Great First Impressions!

August 23, 2012  | Posted by: Gary in Practice Building Strategies  |  no Comment

GreetingMy grandmother was right! (Actually, she was right about SO many things.) You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression. In many dental offices the first interaction that a new patient receives is that they are thrown a clipboard and told to fill out both sides of a new patient intake form. “I said BOTH sides!” Really?…Is that the best way to create a great first impression? There must be a better way! Consider providing your new patients with a short office tour as an awesome way of creating a great first impression!

 

Karle is our Treatment Coordinator and she typically provides our new patients with the tour. She starts by walking around the front desk and greeting the patient with a warm, firm handshake. Give a proper handshake is important and here is a great resource from my friend, Janice Hurley-Trailor on the art of the handshake:

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Fear is Very Motivating

August 21, 2012  | Posted by: Gary in Practice Building Strategies  |  no Comment

BoltOne of the biggest challenges we have in dentistry is to motivate patients to accept treatment recommendations when the condition is asymptomatic. When it hurts, it’s easy. A simple, “Would you like that tooth to stop hurting?” is often the only prompt required when the condition is symptomatic.

 

With the 2012 London Olympic Games fresh on my mind (weren’t they awesome, by the way!), I have a useful lesson that will help you motivate patients to accept care when it doesn’t hurt. Here is a rhetorical question for you. Would Usain Bolt, the world-record holding Jamaican sprinter, run faster in an athletic competition or would he run faster if he was being chased by five rabid Rottweiler dogs? I don’t actually know the answer to that rhetorical question, but I suspect Usain could outrun those dogs if necessary!

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Keeping Your Hygiene Appointments Filled

July 10, 2012  | Posted by: Gary in Practice Building Strategies  |  no Comment

Dental Hygiene AppointmentIn a recent blog post:  Click here, I defined the 20 Metrics we track on a monthly basis at LifeSmiles Dental Care. We’ve had many questions and comments about these metrics, so I’ll provide more details here and in upcoming posts. Let’s start with % of unfilled hygiene appointments.

 

Many years ago, Dr. Omer Reed taught me that a strong hygiene department often equates to a strong practice. I have experienced this to be true! More patients in hygiene mean more opportunities to diagnose care or move patients toward treatment acceptance. Of course, regular hygiene visits also help patients have better oral health since we can be proactive with minor treatment recommendations before they become major issues. Strong hygiene department = strong practice = healthier patients. All good!

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Things That Are Measured, Improve!

June 20, 2012  | Posted by: Gary in Practice Building Strategies  |  no Comment

SuccessIn less than two weeks we will be at the mid-point of the calendar year 2012. It is my sincere hope that you are midway to the best year in your history! We are on track to have our best year yet at LifeSmiles (by a significant margin), as are most of the clients of Takacs Learning Center. It is indeed possible to have a THRIVING practice today, if you are doing the right things.

 

We teach our clients to measure and track 20 very specific metrics in the practice. By tracking these metrics on a monthly basis we know exactly what is happening in the practice and can make mid-course corrections where needed. Here are the 20 metrics we track:

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Message to Jim Dwyer, CEO of WDS: Open Mouth, Insert Foot!

May 23, 2012  | Posted by: Gary in Practice Building Strategies  |  no Comment

DemersYou may be familiar with the current controversy in the state of Washington regarding the 15% fee cut that Washington Dental Service (WDS), a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association applied in June 2011. The 15% fee cut was an across the board reduction for all Dentists who participate with WDS. I believe that this action is a sneak preview of coming attractions. Since last June, Delta Associations in the states of Idaho and Pennsylvania have initiated similar cuts. Stay tuned, more cuts may be coming to a state near you.

 

These cuts to member dentists have occurred while WDS executives voted themselves pay raises of 35-45% over the past five years. Jim Dwyer, CEO of WDS is paid an annual salary of $1.2 Million. Recently, Mr Dwyer added fuel to the fire when he was interviewed on the Seattle news station King 5. In the interview, Mr Dwyer said that Dentists could “start working five days per week” to make up for the 15% fee cut that WDS instituted in 2011. After WA Dentists rightfully expressed outrage over his comments, Mr. Dwyer subsequently apologized, saying that his words were taken out of context.  King 5 ran more of the video interview, where Dwyer says this not once but twice and also says, quite smugly, that dentists only work three and a half days a week.  ”They certainly don’t work four days a week,” he adds, dripping with contempt. Below Dwyer’s lame apology:

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