Dental practice owners often struggle with the business management aspect of their business when they set up their own dental practice. As dental professionals, their strengths lie in their education and experience in providing dental care, not business management.
However, making your dental practice stand out to prospective patients, developing effective dental practice management systems, and ensuring good accounting and general business support practices, as well as other key business best practices, are essential to a successful and thriving practice.
Many potential and existing patients are experiencing financial hardship, so may be avoiding the dentist for financial reasons; this, combined with high overhead costs, means very tight business margins. Increasing efficiency and reducing expenses through better management can counteract this challenge.
To help you get started, here are some dental practice management tips.
Offer Flexible Financing Options
Make it easier financially for patients to visit your dental office by providing easier payment options. Flexible financial options mean you may be able to encourage patients to fit a visit into their budget, as opposed to waiting for another year and delaying taking care of their oral health.
Improve Management Systems
As the dental practice owner, make it easier for you and your staff members to handle day to day operations. There are systems with all the necessary tools for reducing administration time, increasing efficiency, eliminating redundancy and errors. Help your office manager and other staff with tools to eliminate daily repetitive tasks that also enable remote access so your staff can access critical information wherever and whenever.
Modern system tools also offer powerful analytics to help you make more informed business decisions. Be sure to select solutions that carefully protect patient records and information for security and confidentiality. They should also be compatible with any other dental software you have, so they can integrate well.
A good dental practice offers a superior dental scheduling system. Not only does it allow you to book appointments, it enables tracking of them to create reminders of upcoming appointments and indicate when a patient is due for another visit. It allows for a better patient flow, and the patient reminders encourage them to return and reduce the risk of no-shows. Effective scheduling maximizes productivity by fitting in the most appointments possible and eliminates double booking and other errors. It also simplifies everything for staff and patients for a hassle-free experience.
Inventory Management System
Dentistry is heavily inventory dependent. Tracking inventory is critical for competitive dental practice. A good management system ensures you do not waste money by overstocking supplies, letting items expire, or not having something on hand when you need it.
Experts recommend that inventory costs remain under 6% of your gross revenue.
Modern management systems can provide you with statistics and analytics, and report on expiry dates, recommended minimum and maximum stock levels, returns, and more. They also help you track your cash flow related to inventory purchases and returns.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Many patients expect online booking, appointment reminders, and other convenient features. Scheduling systems can improve the patient experience and create loyal patients while offering a variety of communication methods that appeal to a wider range of patients.
Many potential new patients are also interested in online consultations and diagnosis options.
Whether online, on the phone, or in person, staff communication skills are critical. Today’s patients expect you to take time with them, even if you are busy. Taking time to provide personalized patient care and finding ways to enhance the patient experience pays off in return visits.
Establishing referral agreements with compatible service providers, and possibly offering promotional discounts, can help increase the number of customers coming to you, while you are able to offer valued customer service by offering discounts and effective referrals.
Increase Training and Stay Current
Paying for training may seem like a luxury expense, but staying current on the latest technology and trends in dentistry ensures you maintain a competitive edge. Potential and current patients research and shop around for dental practices that offer new techniques and services, so ensure you can continue to offer them what they are looking for.
You can also then offer broader dental services to increase revenue.
Understand What Makes You Different
Before initiating business management changes, you and your entire team need to know what you do differently or better than your competition, so you and your staff focus on the right things for marketing and management.
Get Help For A Successful Dental Practice
Dental Tax offers professional business planning services to support your dental practice. Whatever stage you are at with your practice, we can help. We are experts on the business side of the dental industry and can help dental practices start, grow or expand. Our planning strategies to increase profitability, productivity, and efficiency ensure you have a thriving practice.