Are You Really A “Patient-Centric” Practice?

Most practices I see are doing things completely backwards.  Working harder trying to see more patients in order to get more dentistry, make more money and so on and so forth.

I have always stayed true from the very beginning that the point was not ‘as many patients as possible’ it was and should be ‘as much dentistry as possible.’  If you want to go deeper than that, it really is about ‘as much profit as possible’ (as long as you aren’t lying to yourself).

That’s the point.  Not the point of what you do in THEIR mouths; the point of what you do in YOUR business.

And of course, as long as that isn’t a focus of yours, then we can be certain of one thing above all others – you don’t have much profit left at the end of your month.

Here’s the best part of this: there is only one way to have a highly profitable practice…

Be absolutely completely positively comprehensively PATIENT-CENTRIC.

If I were to have you, right now, write out a description of what you think it means to be “patient-centric” or what I mean when I say that…

What would you write?

Customer Service

Convenience

Longer Hours

Weekends

Cheap

Insurance

Friendly

‘Nice’ Practice

The funny thing is, I don’t mean any of those.  Not one of those says to me ‘patient-centric.’  You might have some of those words as part of your business and practice model (for your sake, I hope not most of those words).

Why does a Patient-Centric equal a Profitable Practice?

Because the Patient-Centric I am talking about makes your practice, your experience, your team, your focus, your dentistry – all about the patient.

And really “the person” (every day, I question even calling them ‘patients’).

They are so much more than that.  If you treat them as such and care for them outside of their mouths, they will get money and give it to you and let you put it in their mouths.

Patient-Centric works because of three very simple and profound reasons.

First: it makes your relationships with the patients about more than just dentistry (which in the patients’ minds is reactive and problem focused).

Second: because it is about a relationship (not about a treatment plan and not about money), it compels both loyalty and desire to comply from the patients, which leads to greater case acceptance and enhances the referral factor.

Third: most importantly, by being patient-centric you are cultivating retention and that feeds both one and two; therefore you are building the lifetime value of your practice on a solid foundation.

You see, to truly be Patient-Centric, it’s not some cookie cutter checklist or one size fits all approach.  There are, however, fundamentals that are the same for every practice – always.  In addition to that, there is the uniqueness that is you and your own vision and philosophy that must be seamlessly and strategically intertwined, integrated, merged into critical business pillars of success.

In short, the secret to patient-centric is making one hundred percent certain that every single part of your practice is designed around the three keys and moves them from concept to reality as part of your culture and core within your practice both clinically and as business operations.

Of course, the point of your practice should NOT be to gather up and retain as many patients that you have made healthy as possible and have a practice that you are just waiting around for your own work to fail so you can do it all over again.  You want to create a cycle of patients in your practice so that you are constantly feeding the future value of your practice as well.

This might at first seem contradictory but it isn’t.  It’s how everything in life works, all the way down to the basic laws of nature.

Next week, we’ll talk about this and how to create a healthy churn in your practice so you are constantly replenishing your patient base and making it more valuable every day while at the same time adhering to the principles of being patient-centric.

This is where it gets really exciting… and complicated.  That’s why so few ever actually achieve the balance of patient-centric with the cycle of new patients in order to hit the sweet spot of the highest and most profitable practice possible.

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