We recently did a survey asking periodontists about the efficiency of their practices.
Much to our surprise, one of the main points covered revealed a startling yet common problem.
Most of the periodontal practices we surveyed are booking a second consultation and others are having to call and follow up with the patient after the patient has left the office.
If this sounds like your practice, I would like you to think about a few very important questions.
On the cases that didn’t schedule, what was the purpose of the initial examination? Was it exclusively just for data collection? Was it simply just a meet and greet?
Maybe your goal is to schedule the patient for treatment as soon as possible and it just doesn’t end up happening that way. Maybe, you felt like you were missing too many puzzle pieces in order to develop a clear diagnosis...
We have asked hundreds of Periodontists…
Here are the top answers we received.
Even Periodontists who have highly proficient staff helping them in the operatory report the following.
The one thing that seems to be a nearly universal misconception is that the doctor must do all of it manually.
Periodontists who already use PANDA Perio are the exceptions. (click here to see a list of testimonials)
We concluded there are 2 key factors that keep Periodontists from completing clinical records contemporaneously. These factors are multiplied when they are combined.
Believe it or not, some periodontal practices still don’t value and prioritize effective clinical record keeping. It’s often treated like something that we “have to do” as opposed to giving it the value that it deserves. When the act of making good medical-legal records is seen as a chore, it's easy to miss the significance of the process.
Keeping ineffective records leads to complacency and worse yet, mistakes. Leaving out any crucial information essentially equates to negligence in the eyes of the legal system, but that isn’t the main point of this article.
We all know that having good medical-legal documentation can help protect you in the event of a malpractice claim, but there are some hidden benefits that are often overlooked. These benefits can greatly improve the overall success level of your practice.
Here are some of the often-overlooked benefits of well-done effective record-keeping that can greatly...
Communicating with your referring doctors is paramount to maintain loyalty with your referral base. Communication disruption due to confusion in information delivery can be very unsettling for the referring practice.
Once your referring practices become accustomed to you and they understand your style of communication, they rely on consistency. They want to feel confident with you just as though you were an integral part of their own team.
Referring patients to you requires an establishment of trust by both the referring doctor and the patient. If you are unable to articulate your message clearly the entire system can become disrupted.
Miscommunication is a common problem and often, it's attendant misunderstanding will lead to the wrong conclusion on the part of both patient, and doctor.
It may seem like change would be a difficult thing for them to accept. By the same token, no one wants to be left...
We’ve reached the finish line of our 10-part series on training your staff to think like a doctor, but the journey for you will continue for as long as you’re in practice. If you missed one of the last nine blog posts, click here to catch up on what we’ve covered.
Up to this point, we’ve focused mostly on how to turn negatives into positives: creating problem solvers, giving feedback, and fixing accountability issues, to name a few. But maintenance is just as important as development, so don’t neglect what’s already working well for you.
One of the most important responsibilities you have as the practice leader is to continually encourage good behavior as it occurs. In our last post, we talked about how staff will likely not try to improve if they think they have nothing to improve upon. At the same time, they also need to know what they’re doing well so they continue down that path.
Staff members frequently use the term “I was NEVER told.” Often, they were told in some form or another, but for some reason, it just wasn’t clear.
Constructive feedback is focused information based on observations intended to help the person receiving the feedback. In a Periodontal practice, the staff relies on the doctor's feedback to know how they’re doing and whether they are meeting the needs of the practitioner and patient. They often take silence as a green light that all is well and there’s nothing left for them to improve upon or fix.
Periodontists don’t always provide essential feedback for several reasons:
But here’s the reality: giving feedback isn’t a nicety, it's an essential business...
In a recent blog post, I discussed the value of building loyalty with your team. Setting clear expectations and staying consistent will earn your staff’s respect and keep them committed to you.
A big part of building loyalty comes from holding your team accountable. When even one staff member lacks accountability, it sets negative expectations for other employees that can upset the entire balance of your practice.
In Part 6 of this series, we talked about the importance of trusting your employees. However equally important is that your employees must also be able to trust you as a leader. They need to understand that you will stick to your core values and not be pushed around, or easily manipulated into bending your own rules.
Employees aren’t oblivious to the effects that slackness or poor attitudes have on the practice. Unfortunately, many of them won’t speak up because they don’t think it will...
Most Periodontists agree that problem-solving and decision making are critical attributes for every employee in their practice. Despite this, very few practice leaders train their staff on how to solve problems and make effective decisions. The problem is that training usually only involves the basic tasks themselves leaving out this crucial element.
There are essential components to handling day to day operations, but most practice owners don’t prioritize important decision-making skills enough. As we discussed in Part 4 of this series, staff will often come to you with problems because they don't have the confidence needed to handle them, aren’t sure about the outcome they need to achieve, and they fear the consequences of making a mistake.
Don’t tell them to simply handle it!...
The best thing you can do is give them a reason to follow...
You don’t answer your own office phone or schedule appointments. You don’t send appointment reminders or collection letters. This is exactly as it should be. Your team handles everything including office, and auxiliary care-related tasks while you treat patients. At some point, you’re going to have to trust them to make the right decisions, however, doing this too soon will likely cause your practice to go in the wrong direction.
It’s hard to trust someone with important tasks or to make decisions when you see them make mistakes or do things differently from how you would do them yourself. After all, your name is on the door, and it's your name that will be associated with both good, and poor outcomes, but the poor outcomes are detrimental to your livelihood.
So, at what point do you need to turn over important business activities to your staff? When do you let them start handling the problems that a...
Are you delegating authority in your Periodontal practice, or just work?
There’s a big difference here that isn’t often discussed, but it’s critical to recognize why it matters which one you’re handing your employees and how they perceive it.
If you want your staff to think more like you (which is the entire purpose of this 10-part series), then it’s essential to understand how they view their roles and responsibilities and whether it aligns with the way you want them to treat their roles and responsibilities.
The phrase “too many queens, not enough ants” usually gets a bad rap. It means there are too many leaders and not enough people to pull the weight and complete the chores. Why would you need nine leaders to manage a staff of nine people?
Or… Maybe you don’t have enough leaders. Without leadership, work gets done, but it’s a matter of simply just going...