Plan for Success with Dental Practice Management Strategies

Expert advice from industry leader and dental practice transitions specialist Henry Schein PPT

As I sit here perusing the huge stacks of mail on my desk— stacks that seem to expand significantly at the end of the year—my eye lands on a “to-do list” sent by a CPA/Financial Planner, and my interest is piqued. Is there something new or different I should be doing? No matter how long you’ve been in business, review is critical for successful dental practice management to help you plan intelligently.

Setting Goals with Your Dental Practice Management Team

Being an effective leader includes communicating your vision for your dental practice to your team. Take the time to have a longer-than-usual team meeting.

Your team is an invaluable resource for giving you feedback on the ideas you already have, for coming up with new ideas, and for reviewing the ideas that seemed to work well over the past year. Could an idea be tweaked and be more effective? Do you have a vision statement or mission statement that guides you? If not, it’s a good idea to develop one.

Strive to come up with at least ten “big picture” goals for your dental practice for the next 12 months. For example: increase new patients, expand an interceptive perio program, establish an incentive bonus plan, and so forth. Then use the data you have in your practice software to fine tune your goals and talk about ways to achieve those goals. Goals should always be high enough to motivate you, but not so high they discourage you and your team from sticking to the plan. If you achieve 80% or more of your goals, that’s fantastic!

Setting Dental Practice Management Goals

Getting started, what numbers should you review first?

First:  Review the number of new patients. Look at last year’s total as well as the average per month. If it is a healthy number, that’s great. For example, if you’re performing 25 New Patient comprehensive exams each month, a realistic goal might be to increase it to 30 per month, which translates into 60 new patients per year. That increase alone could easily increase your production by over $100,000. Asking for referrals from your existing patients is the BEST, least expensive, and most effective way to drive new patients to your practice.

Second: Examine production and collection figures.  Look closely at totals and monthly averages for your dental practice, but also look at what percentage of the total represents the Doctor’s production versus hygiene production as well as how much of Doctor’s production is generated by crown and bridge/implant/lab procedures. The numbers might surprise you.

Some simple goals to keep in the forefront of everyone’s field of vision during the day can generate some big bottom-line numbers. In addition, case acceptance and receivables figures (broken down between insurance balances and patient balances) will aid you in setting specific goals. Your dental practice management team can help you brainstorm on ways to meet those goals.

Don’t Forget about You!

Don’t forget to spend some time thinking about personal goals, and encourage your team to do the same. What do you want to accomplish over the next 12 months? Consider setting some health-related goals, maybe as a team. What’s something new you want to learn to do in the next year? What relationships do you want to spend more time on ? It can be a fun, eye-opening exercise to do with your team or on your own. If you’re motivated to make changes personally, you’ll transfer that enthusiasm into your practice!

There’s always room for improvement in dental practice management. I’ve begun my own goal strategizing and am looking forward to the process.

Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions, Inc. is a national leader in dental practice transitions. A subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc. they provide expert guidance for selling and buying dental practices, assessing partnership and associateship opportunities, and performing dental practice appraisals and valuations.