Hint: YOU can create your own economy!
Dental offices have felt an economic decline for over 3 years. How can a dental practice owner create their own economy in what looks like a gloomy crisis in our economy today?
Should you really blame it on the economy? AND what is in your future as a dental practice owner with Obama Care around the corner? It begins in January 2014. This article outlines what you can expect and a few suggestions from a top dental practice management consultant (According to Dentistry Today) about what you can do to create your own economy.
It is the 4th quarter of 2013 so let’s plan to finish out with a profitable year!
How can you secure success and profits in the 1st week of 2014?
If you have never had a plan that is ok – -But you can no longer go without a plan. You must now track and evaluate everything from this point on.
The good news is – –In the US there will be more children with dental benefits than ever before and more potential for dentists, and especially those who are affiliated with dental plans (i.e. PPO dentists).
It is expected that 5.3 million additional children will have dental coverage – — primarily through public programs.
But now the bad news—many adults will be drop their dental coverage (for financial reasons) in order to obtain mandated pediatric dental benefits. This is an estimate from the National Association of Dental Plans survey.
So here is WHY you need to promote your dental services and talk to your patients about WHY they need to continue preventive care.
Patients will tell you they can’t afford to come back in 3 mos or 6 mos.
I hear this all the time soI need to ask you: “What you are saying to your patients when they refuse or casually tell you they can’t schedule their next appointment?”
Do you allow your patients to dictate their preventive care intervals?
Here are just a few suggestions that may shift what is currently happening in your office and how you can change this pattern with your patients.
What can a dental hygiene appointment do to create patients who return for routine care?
- Use Visual Aids
- Pre-book 98% (this is a good goal) of hygiene patients next visit
- Talk Prevention
- Stop saying “You are coming in for a cleaning!”
- What else can you do? (If you need more suggestions – -let’s talk!)
Visual tools to Paint A Picture and Educate Patients
- Intraoral camera
- Videos (in treatment room and reception area)
- Laminated posters to use for explanation
- Brochures to highlight and educate (Patients leave with these)
When the hygienist uses the Dental Practice Solutions down to a science schedule there is a dedicated time to share this information with your patients. This is how it is not overlooked.
Offices who are not on board with educating their patients about the “WHY” for their important treatment are missing out on healthy patients and a profitable practice.
Speak to your patients in a language they understand – speak at their level.
“People don’t care how much you know but care about how much you care”
It is the dental professional’s ethical responsibility to be proactive and talk to patients about their health. This is not a sales conversation but a care conversation.
Make this paradigm shift today!
When patients understand you care it is what makes you stand out among others in your community. Show patients how they can pay for their care. People will always buy what they want so make certain they want total health and the valuable services you offer.
Be prepared to monitor and track your #s to stop the financial hemorrhaging and improve your business flow.
You have 3 months to prepare and create your own economy. There is no one else to blame.
When you don’t follow the plan to maintain your current patient flow, patients will begin to come in for emergency visits only.
When you don’t have your plan patients misinterpret the importance of consistent dental preventative care.
Tell your patients that you want them to be proactive to insure their total health. Educate your patients about the value of creating a health bank account. They are going to buy coffee at Starbucks, (probably every day)they are walking around with expensive cell phones, they pay for cable tv, the drive the best car even if they can afford it — – so why not have a personal health bank account that each day adds money to pay for preventive care – aka: dental hygiene appts.
- How do you stop the financial hemorrhaging in your dental practice?
- What is your plan?
If you don’t have a plan — you have seriously planed to fail!
- I would like to hear what your plans are for a successful year end.
- What types of visuals do you use to educate your patients?
- Tell me your success plan for 2014. What does that look like?
- What does your financial monitor include? What are you measuring for success?
Please tell me about this in the comments section below.
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene departments that work in harmony
to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine and is consistently profitable.
In 1984 Debbie graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelors degree in Dental Hygiene. She then worked in clinical dental hygiene and also as a clinical assistant professor at USC teaching the dental hygiene students. She also co-taught practice management to the senior dental students at USC prior to the school began Problem Based Learning.
In 2007 she wrote the accreditation for a new dental hygiene program in Portland, Oregon where she managed a 2 Million Dollar budget – which included building the school and hiring the instructors.
Debbie now works with dental offices throughout the world creating sustainable dental practices that consistently increase profits. She is named for the 8th year in a row, one of Dentistrys Top Consultants by Dentistry Today.
You can download her latest 7 day Dental Hygiene Department Profits Program at no-charge here: 7 Day DH Profits Program