Would you like me to offend you? Or at least hurt your feelings… just for a moment… then I will make it better, I promise. I need to make an important point about last week’s Report and it’s going to be for your benefit and also at your expense.
Well, maybe not, that depends. You may not be ‘one of those’ dentists. We’ll see.
So, here’s one of the most frequent things just about every Dentist who comes to me says (partly because I get the good ones, the most advanced and ambitions doctors; still it often has no basis in reality) that I will use to prove one of the Achilles heels of all Doctors, Teams and Practices…
“Patients usually tell me they have never had an exam like that before.”
Implying it’s the most thorough, comprehensive and informative exam that the patient has ever experienced. I often wonder why and how so many patients would say this, but I don’t doubt or question my doctors.
The entire point of this braggadocios statement of pride (which I respect greatly) is that it misses the entire point of the patient experience. Yes, we want, hope for and absolutely need a thorough and amazing exam for comprehensive diagnosis.
But… (and it’s a very big ‘but’ of great significance)…
The objective of the exam is to get the patient to say yes to what is diagnosed – not just to get the diagnosis. It’s like taking the football down to the Red Zone only to turnover it over on downs. What’s worse, even great doctors (who actually do a comprehensive exam and impresses patients), usually settle for the equivalent of a field goal every single trip down the gridiron, instead of getting a touchdowns.
Brag all you want about what your patients say about your exam and even your practice, your people and your dentistry – all that really matters is how much of it your patients said yes to.
I’m going to say it, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like, there’s probably a direct correlation to your bank account and the difference between your potential and your reality.
I say, “Show Me The Money.”
I’m sure I owe someone royalties for that. Truth is, it ought to be your personal slogan. Said at the end of your day and at the end of every patient exam.
Did they vote yes with their dollars?
Did you wow them enough that they want your dentistry? Not just your nice conversation or your thorough exam or your great cleanings or your diagnosis.
Patients who pay are the ones who believe you, trust you and value you.
Money = Yeses = Success with Patients and long-term relationships. And that my friends, is the point of all points.
It’s not about how much you diagnosis, how many patients you see, hours you work or treatment rooms you have or anything else – it’s about the money. The scoreboard.
Now before you stupidly boycott me or get your feathers all ruffled up – you know me well enough to understand that the last thing that I’m focused on in terms of priority is ‘money’.
It is all about the patient. But you help no one when the patient says no or says yes to very little. When you help patients get healthy you will be very prosperous.
Therefore, if you want to know how well you are doing, if you want to know if you are winning…
Just count of the votes your patients are making.
Now back to the purpose of this week’s Report. It’s really important that you pay attention to the things that matter and aren’t consumed by things that may make you feel good but aren’t getting you to your goals.
Case in point… Go look at your thorough exam process and check up on yourself to see just how good you are. Have every team member build a treatment plan from the records and diagnostics to see if anyone has a bigger vision for the mouth than you do.
Then look at what your patients are actually saying yes to. You can have the greatest exam on the earth and if they are still only saying yes to what they get for free (from their insurance) or they are opting to do nothing but delay – then your focus and objective has to be all wrong.
Last week, I gave you a challenge and that was to stop being the insurance companies’ employee (there’s another word I could use). Stop giving up control over your destiny.
You will have to face up to it eventually, if you live long enough. The battle is coming to your neighborhood, city and town. The insurance is colluding against you and just in case you are wondering, they have more dollars than you do. So, you can’t beat them by joining them.
You can only beat them by avoiding them, out smarting them, setting up at least a part of your practice (for those who are bashful even if at first) that is built on genuine patient relationships and authentic care where people are actually paying you because of all the reasons I have brought to the surface in this Weekly Report.
You can’t really know how well you are doing and if you have a stable practice if the only money you are getting is from someone else paying for the patient.
And remember it never matters if you are in or out of network it only matters how much dentistry are your patients saying yes to… of a comprehensive treatment plan based on a long-term vision for their health, mouths, teeth, gums, smiles, bites, airways and everything in between.
Your philosophy is your philosophy and one of the greatest things about dentistry is you can pick what you do, what you prefer, the type of dentistry you love and are passionate about.
Maybe I called your bluff today, maybe I didn’t. Let the numbers do the talking and don’t settle for just going through the motions and accepting the lowest common denominator of treatment. If you really are ‘that good’ then you would only accept results that reflect your ambitions, standards, level of excellence and goals.
Otherwise, I’d say, “What’s the point?” If it’s not inspiring and motivating to you, what you do every day, it sure isn’t going to be to anyone else.
Next week, on to the battle plan that brings you freedom. Get ready!
And in case you are ready to take a stand and to make the dentistry your patients say yes to match the dentistry in your heart and head (and hopefully your treatment planning) – I’m ready to help.
Here’s my easy to follow, straight forward ‘game plan’ for revving up your practice and fulfilling your dream vision right now…