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Infrastructure goals and resolutions for 2011

Jan. 10, 2011
By Laci PhillipsHappy New Year!Wow! We’ve started a whole new decade. So how will you start the next 10 years? Are you the resolution type? Did you make a list and set your goals? Most of us set personal goals, but what about detailed professional goals?Let’s take a look at some attainable goals for 2011 and beyond.We’ll look at first things first — your infrastructure. Do you have the building, equipment, and team to get you to your goals? If this is where your goals begin, your building is a great place to start. Take a look around your building and your space. Is it everything you want and think it should be? You may not be able to change your location but you can change your esthetics. Check your furniture, wall coverings, and artwork. Is it current, clean, and attractive? Do you see water stains or frayed furniture? Is your art so 1990? Does your office reflect you and your dentistry? Sometimes we don’t see what is right in front of us because we see it every day. If decorating is not one of your natural strengths, bring in a family member or friend to walk around the office and give you a grade and some constructive advice. You can have a facelift and a new start by changing the smallest things.Next, take a look at the equipment. How old are your chairs, lights, and cabinets? Do you have computers in your operatories? Are your monitors CRT or Flat panels? Do you have digital X-rays and intraoral cameras? Can your team use them? Patients will judge your intelligence and your dentistry on how high tech you and your office are. Do you have the ability to educate your patients from the chair with a virtual tour of their mouths? I believe a good intraoral camera has the biggest ROI. If you do not have a good patient education system, look into, which is free and very user friendly. A must have for 2011 is great practice management software, a digital imaging system, and auxiliary software. If you have computers at the front office and a good project management professional (PMP), you’re on your way! If you have computers in the operatories and use your PMP to diagnose your dentistry, treatment plan, and store your notes, that is excellent! But with all the must haves, you MUST provide training for you and your team. I am making a personal plea to everyone in 2011 to get training on all software and systems in the office now, and on anything you plan to purchase in 2011. The final step in your infrastructure is your team. You can have the best location and the most beautiful office with all the high tech gadgets on the market, but if you don’t have the right team for you, the success your dream will not come. You can have the latest and greatest software, but if your team does not know how to use it, how will you succeed? Take a step back and access your team just as you have the office and equipment. Do you have enough team members or perhaps too many? Just as the office needs to be esthetically pleasing, your team members do too. Is the attire appropriate for the front desk and clinical area? Do the team’s verbal skills match your dentistry and office? When was the last time you and your team received training on your software and systems? You are the leader and things trickles down from here. Set your goals, write them down, set a timeline, include your team, and GO!I wish you all a very successful 2011!Editor's Note: To read previous articles from Laci Phillips on, please click here.
Laci L. Phillips is the senior practice management consultant and a professional public speaker with Banta Consulting, Inc. of Grain Valley, Mo., as well as the Director of Partnering Sponsors with SCN. While going to college in southern New Mexico to pursue a life of communications, Laci was introduced to her first job in the dental industry as a chairside assistant 18 years ago. Her experience in the dental office as a chairside assistant up through the ranks as an office administrator enable Laci to connect with her audience and her clients. As a team and software trainer and a team builder, Laci has an effective way of teaching the entire team how to move in the same direction, while working as an individual. Through Banta Consulting, Laci provides her expertise to dental practices, both large and small, across the country and internationally. Laci lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children, and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].