7 tips on why it's important to have a vision for your practice

As part of the 100 more tips from 100 practice management experts in 100 words or less, here are six tips from dental experts on why it's important to have a vision for your practice.

Mar 15th, 2013
Having A Vision
Clinical | Communication | Financial| Front Office | Having a Vision | Leadership Marketing | Patient Relationships | Practice Management | Scheduling| The Team

I feel that one of the most important things a dentist can do in practice is to create a mission statement as well as a vision statement. Both of these serve to identify and reinforce the practice in the eyes of the patients, staff, and even the creator of the statements themselves, the doctor. Once these two are put in place, there is never a question as to what direction the practice is going. The doctor or the staff can always ask, “Is what we are doing consistent with our mission and our vision?” If it is not, then it cannot be done or the mission and the vision have to be redefined. Mission statements should be a few sentences that define what the dentists’ purpose for the practice is. A vision statement is how the dentist plans on accomplishing that purpose in the long term.
-Dr. George E. Bambara, Attachment Dentistry Seminars

Dentists today will need to run excellent businesses to avoid plateaus or declines in production. The fastest method to achieve this is the 3-Step Method For Accelerated Production. The 3-Step Method refers to setting 25 key numerical targets to be achieved each year, implementing step-by-step documented expert-proven systems, and training the team in value creation scripting with interpersonal relations. Anything short of this leaves the practice in danger of new levels of competition due to an increased supply of dentists, opening of many new dental schools, decreased insurance reimbursements, and the expansion of national corporate dental centers.
-Dr. Roger P. Levin, Levin Group
Dentists today will need to run excellent businesses to avoid plateaus or declines in production. The fastest method to achieve this is the 3-Step Method For Accelerated Production. The 3-Step Method refers to setting 25 key numerical targets to be achieved each year, implementing step-by-step documented expert-proven systems, and training the team in value creation scripting with interpersonal relations. Anything short of this leaves the practice in danger of new levels of competition due to an increased supply of dentists, opening of many new dental schools, decreased insurance reimbursements, and the expansion of national corporate dental centers.
-Dr. Roger P. Levin, Levin Group

Envision a “remarkable recare” department. What are the components?

  1. Patients who are motivated to return for recare?
  2. Patients who say “yes” to periodontal treatment, regardless of their dental benefit limitations?
  3. A hygiene staff who is excited about the level of care they are providing and the results the patients are enjoying?
  4. The latest in patient education technology?
  5. An 85% recare return rate?
  6. Services billed out of recare are 35% periodontal procedures?

Before you can have a “remarkable recare” department, you must define it. Once these components have been defined, you can begin to take the steps necessary to implement your vision.
-Virginia Moore, The Practice Source

We are leaders and managers in dentistry. Solid management means we are doing things right. Good leadership means we are doing the right things. We need both skills to grow our teams effectively (producing a desired or intended result) and affectively (relating to moods, feelings, and attitudes). It is always more motivating and rewarding to work hard with intention and for a greater good. Choose a purposeful vision, commit to that choice and develop strategic plans that set goals and objectives, the attainment of which supports that vision!
-Dr. Mark T. Murphy, DTI Dental Technologies

Success in anything needs to be made more convenient than the distractions. Review the flow of your practice. Look at your systems, noting what happens with your new patients, your scheduling, and your financial arrangements. And in terms of your bottom line, check your annual plan to keep you on track. What you projected spending needs to match against what you actually spent. Align that with what you calculated your production needs to be. Biggest tip: If you don’t have a plan, you can’t make success more convenient than the distractions you’ll face every day. Get a plan!
-Dr. Wayne D. Pernell, Pride Institute

Many practices struggle to stay focused on larger goals because life takes over. Before long, they find themselves in a rut with a tough climb out of it. A simple method for staying on the path to reaching your goals is to remember to do the “three Rs” at least twice a month:

  • Resolve to think of your higher-level goals and direction.
  • Refocus your activity plans accordingly.
  • React by diligently working your plans.

If you keep thinking of where you are going, then you and your team will know how you are going to get there.
-Richard Train, Dental Practice 911

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.

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