As promised, we are moving straight forward picking up where we left off last week with more meaningfully specific strategies to achieve incredible practice growth – all without changing your practice structure, model, or philosophy.
I’m won’t take up time or space here to rehash Zig’s quote and how it applies overall to the business of dentistry strategy but if you didn’t make last week’s Report an assessment tool turned into a battle plan for execution, then you should do that first.
While this is advanced and in-depth stuff, it is actually very easy to execute and find improvements because that’s the power of specifics versus generalities. Which happens to also be a principle for life and business at large. If you understand these two very different dichotomies, you’ll unlock success in every area.
Too many doctors and business owners have ideas they’d like to do but they are so general that they are impossible to implement. They remain concepts instead of turning them into actions.
Actions are specific… do this, change that, try this, implement that.
There is nothing vague about it. That’s where money is made and how patients are helped. It’s no different than a Morning Huddle that talks about specific accountability and what exactly you are going to do to execute on treatment opportunity with a patient.
It’s the very same issue Doctors have with Patient Case Acceptance and why so many stay stuck beneath their potential of what their treatment plans say their case averages and appointments should be worth. It’s because discussions with patients (and all the way back to the diagnosis) stays general instead of specific.
Patients want definitive answers. Regardless of whether or not they walk in desiring treatment, humans respond to decisive not ambiguous direction. If for no other reason in that it comes across as confident and authoritative leadership.
Right here, in the middle of our time together, I challenge you to ask your team what specifically they are working on right now and what their highest value actions with every patient? Not what do we hope to achieve or think about doing. What are we specifically committed to make sure happens?
That’s the difference maker between trying and doing, want-to-win and going-to-win, amateurs and professionals, average players and actual champions.
You should also have your own list and know how to define your hierarchy of daily actions and priorities.
Now, I want to flip this upside down and talk specifically about how to get your patients to be more meaningful with their decision and less meandering with their goals.
Let’s begin with the factual premise in that patients come into your practice knowing you are the doctor – that carries significant authority already. They are going to follow your approach, your process, your system, and your advice. You being here, I know that you hold that sacred and consider it your greatest responsibility.
Because of this, here is what we know, patients will focus on and think about exactly what you tell and ask them to. They are capable of being guided down your path to health.
Is your path to your patient success one that wanders as general or is it specific and meaningful?
That one sentence alone, that applies from phone call all the way through completion of treatment, should lead you into a thought-provoking discussion with yourself and your team about how you can better control, create, and facilitate the outcome you desire for your patients. It’s actually quite simple.
Here are five easy steps to ensure your patient experience is more specifically orchestrated for meaningful outcomes that your patients deserve.
1st – Early and Often Goals and Objectives
It is so simple, which is why I think so many practices miss this altogether. And I literally mean altogether. The only other reason, aside from being oblivious, would be being timid, bashful, afraid, or even embarrassed.
What I’m talking about is telling the patients what you do and why you do it. Far too much time in dentistry is wasted talking about problems and procedures instead of talking about the mission and philosophy of your practice.
Why do you exist? How are you different? What do patients come to you for? And why does this matter to them in the first place?
The bottom line is the more clarity a patient has about your goals for them, the more they will believe in the goals for themselves. If you are going to make patients more specific about their dental decisions you have to be more specific with them about all the reasons why.
This leads us into how you educate your patients about health in the first place.
2nd – Engaging and Interactive Experience
Of course, these are all important and we touched on it last week but to be even more blunt about it most dental experiences aren’t designed to take the patient to a decisive place at the end about their overall health.
They just aren’t. Everything from pictures (if they exist), actual diagnostics, and conversations from team to patient are about everything except beginning with the end in mind.
If you assess every new patient or hygiene experience (or any other type of patient experience) is it engaging and interactive in a specific way that leads the patient towards the end objective? How can it be more specific and meaningful?
3rd – Definitive Doctor Discussions into Patient Decisions
I’ve already spoken on this earlier so I’m going to be very short to sum up what we call the “clinical yes.” Most doctors just don’t “ask for the sale,” they don’t close the deal. While few doctors want to see it that way, ultimately they are responsible above all others – yes you – for achieving this. You shouldn’t undermine your own authority as a Doctor by being wishy-washy or ambiguousness about what the patient should do next.
This alone can be the greatest difference maker for patient health and practice success. The Doctor drives the conclusion with the patient by being specific from start to finish, and especially on the final interaction before you exit the room and move on.
4th – Precise and Disciplined Treatment Presentation
Okay, so this is one of the most significant weaknesses of every practice and that is either no defined or at best inconsistent execution on how treatment is discussed and money is presented on the back end of the experience.
Do you have a specific approach and is it followed every time?
Is it the most effective approach to achieve the desired goals and objectives you have for your patients, and how you want both dentistry to get done and money to flow through your practice?
This includes everything from how treatment is phased and bundled, how patients pay, and all the way to how insurance is coded, as example.
There is a lot of waste and loss right here. It is often the biggest limiting factor for practice growth. No matter how great everything else is, it can all be unraveled with this one.
5th –Protocols For the Details Before, During, and After
We just don’t have time left to do this one justice. You can have all the steps you want clinically of how something is going to get done but if you are negligent with the “in-betweens” you will still lose.
My point is: be specific for the outcome you want from step to step and team member to team member. Define what each person is responsible for and make sure there is a specific plan in place with all three stages of the Patient Experience.
There you have it, five ways to ensure your patient experience is fine-tuned to guide your patients to a meaningfully specific outcome for their health. I’m going to break this down even further into some tangible tactics to serve as a checklist for you and your team.
Until then, there’s a lot of work here for you to do. The good news is it’s all specific actions and areas of focus not generalized ideas that achieve nothing. You’ll move the needle immediately and see direct success from these lessons. Let’s get to it and be ready for our next edition.