Let’s face it, no one is perfect, and you have probably heard it said more times than you’d care to count that “to err is human.” However, those seemingly little mistakes can eat into your profitability in more ways than you can imagine. You were, after all, trained to be a dentist, not a business manager, but that’s exactly what you must be even if you’ve gone to the painstaking effort to find an office manager to handle the day-to-day operations and software you simply don’t have time for. Unfortunately, that’s a big mistake right there! Fortunately, help is out there, so don’t despair just yet.
Mistake #1 – Not Utilizing the Practice Management Software Technology Available to You
While there are no laws (in most states!) that say you must implement Electronic Health Records, EHR, like medical doctors must, it’s a big mistake not taking advantage of the technology that’s available to you. From EHR to integrated practice management software hat includes everything from patient communications to document scanning and insurance approval resources, you can reduce (if not eliminate) most of those errors that are costing you time and money.
Mistake #2 – Not Treating Your Dental Practice as a Small Business
As mentioned above, you went to school to learn dentistry, and although some of the classes you took may have been geared towards management in a dental practice, what you learned is probably outdated by now. Unless you graduated within the past year or so, practice management software technology has advanced to such an extent that most small businesses are relying on one or more business management technologies to handle those tasks which never seem to get caught up. Yes, using practice management you want to give your patients the very best care possible, but you must also keep your bottom line in mind. One of the biggest mistakes many dentists make is to lose sight of the fact that their practice is, in reality, a small business and should be treated as such.
Mistake #3 – Practicing Patient Empathy
In the course of a single day, you probably see dozens of patients. To you it is second nature and nothing much bothers you any longer. One of the most common patient complaints is that dentists aren’t empathetic with their plight. Some are terrified of dentists, while others are in such extreme pain that there are no words to describe the agony they are experiencing. This may be your job, your calling, but it certainly isn’t something that the patient would have chosen to do with their day! Proper practice management dictate always stay in touch with dentistry from a patient’s perspective, especially if you want repeat business and good patient reviews and referrals.
In the end, always remember that you are running what amounts to a small business. If you haven’t had any business management or business administration classes, now might be the time to take a few online. Somewhere along the line, many medical professionals lose sight of why they are performing a necessary service and practice management to the community, and there are other dentists out there who could very easily corner the market. Avoid these common mistakes and watch how your practice flourishes. You can’t go wrong when you do things right.