Good stuff last week, don’t you think? That is if you apply it; understanding that all of the tips, tricks, strategies, and systems are only ever valuable if implemented.
You could literally take the four concepts we discussed last week and review them in every single morning huddle and you’d see success continue to build as beliefs change and then behaviors change.
It’s all about understanding the actual leverage that exists in dentistry and taking responsibility for engineering your practice (both as a business and clinically) to perform at a peak level. With that said, let’s dive right back in to our principles of success for our Winning Practice Playbook.
As promised, I’m going to break down each area of your practice and show you how to score more points, win more days, help more patients, and achieve greater results than you have ever thought possible… all without adding a treatment room, a team member, a minute of time to your clinical day, or a dollar to your overhead.
Let’s begin where your patients begin, shall we. That would seem to make the most sense. We’ll start on the Business Side of the practice. I call it that for a reason. I don’t call it the “Front,” at least not exclusively because it and they are so much more than that.
We are going to apply our four Offensive Playbook Strategies to the Business Side of your practice.
To state the obvious, the most important aspect of Future Focus is with the schedule. Everyone knows that, yet very few actually exert any foresight and management over the schedule in a future focused way.
It’s not about saying it, it is about doing it. You must look at the schedule as far out as it is booked and make sure it is orchestrated for success. Then do not only reverse engineer the days themselves but reverse engineer all the way back into the very next day.
There is absolutely no reason a schedule should not be exactly the way you want it. Understanding that things happen and patients change but controlling the future is not hard when it is scheduled properly.
Think about the action of being future focused in actual scheduling where you place patients, then into the flow of the day, then into the value of the day, then into the details of the visit… whether it’s hygiene production dollars or it is new patient block or specialty case starts or anything in between; it might even be the type of insurance clustered within a day and so on and so forth.
Future Focused on the business side doesn’t stop with the schedule and in fact it doesn’t start there either. It goes all the way to the proper verbiage on a phone call as well as setting of expectations with patients for what is going to happen.
In every conversation for each position there is a way to visualize the future and to set yourself (and your patients) up for success.
Tactically, this might be new patients having completed their materials or having accurate insurance or making deposits. All things that can be managed and organized by being Future Focused.
Being Creation Minded as a Business Team Member is vital. It’s the difference between being task oriented only versus being patient centered and able to see the bigger picture of what is happening within an experience.
This could be stimulating referrals from existing patients or generating online reviews or it could be simply scheduling out all the appointment stages of a pathway to health treatment plan instead of just the next step.
It could be helping double check patient charts for things that need to be updated or pre-printing unscheduled treatment plans in advance of needing them so they are ready. It could be knowing who needs to pay money today and being a creator of cashflow and collections.
There are also reactivation opportunities as well as following up with patients.
I’m going to do a deep dive specifically on the Treatment Coordinator or Patient Concierge role in a future Report, so I’ll stop there.
Now, Opportunity Awareness from the Business Team’s side of things is multi-faceted and it should be a lot of fun. This is where the rubber meets the road. It is always being observant and paying attention.
For example, what if someone brings someone with them to their appointment; we don’t just let them sit there in the reception area without engaging them.
This is when you are checking health history forms and you see they are married. Or you see their insurance card and you notice the company they work for which can lead to a conversation about a healthcare partnership.
We could do an entire seminar on this application and implementation of being aware of opportunity at all times in every way with every patient throughout the practice.
Then it goes a step further with community outreach and how your team promotes your practice in their own personal inner circles.
Think about this… your number one tool for being aware of opportunity and being a creator is through your communication skills and your question asking. That is the greatest strength and opportunity of the Business Team while everything and everyone is flying around the practice and moving fast with the flow throughout the day.
Opportunities are all around us as long as we are looking for them.
This leads me directly to one of the most vital roles of the Business Team above all others and that’s of course…
PROACTIVE ACTION – or PRO-ACTION
Here’s the thing about this, its importance is obvious however few practices bring into daily execution. Once you master this, it becomes the single greatest attribute that will make everything else possible in your practice.
It is the basis on which “offense” is established and how you score more points. As I pointed out last week, the greater percentage of your time and every team member’s time spent working on what is about to happen instead of what just happened, the more you are in control over your outcomes.
So, why do I say for the Business Team this is the end all be all? Simple, because with the Clinical Team everything is time bound by set appointments with an allocation of minutes that is already established. They are quite literally running against the clock and thinking about what needs to happen next. Now there are many ways to perform at a higher championship level and we’ll get to that in our Clinical Team Playbook in the coming weeks.
For the Business Team, however, it is nearly the opposite. While everything is happening as fast as it does (phone ringing, insurance claims waiting, treatment plans pending, patients checking in, walking in, checking out, walking out, and everything else in between), it is very easy to fall into the trap of reacting to everything and everyone.
The Business Team has questions for the back and the back has questions for the front and everyone is trying to get something from everyone else and so time gets taken up. If we let the actions fill the time without any control over it then we become the opposite of proactive. That means that none of the other three offense principles will get executed either.
I challenge every doctor to sit down with your entire team with a focus on the Business Side of the practice and ask them how can we help you work smarter, have more time for the things that really matter, lessen the stress that you are under, and get out ahead of your days to be able to act more proactively.
Specifically, being proactive is everything from scheduling effectively in the first place to pre-collecting in advance of appointments so patients have more commitment to show up.
Being proactive is setting the tone on the phone call and through your proper screening process for the patients to be prepared for their visit. It is being smart with the way you talk about and present insurance so you don’t have to fix it on the back end.
My list can go on, but who cares about my list. What is their list? In what ways is your Business Team on defense and how can we flip it upside down to get ahead on offense. This is what it is all about.
If you want extra credit, it’s time for you to customize and build out in real time your Business Team Winning Playbook using these four principles and apply them all to the seven major leverage points of growth within the Business Team’s core responsibilities.
I would say those are in broadest terms…
Phone experience; appointments and screening; value-based schedule; closing treatment plans; pre and complete collections; referrals, reviews, reactivation; and follow-up and follow-through.
We’ll pick up right here next week as we move forward with the ultimate practice role for offense, the Treatment Coordinator, and how they can bring to life these principles to help you achieve even greater results.
It’s time to take the field with your Business Team and score like never before!