Dental office manager profile: Bridget Fay, Richard L. Byrd, DDS, P.C. & Associates
April 9, 2013
On the big picture
Being an office manager is the most dynamic job I’ve ever had. It requires being several different people all at the same time. In one moment I’m a coach to an employee, then I turn around and I’m addressing a concerned parent or patient. It’s amazing the flow of emotions and words that I go through in just one day.
being honest and transparent
I believe in being honest and transparent, and I think those qualities affect the big picture. I believe that all employees are an integral part of an organization, and I want them to feel that way. If they do, performance increases, employees are happier, and the office is successful. This attitude immediately projects to the patient. When there is a problem to be solved, I want the input of everyone. Who does it affect? How does it play into our daily processes? Will it increase production? Is it cost effective? When you involve everyone and make a decision based on the office as a whole, there is a feeling of ownership and responsibility. Employees are happier about their jobs when they know they make a difference.
connecting with patients
It is so important to concentrate on patients while they’re in our office. Every morning we have a huddle, and I often talk about customer service experiences I’ve had outside the office. Patients pick up on more than we think, so it’s important to put ourselves in their shoes. When I walk into the waiting room, I wonder, How does it feel, look, and smell?Is the restroom clean and stocked? Are we making eye contact and really listening to our patients? Every little detail counts and even though it sounds tedious, the overall effect is worth it!
how to act, not react
It’s hard to control the environment around you. I’ve always believed people are products of their environments. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and the emotion of that moment. Before getting carried away, take that opportunity to figure out your next course of action. Get all the facts, research how you’re going to handle the situation, make a plan, then execute. The key is making sure all the information has time to soak in, and then to be prepared. Every afternoon I make sure the huddle for the next morning is in writing and that we are ready to discuss it. If an employee or patient is upset about a situation, I listen, wait, plan, and then proceed.
It is so easy to want to do everything, and I constantly feel I have a “to-do” list that is several miles long. I have to remind myself that I can’t do it all at once. There are also things on the list that are long-term goals, such as classes that I want to take or activities I want the office to participate in, that are not feasible at the time. If I start to get unorganized, then these things will disappear from my mind! I keep a calendar of things I want to attend and schedule myself “follow-ups.” I look and see if my situation has changed, then I will turn those to-dos into realities.
There is nothing worse than not being able to find a chart! Going paperless is freedom from such restraints. It is very important for my office to run efficiently, and everyone should have quick access to the information they need to perform their jobs smoothly. When things are not efficient, it is patients who notice, but the practice that suffers. The technology available is endless, and I’m always encouraging my doctor to embrace it as an investment to the practice.
Read previous office manager profiles:
Dental office manager profile: Jana Bowhall, Keith A. Boenning, DDS
Dental office manager profile: Danielle Dailey, Kathryn Ehmann & Associate
Dental office manager profile: Lori Cline, Discovery Dental
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.