to change if you expand.

You should include your plan for attracting and retaining patients. What is your marketing strategy, projected income, and cash flow? A detailed plan of your business model is not only essential for you to visualize your goals, but is also a requirement if you want to secure financing.

Be Organized and Focus on Your Priorities 

When you have set your goals, you need to define and focus on your priorities. These priorities will help you to achieve your goals and establish strong business growth. To get the most out of your time and resources, develop a strict work schedule and set your employees’ weekly work schedule as early as possible.

You will not be surprised that being a professional dentist can get very hectic and stressful. The best solution for that is to make sure that you have all the time you need to work with your patients and your staff, getting more done while reducing the workload.

Find the Right Team

It’s essential for you to get to grips with the recruitment process as soon as possible since your team is one of your most valuable assets. While there is always going to be an ebb and flow of staff, make sure you are primed to consistently attract the best candidates. 

Employment in healthcare is estimated to grow by 15% within the next decade. That doesn’t mean it will be easier to recruit the people you need, but you can start by setting up a robust policy for attracting the best applicants. Some tips include defining your ideal applicant, creating enticing job descriptions, boosting your brand, and knowing where to look.

Make sure that your dental team is capable of carrying out the important tasks. It is essential that you get to know your team. This allows you to delegate in the right way while avoiding problems or disputes. An effective dental team will always be cooperative and able to get on without clashing with each other.

Keep your Patients Happy 

  • Keeping your customers calm and happy is essential. This will keep them coming back and will save you and your patients a lot of stress. Retaining existing patients is as important as attracting new patients.
  • Have a robust complaints policy and handle complaints with timely, clear, written responses.
  • Get involved with your community. There are some associations and events that you might find beneficial to your dental practice. For example, you may want to join the school board, local organization, or local Chamber of Commerce.
  • For many people, dental offices are associated with boredom and discomfort. Create a more welcoming, inviting, and comfortable space. You can give your practice a new lease of life. Embrace interior design techniques that create the right impression. Whether you opt for a minimalist, modern look or a boutique hotel feel, the surroundings can help to relax your patients and could help them forget they are in a dental clinic.

Use Technology to Improve and Streamline Processes

The modern dentist has learned to handle modern technology efficiently for diagnosing and treating disease, but the latest technology can improve all aspects of your business, thus enhancing the quality of your work and the customer experience.

Front and back-office functions can be integrated with software that shares data. This avoids repetition of data entry from various team members, saving time and the capacity for making mistakes. New patients can sign-up online, schedule appointments and use automated check-in. Follow-up information about their treatment or next appointment can be generated automatically.

This frees up your staff’s time so they can concentrate on what is important in their job, and provides an efficient service to patients that is more convenient than having to wait in line at the appointment desk.

The Takeaway

The ability to own their own practice is one of the top 3 reasons that dentists are attracted to the profession. Figures quoted in the Journal of the American Dental Association, stating 80% of dentists in private practice are owners, seem to confirm this. Being a dentist requires a lifetime of ongoing learning to acquire new skills and become proficient in up-to-date techniques. Being a practice owner also requires its own skillset. Mastering being a dentist and an executive is a difficult balancing act, but for those that manage both successfully, the rewards are worth it.

More About Our Contributor Amanda Duffy: Amanda Duffy has considerable knowledge in the field of dentistry and oral health, gained from a 20-year career in the healthcare sector – including a decade in the UK’s National Health Service, and years of experience writing high-quality dental content.

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