Picking up from last week, I will start with one of my favorite observations about true ‘Masters of their crafts.’ That you can’t tell whether it is work or play because it all looks like one in the same. Ultimately, for the real Masters, it is.
That said, doing anything for the sake of just doing it, is called a hobby not a business. I don’t judge, but I do know that if anything is done without having a purpose and intended outcome then you are just spinning your wheels.
This is the entire premise behind “beginning with the end in mind” that I discussed in detail last week. Whether it is a phone call, a hygiene visit, an emergency patient, or for the entire practice vision overall – you can’t possibly make decisions, let alone take appropriate action towards an objective, if you do not first establish what a successful result should look like.
The next step towards making success ‘easy’ and stacking the deck in your favor is to create and follow my concept of Reverse Engineering for every facet of your practice.
A simple example is if you say you want to cultivate comprehensive treatment and you want to nurture bigger cases then we can’t rush new patients through hygiene, do x-rays only if we can’t get their records from a previous practice, take no photographs, clean their teeth, and let the doctor in for 5 minutes doing nothing more than a general oral exam.
You can do all of that but you can’t expect any patients to want to say yes because you haven’t allocated enough time to educate them as to what exactly they are even saying yes to.
I see this all of the time in hygiene. It is so beat down by insurance fees that we try to speed up visits and cram another one or two patients in a day. All so we can “make up for the write-offs” by adding $60-$80 or at best a $100 and get some extra money – but at what expense?
With the hygienists being so rushed that they can’t build relationships, update records, take pictures, talk about anything, or educate in the slightest. And worse than that, we’ve trained patients that what our practice does well is really fast, inexpensive, and convenient cleanings… hmm.
No wonder our patients are insurance minded and do a tooth at a time only when they have no other choice.
Again, this is about defining what your goals are and then working backwards to make decisions about the steps, processes, and systems that must be in place in order to make those goals realities.
You certainly know of people in our industry teaching all kinds of magic tricks on the phone to get the patients into the schedule with little info. This relies on high volume and the hope that with so many appointments at least some will show up and with so many showing up at least you’ll get what their insurance pays for. But this only digs your own hole as you are always needing more and more and more.
Instead, I want to reverse engineer your phone calls to effectively screen and pre-position patients so that we not only get the right ones in in the right way, but we actually start educating, building trust, and creating a real experience to differentiate your practice from the first point of contact.
That results in getting more from less and that’s the business I’d want to be in because it’s a lot less stressful and a lot more profitable by breaking you free from the time-volume trap and plateau of capacity.
Here’s what I can tell you: whatever you say you want, all we have to do is work backwards from that to where you are today and fix the most obvious things that are not in alignment with your overall objective.
It is absolutely critical that every team member learns and understands how to reverse engineer their own success inside of their own role and responsibility. That goes for the doctor, as well.
You begin an exam with the end in mind, you reverse engineer a treatment plan, why don’t you reverse engineer the best diagnostic approach and conversation with patients so they arrive not only at the vision of the treatment plan in your mind but getting your patients to see and want the same.
Once in a while someone will say, “Yeah but Scott it’s not all about the money for me,” or “I don’t want to have a diagnosis goal or have people pushing treatment.” I get it and I agree. Money isn’t everything; it just tells us how well we are doing in the context of patients accepting treatment. You don’t make up diagnosis or create it out of nothing or have your patients do more work than you believe is in their best interests. What you do have to do is engineer a practice that can deliver to you enough daily opportunity that your goals are achievable.
At the tail end of most of my Blueprint Days with my Doctors, I do an exercise in Reverse Engineering specific to treatment opportunity. We take every stream of patient and production flow in the practice and we reverse engineer into seeing what is actually possible based on each doctor’s clinical philosophy and practice objectives.
And you know what I find nearly every time: they aren’t lacking opportunity to help patients, instead they are lacking the systems and actions, the verbiage and communication, and the focus and responsibility of keeping the main thing the main thing.
Most practices are not engineered to succeed. They are caught up in running hard, cramming it all in, and trying to see more instead of trying to do more. That is why my reverse engineering concept has and always does transform practices from being at the mercy of their patients to being in control over their practice. Then they are able to completely and deliberately design the practice that they want to have.
It really does come down to whether you are working with an advantage or a hindrance. This all changes and becomes intentional instead of accidental once you have engineered alignment with every team member, system, decision ,and action with your vision for each facet of your practice.
There is a lot of assessment that you should be doing right now. I challenge you to take a transparent look at where you might be experiencing self-sabotage and are in your own way; whether it’s the schedule, processes, treatment planning, insurance, communication, education, or (and probably) all of the above.
Next week, I am going to share with you some simple breakthroughs to ensure you engineer your practice for success – even in uncertain economic times.
If that topic is of particular interest to you (which I think it should be to every doctor reading this), then I have some exciting news share. I’ve just announced the two upcoming dates where I will deliver a 4-hour LIVE Masterclass on this very subject…
How your practice can THRIVE in recessionary times by being insulated from economic uncertainty, protected from rising inflation, unshackled from insurance reimbursements, safeguarded from high turnover, and perfectly positioned to succeed for years to come.
Here is the bottom line: when it’s all said and done, you’ll walk away with a customized road map for navigating today’s economic challenges.
This will be a small group, virtual format with an individualized approach to the training. To ensure every doctors extracts precisely what they need from this masterclass, we are limiting attendance for each available date, so – save your seat now…