• Tonya Burns

How does your dental practice flow?

Everyone talks about "flow" in their dental practice. In a nut shell, flow is what happens from the time your patients enter your practice to exiting your practice. The question that should be asked, "Is your flow effective?"

In every dental practice the basic things that happen are: patient checks in, they are taken to the clinical area, appointment is completed, they are brought to the check out station, then they leave. Seems simple enough. What if I told you this process could make or break your dental practice? Now do I have your attention?

In order to have effective flow, you must have systems in place to get all of the information you need, at the right time. If one team member does something one way and another does it another way, you have to compensate to make up for what you are lacking. Don't get me wrong, the steps don't have to be "exactly" the same. The result does! Now, the flow of your practice actually starts with the interaction of scheduling that appointment. Whether it is a new patient calling your practice or it is an existing patient scheduling from the last time they were there, the flow is dictated by the expectation set by your team.

What is setting expectation? It is where we explain to the patient what is going to occur when they enter your dental practice. If it is a new patient, it is paperwork, insurance, identification, what the appointment is for, length of the visit and financial obligation. Are all of these expectations being set in your dental practice? The truth is, probably not. The result of not doing this is patients being late, not having the information you need, thinking they are getting something done that they aren't and then not paying. Whew, that was a lot of work for nothing! Let me guess, you are probably running behind, because you are compensating for the lack of expectation being set. It is a vicious cycle. You need to break that cycle!

Have a consistent way of tracking the information you need and what you have. Train your team to "all speak the same language." When patients hear the same thing over and over, it becomes habit. Train your patients the behavior you want them to have, such as scheduling next visits and paying their portion at time of service. If expectations are consistently set in advance, the "flow" of the visit is effective, efficient and positive! That leads to a happy day in your dental practice.

For more information or help in your practice, visit www.completedentalpracticeconsulting.com today!

Consulting is a great way to get the write off you need this year and make next year your best ever!

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