Most bottlenecks encountered in dental practices are found in their management systems. Protocols originally designed to manage practice operations — scheduling, case presentation, finance, and billing, to name a few — outlive their usefulness. As systems remain the same in spite of changing realities, they become obsolete. Rather than facilitating efficient, productive, and profitable performance by doctor and staff, they actually obstruct workflow.
New, more effective systems will eliminate these bottlenecks. But what if the biggest, most costly bottleneck is you? To find out, consider two areas where you may be unintentionally preventing greater efficiency.
Micro-managers produce less
As any successful businessperson will tell you, the owner — in this case, the dentist — cannot do it all. Delegation is essential. Every single nonclinical task in the practice must be delegated to the appropriate, properly trained staff member.
This results in two distinct advantages. First, the administrative bottleneck caused by an over-controlling dentist will be cleared away, and the daily work of the practice will progress much faster, more efficiently, and with less stress. Staff morale and performance will improve, and patients will be better served. The second benefit of delegation is that the doctor will be able to spend much more time chairside. The practice will have the capacity to produce much more dentistry, generating more revenue without working longer hours.
Decision-making is made easy
Many of us have agonized over decisions at some point in our lives. Highly successful business owners have discovered a startling fact. Approximately 98% of business decisions will have little impact on overall performance. If you insist on making these decisions yourself, learn to do so quickly and spend more time chairside. Better yet, delegate these less-important decisions to team members. With a minimum of training and supervision, they should be able to meet your standards without putting demands on your schedule.
The other 2% of decisions deserve serious consideration from the practice owner — perhaps even the involvement of outside experts. Focusing on these decisions will be time well spent.
Look at yourself honestly. If you are slowing down the administrative workflow by micro-managing and spending time making decisions on low-level issues, you are a major bottleneck. Break through by delegating all nonclinical tasks to you team and recognizing the 98%-vs-2% rule for decision-making. The resulting gains in practice efficiency and production will be dramatic.
To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at www.levingroup.com/gp— a free online resource with tips, videos, and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.
Dr. Roger Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice management and marketing firm in the United States. As a leading authority on dental practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will increase practice production and profitability, while lowering stress. Dr. Levin has authored more than 60 books and over 3,000 articles. He presents 100 seminars worldwide each year.