Before we flip this thing around and look at Dentistry through the eyes of the Patient (and I show you how you can leverage up their decisions, enhance their value perception, and increase their willingness to invest in health), I want to stay on this ‘growth’ explanation as it relates to your bottom line profitability.
There is nothing more important in terms of the math of your practice than the flow of treatment (and money) that I went through last week. If you decide to master that, you will be able to engineer your practice to whatever daily numbers you desire to achieve.
Of course, the greater the average value per patient you are in need of, the more you have to have the appropriate front end screening, education, and marketing approach to elevate patients desire for truly comprehensive dentistry.
That said, there are other ways to grow…
In addition to the obvious of getting more patients and raising fees, you can expand procedures or providers, in the sense that other people can do things for you that you can get paid for (everything from expanded functions to whitening to ortho to perio and on and on).
Our most innovative and entrepreneurial Sleep and TMJ Specialty Practice in the country added a Nurse Practitioner, now has a dedicated Myofunctional Therapist, and could continue on from there. These are all people who can perform and see patients outside of his own clinical hours and time with patients; thus expanding the capacity of the practice to grow and serve patients without the greatest limitation every practice has: the Doctors time.
We can creatively brainstorm many ways to continue to grow your practice but not all growth is equal or the same from a profit perspective, a convenience factor, or even (and perhaps most importantly) from a philosophy position that is the foundation to how you want to practice in the first place.
The more deliberate the decisions that can be made, the more clarity you will have over exactly what the systems need to be to make the results you want possible.
Recently, I wrote an article about ‘setting yourself up for failure’ which has to do with a misalignment of decisions and actions with goals and behaviors. Well the same thing applies to every practice, every patient engagement, every communication, every team member, every system, and especially to every Doctor’s approach to diagnosis.
For those doing extractions, implants, partials, removables, fixed, crown and bridge, etc. (Yes, I know I covered just about every Doctor reading this is doing some or all of these things). The point is…
You could just pull the tooth and be done. Or you could fight for the patient’s health and long term benefit by pre-educating on options, by talking through state of ideal, by reviewing both health implications (consequences) and benefits, and what important decisions need to be made prior to losing a tooth.
Your system about this, your approach and standard – not to mention just bluntly what you allow and accept – has more to do with the patient’s outcome than the patient has to do with it.
If you check yourself, you’ll find out how much is really done to move a patient forward to upgrade and enhance their care and understanding of what is possible.
I’d bet more money than you’d be willing to bet on the fact that there are patients who are left behind either physically, verbally, figuratively, or literally by not receiving the full perspective and discussion around what – by your expertise and authority – the options are and what you recommend to be done.
Technically, nothing should be a dead end road for the patient’s health. One thing should beget another thing. If we do this then we should do that, if we want this then we have to do that.
This cause and effect principle takes the selling out of dentistry altogether. It makes it the patients’ ideas, which means they own their own health and/or problems, and that will move their desire to do something forward more dramatically than if they are just talked to or passed off.
Once again, it all comes back down to doing more to help your patients – first be aware, second understand, third value, fourth decide, and fifth invest.
Does every diagnostic protocol, every treatment presentation, every patient discussion follow that?
If I were you, I’d take some dedicated time with your team and ask how can we do better to help our patients on these five levels of responsibility they must own in order to be willing and ready to give us money to help them get healthy.
Then I would also ask what else can we be doing more for and then insert each procedure you want to see growth in… Perio, Ortho, Implants, Cosmetics, Sleep, TMJ.
And finally, we move all the way to the full mouth, big picture, complete, and comprehensive vision of the patient’s health and knock down more bigger cases using my principle of total case acceptance.
I believe we are just about ready to look at it all through the patients’ eyes.
I do hope you are taking action on these Weekly Reports. If you study them, apply them, act on them you will drive the practice forward with profitable growth.
If you go looking, you will find a whole lot of profit laying around your practice in the form of opportunity to help your patients, to maximize your practice as a business, and to get the math working in in your favor. See what you can uncover.