• Tonya Burns

What does your Office Manager actually manage?

"Can I speak with the Office Manager?" That is the line that unhappy patients/parents favor. So, who is the manager they are asking for and what do they actually manage? This is a hugely undefined job description in most dental practices. Why? Because most dentist really don't know what an effective manager does, they only know that everyone else has one. Most office managers only know what the person before them told them to do. And the cycle continues..........

So, what is my definition of an Office Manager? That individual is the go to person in the dental office. They have the full support of the doctor, because they understand his/her vision, mission statement and they have been trained to MANAGE. Dentists should not have to be bothered with the small things in the office. You have a staff that you pay to work for you. Let them work. But, give them the guidance and training they need, set your expectation and monitor results. Yes, the dentist should monitor the results. If he/she is not, then you are opening yourself up to embezzlement, conflict, high overhead and a poorly run practice.

Here are the key areas an Office Manager should focus on: patient base, staffing needs based on the patient base and growth, monetary health of the practice, tracking practice benchmarks and systems and most important, The Patient Experience. Did you notice that I didn't say answering the phone, posting payments, insurance verification, etc.? Because if you truly need a manager, that cannot be their focus. I'm not saying they can't do those things. Depending on the size of the dental practice, one person can perform all front desk duties and manage. But, if that is the case, why do they need to manage? That just goes back to the title and not the job description.

So, if you are questioning what is happening in your practice or if you are an office manager that would like to learn how to manage, you can contact me for more information!

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