First, there are the clinical skills. A vast majority of dental professionals invest heavily in this aspect. However, while their skills have taken on to the next level, they will still struggle with many practice management problems which they left out of sight.
The dentists can now provide their patients with the latest technology in dentistry, but there will be no “buyers” available. This is exactly why you need to focus concomitantly on developing both clinical and practice management within your dentistry business.
The truth is your dental practice will stop developing or growing, if you focus mostly on clinical management and you forget about practice management. Your client will not really care too much if you took 800 hours of continuing education or only 50. So, it is better to juggle with both these important aspects and give the same importance to both clinical and practice management.
So what exactly is practice management? Well, this aspect comprises of anything related to lead generation, marketing of your practice, marketing of yourself as a professional, motivating patients to choose your practice for a certain dental treatment, and of course attracting new patients to your dental office.
There is also the other category of dentists who invest heavily both time and money into practice management, but they forget about the fact that they should also advance in their career and make new treatments available to their patients (which belongs to the clinical management aspect).
Improving constantly and in a balanced way the clinical and practice management aspects, will help greatly in making your business grow beautifully. If you feel that your dentistry business is “suffering” in such tough economic times, you definitely need to give it a boost by improving your skills and bringing new technology/treatments to your office, but also by investing more effort into proper marketing (or practice management).
Just a quick example in clinical management. As a dental professional, you know how dissatisfied patients are if their composite dental work is not perfect polished. They feel tough areas in their mouths, they do not feel comfortable wearing their dental crowns. You did your best to polish those composites, but you cannot afford to invest even more time to make them perfectly smooth.
Why does this happen? Probably because you do not have the most professional polishing equipment. So as a clinical management advancement you must buy the best composite polisher there is, in order to see patients completely satisfied.
This rule applies to any other type of treatment or technology that can make your job so much easier, and your patients so much more satisfied. Patients want high gloss polish, and with a low end polisher you cannot achieve that…so make dental crowns look like dental implants and your office will get swamped with work.
For the practice managing side, things are less complicated than you must think. Your dental practice needs several new patients each month, in order for that dentistry business to flourish and be able to expand over time. The secret ingredient is, believe it or not, being able to answer that phone in the most efficient way. Maybe it is time to run an “inside” check and pay more attention to the front desk workers.
How do they answer the phone? Do they really sound interested in attracting the patient to your dental clinic? Or do they rather talk bored? Because the way your front desk people answer the phone can have an impact on rising up or pushing down your business.