It’s Spring Racing Season here in Australia.
And although I’m not one to bother with horse racing, I know there are several binding principles when it comes to getting results on race day.
Those principles, as logical as they seem, are often ignored or discarded as common sense business principles when it comes to owning and operating a successful dental practice.
Let’s talk about one of them:
Best horse. Best Jockey.
You’d have to think this is logical.
It makes sense in racing.
You’ve got a great horse. Put the best jockey that you can on him. The best strapper. The best crew you can find.
While I was in the UK in August this year, a dentist who reads my blogs religiously sent me a message asking if he could meet me for dinner, as he had seen on Social media that I had been travelling nearby to the city where he lives.
This dentist and his wife then arranged to drive an hour and a half each way one night to meet with my wife and I for dinner.
At that dinner, the dentist was telling me about a practice that he knew of, where one of the top-producing associate dentists was being very poorly utilised.
It seems that at this practice, which operates seven days per week, the dentists who were coming in only once per week were getting to have the same chair every visit and the same dental assistant on each day that they visit.
However, this was in distinct contrast to the fact that at this very same practice there were dentists working five days per week sometimes including across the whole weekend roster, who were far more productive and yet each shift they operated out of a different chair and worked with a different dental assistant.
He said that the practice was not catering to its best performers while it pandered more to its under achievers.
I consulted recently with a Dental Office where the three associate dentists all complained about the lack of consistency that they were experiencing because of having to work with different dental assistants at different moments. Not only from day to day, but even during the same day, and sometimes during the same one patient, during that day.
It was no surprise that at this practice their numbers of patients failing to Pre-book ongoing treatment and failing to attend and keep any ongoing appointments were way off the charts!
Another dentist I know of works at a Dental Office one day per week where he has a different Dental Assistant every week, ranging from a superstar down to the new girl who’s only ever assisted the hygienist and doesn’t know how to assist during a restoration, and doesn’t know where anything is.
Sometimes this dentist says he gets the most inexperienced dental assistant to help for the day with his patients while more suitable assistants go about stocking cupboards….
My point of all this is really really simple:
If you owned a thoroughbred racehorse, you wouldn’t have him out ploughing the paddocks on your farm with the farm boy.
Not if you wanted him to perform on race day.
You’d have him living in optimal conditions and being ridden by those who care and those who can bring out the best in him.
My dentist friend in England bemoaned at the lack of logic in that Dental practice he was telling me about, where it seemed that the owners’ attitude or mindset was that the high producing dentists can still perform well despite any hindrances before them, when in fact the opposite should be the rule.
The high performing dentists should be allowed to practice their best dentistry in the most optimal consistent conditions.
This would result in a Win-Win-Win situation.
A Win for the dental practice because the dentist would produce more dentistry.
A win for the dentist because he would produce more dentistry and operate in an ideal environment.
And a win for the patients. Every one of them would receive much better treatment and much better care from a dentist happy in his environment.
My dentist friend who works one day per week wonders at the ethics of the practice where he works that they take the same percentage out of his collections regardless of the standard of the dental assistant that they give to him?
And the same question applies for that group practice as well?
Each of these dental practices are forgetting the golden rule:
Do the very best for each and every patient each and every time and they will keep returning.
If you went to the theatre to see Phantom of the Opera you’d hate to receive the announcement that “Michael Crawford was not performing as the Phantom tonight and he will be replaced by the understudy…”
After all, you have paid full price. You expect the best cast.
In fact, you would demand it.
And yet in some dental practices the owners must think that the patients don’t really notice these things.
Or that if they do they simply accept them as being usual and customary.
Well let me tell you, they do notice.
People are creatures of habit.
And as customers, when they receive consistency in manpower, they feel far more familiar with their surroundings and where they do business than when it’s a “new face every time I go there”.
Believe you me.
Your patients prefer that consistency and familiarity.
And your assistant dentists prefer it too.
Creating that environment of consistency and excellence will reap rewards and benefits for all concerned.
For your Dental practice, for your dentists, for your patients, and for your production.
After all, consistency of delivery is the key to better results.
Just ask any racehorse….
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