How DSOs Can Increase Productivity at Dental Practices

A productive dental practice is a profitable dental practice. Revaluating current workflows and operations within individual offices in your DSO can help bring in more revenue, attract and retain more patients, and create a better workplace environment for your employees.  

Follow these helpful tips to maximize productivity at your dental practices: 

Automate Monotonous Responsibilities 

Dental staff members repeat a laundry list of the same tasks on a daily basis. While many duties require a human eye to oversee them, there are also quite a few that can be automated or streamlined by utilizing a practice management solution. Sending out appointment reminders, posing insurance claims, checking-in patients, backfilling cancellations, and other administrative tasks can all be handled by innovative practice management software. Denticon is a cloud-based practice management software that has multiple automation features to streamline each location’s daily operations. Automating simple tasks help free up a significant amount of time so your team can focus their attention on more valuable and meaningful work such as providing a better patient experience.  

Establish Standard Operational Procedures: 

Every dental office has its own unique way of handling routine responsibilities. Some are more efficient than others. A standard operational procedure (SOP) is a protocol that outlines how to complete a specific task per industry and company regulations. Implementing SOPs creates consistency throughout your organization and reduces room for error or missed steps.  

Daily duties you can establish SOPs for include:  

  • Patient intake  
  • Lab shipments & deliveries 
  • Room turnovers 
  • Sterilization processes  
  • Morning meetings 

It can be challenging to initially implement SOPs. Physical handbooks may be tossed to the side and become outdated quickly. A living document stored in the cloud where all your employees have access is an ideal place to outline SOPs. When first introducing SOPs, it is wise to provide training opportunities for your staff members to ensure that each office thoroughly understands the SOPs and can perform them correctly.  

Define Job Roles 

Every practice has its own unique way that it does things. Your employees may have worked at a different office before joining your DSO and continue to perform the same duties they did at their previous job. Every staff member should have a thorough job description outlining their day-to-day responsibilities and be an expert in their role. Taking the time to set clear expectations for each employee can make the individual practices within your DSO run more efficiently and prevent skipped tasks.  

Collect Performance Data   

It is impossible to be at all your DSO locations at once, but key performance indicators (KPIs) can give you visibility into the productivity of each practice. As you track KPIs at each location over time, you’ll be able to understand what aspects of the organization are growing and scaling well, and what areas have opportunities for improvement. KPIs also keep staff members accountable for their performance and encourage a productive work environment. Denticon takes out the guesswork and provides you with robust data insights to track key aspects of how your individual practices are performing.  

Valuable KPIs to collect:  

  • Accounts receivable  
  • Hourly production rate  
  • Patient Attrition  
  • Reappointment percentage
  • Case acceptance rate 

Patients have a front-row seat to daily operations at each office. Patient surveys can also give you a closer look into a practice. Establishing a standard to send patient experience surveys after each visit will allow you to gather valuable information on patient experience. Ask patients to rate aspects of their visit, including scheduling their appointment, wait time, communication with staff members, and experience with their doctor. This will give you a sizable amount of data you can analyze trends to optimize your patients’ experience.  

Set Goals For Practices 

If you have information from KPIs and patient surveys, you will be able to evaluate each office’s strengths and weaknesses. If a practice has low performance in a specific area, set an attainable goal for that location to hit over a specific period. For example, if patients are indicating that one of your practices has a long wait time, set a goal for them to keep wait times under five minutes. 

Evaluate their progress the next quarter and set new goals for them as needed. Keep in mind that it is just as essential to recognize a practice’s strengths while evaluating its performance. Let practices know where their performance is high and encourage them to keep up the great work.  

Empower Your Employees: 

Employees who enjoy their job typically deliver better quality work and stay more productive than employees who dread going to work. Your front desk staff, dental assistants, hygienists, dentists, and everyone in-between should feel empowered while in the office. After all, everyone plays an essential part in keeping daily operations afloat and should feel like they are a valuable member of the organization. Ensuring employee concerns are heard, creating an anonymous suggestions box, and asking your employees’ opinions before you change policies are all ways to give your employees a voice and empower them in their workspace.  

Your offices are full of talent and potential. Promoting from within your organization, when possible, will show your employees that there is upward mobility within the organization and encourage hard work. As an added bonus, hiring from within can save your DSO money by eliminating the need for recruiting and hiring costs.  

You may not be able to be physically present at all your practices daily, but you can take action to ensure each practice is using its time as effectively as possible. Improved job satisfaction, enhanced patient experience, and increased profits are just some of the benefits that come from a more productive dental office. Initiate small changes within individual offices and experience the great difference it makes in your overall organization. To learn more about how you can automate administrative tasks for your staff while improving the patient experience through our cloud-based practice management solution, visit our Denticon solution page.  

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