May 21, 2018
by Dr. Satish Pai
As an orthodontist who runs a private practice, you must focus on the business side of things instead of just the medical aspect. It is a good idea to analyze how to run your office in order to reduce your bottom line and increase your profits while keeping current patients happy and attracting new ones on a regular basis.
Here are five tips that can help you reinvent your practice.
Build a Great Team
Apart from your skill, reputation and experience, there is one more factor that could set you apart — your team.
Hire the right people and prioritize quality over quantity while hiring. It would more beneficial to hire fewer highly efficient employees as compared to a larger number who don’t have much skill.
Make a checklist of the qualities you wish to seek in your team members and look beyond their training and certification. They must possess strong personality traits like a smiling face, good bedside manner, etc. Set clear job requirements for them and maintain the best candidates with beneficial perks, salary and benefits.
Employ the Best Tools
You will need numerous tools to run your practice successfully — surgical tools as well as management tools. The surgical tools and orthodontic instruments help in ensuring that the dental treatments go smoothly without hurting the patients. Embrace automation and technology as they will help you propel ahead. If you spend manpower, resources and money on systems that can be automated, you would be hurting your profits as well as time.
Management tools help in keeping a track of every task — right from maintaining appointment schedules to records of the patients. All this information can be stored in one place and accessed from any location, ensuring you can provide excellent patient care by reviewing their charts even if you are not in the office.
Offer Flexible Hours for Patients
Patients these days lead busy lives and most of the time they find it difficult to bend their schedule for healthcare appointments. They expect hospitals and dental clinics to be open for business at ‘convenient and flexible’ hours like before going to work or on weekends. Offering the expected ‘9 am-5pm weekday’ appointments would limit the number of patients you could see.
Offer patients flexible timings that they can choose from and ensure that your hygiene team expands as your patient list grows. If more patients receive regular hygiene care, it may help in increasing your restorative work too.
Ensure your orthodontic practice has a digital presence. Make a basic website that has information about your practice like hours and contact details. You can even provide an online form for patient information and follow up with an email communication. Offer appointment reminders through text messages. Services like these help in retaining existing patients and acquiring new ones.
Track the Competition
While you steer your practice ahead, keep an eye on your competitors. It will help you understand what everyone is up to so that you are not left behind in the race. Ensuring that you stay ahead in the game is as important as reinventing your practice.
Check out the various tools and strategies they are using. Manage the insights you gain by observing your compassion and tailor your marketing plan so that you have the highest profits in the area. View your strengths and weaknesses in order to reinvent your practice with less effort, less spending and better results.
Don’t wait too long to reinvent your practice. While it may seem overwhelming to direct your practice to a new stage, it is essential to stay relevant and up-to-date in order to stay ahead of your competition.
About the Author
Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.