Practice Success Made Simple – Part 1

Last week, I shared with you the 3 most important success principles to achieving your goals with great certainty. I also instructed you to make a list of things that you or your team were reactive with instead of proactive. I do hope you have that list. Inside of that list are critical factors that would prevent a great deal of wasted time and solve many inefficiencies as well as capture much more opportunity, treatment and money every single day.

I have said many times before, the best way to solve a problem is to prevent it in the first place. This is the same as it goes for my approach to case acceptance: win the battle before we have to fight it with all of the work, proof, trust, belief, value build and other components that applied to the experience from start to finish.

Today, we are going to dive deeper into the first success principles I talked to you about which is beginning with the end in mind of what you want to accomplish.

We discussed this from the overall perspective of your life and your practice. Now we are going to break it down into each aspect and make sure that every part of your practice and every person on your team does the same thing so that you are setting yourself (and your patients) up for success every single time.

Then we’ll move through reverse engineering and the art of proactivity in the coming weeks.

Before I jump in, it is important that you always stay focused on the highest value actions in your practice and life.

In dentistry, the first order of business (aside from getting patients into your practice in the first place), is diagnosing – always.

So, if you are beginning with the end in mind, understand that every day you have to diagnosis a certain amount of dentistry to achieve your desired results. That also means you must ensure you have the patient opportunities that will make that possible.

I often hear the same funny excuses from doctors questioning why they have not generated better and bigger results (aside from the fact they aren’t following any system at all). They think they don’t have enough patients or their team can’t close cases or patients don’t want dentistry. It’s all external, nothing about what they are doing. Then I find out that they have chart notes delayed, treatment plans unfinished, follow-ups in limbo and pending decisions on diagnosis. There is so much opportunity squandered and time wasted all because the doctor doesn’t have the priorities straight and the value of time aligned with what really matters.

My point is this: when you begin with the end in mind, you immediately have clarity over your highest priorities because it’s not just ACTIONS but the most appropriate and timely ACTIONS that lead to results. That’s why focused priorities and weighting the value of your efforts is so important.

That is what beginning with the end in mind is all about.

And here’s the thing about that – it is relevant in all parts of your practice.

What is the “end” we have in mind…

  • On the phone.
  • In between the phone and the front door.
  • With the health history forms and paperwork.
  • In the patient Interview.
  • With photographs and x-rays.
  • With the clinical engagement and case building.
  • With the doctor exam.
  • With the treatment plan presentation.

How about for every Hygiene Patient or for our specialists every follow-up visit or annual implant check or sleep recare or wire adjustment and so on and so forth.

What is the “end” we have in mind for every patient in the doctor’s schedule today?

I’m serious, SPECIFICALLY what is it? It’s not the same for every person. You can’t throw a blanket over the schedule. You have to have an individualized approach and outcome you are striving for with every patient.

The best practices do THIS – they visualize the outcome of every day, of every patient, of every team member’s responsibilities.

We talk all the time about clarity of vision and, for that matter, even having a vision and knowing what your practice is about.

After all, those are just words. They say a goal without a plan is just a dream. I say a plan without action is just words.

Everything comes back to beginning with the end in mind and knowing the outcome you want in order to be able to identify the highest leverage action that is most likely to create this desired result.

Every team member should be able to articulate what is their end game with their role, with their patients, with their personal performance. How do they know they were successful and a contributor to your team winning TODAY?

Here’s a little help…

On the phone, we want patients that are committed to coming in because they feel emotionally connected to us and know that the goals they have are goals we can deliver.

In the patient experience, with a first-time patient, we want them to buy into the practice philosophy and understand what your purpose is in their health. We want to help them shape and identify their own goals all before they ever open their mouth.

We want insurance to be marginalized regardless of how you use it in your practice. We never want it to be the main thing or even brought up as something that matters to the ultimate outcome. It is only a supplemental tool that patients have to help aid in their investment in their health; it is not a decision maker, it is not relevant to the diagnostic approach and it is not considered in the treatment plan.

For existing patients, our outcome should be about helping them continue forward down the pathway to health proactively and to be a source of the practice for referrals.

Hygiene is all about assessment of their current health and review of optimal outcomes as you look into the future of what the patient deserves and then educating them accordingly.

In every triangle of trust, the outcome (as a result of clear and consistent communication), is increasing value and elevating the patients’ need, want, deserve and believe in achieving the benefits and avoiding the consequences of the recommended treatment plan.

The bottom line of every day is to begin with the end in mind of helping patients by way of educating and illustrating, to have complete and comprehensive diagnosis, and to get as close to total case acceptance as possible with money collected before scheduling.

I could keep going, I’m certain though you get the idea.

Your objective today is to assess what is YOUR definition of the “end” (or the “outcome”), for every team member, every action, and every patient for every day so that achieving your overall victories and living out your practice philosophy isn’t something you just talk about, it’s something you actually make happen.

Next week, we’ll take a hard look at reverse engineering and the most important leverage points for the highest value priorities of each day.

It is not hard to figure out why something is or isn’t happening, why a goal is or isn’t being met, why results are or aren’t achieved – all we have to do is look at the actions (or lack thereof), where time was spent, and energy was placed. This all comes together when you ‘begin with the end in mind’ first.

Nothing else will ensure you see the truth of how your attitude, thinking, behavior, decisions, and actions are leading exactly to what you are getting as result.