Australasian Dental Practice

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31 Mar 2018 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 54

Performing at peak efficiency

By Dr Phillip Palmer

According to the BOQ Specialist Dental Research Report 2016/2017, up to 77% of dental practices do not operate at peak efficiency.

It's not all that surprising, really, considering that dentists are only ever taught what to do inside a person's mouth but not the essential business skills that would help them to run a sustainable and successful dental practice.

So, what exactly is "peak efficiency"? And more importantly - how do you get your practice there?

The solution may not be simple but the first step is no rocket science - it's about knowing where your specific gaps lie at your own practice.

All too often, we've seen how most practices simply resort to increasing more of their marketing spend on promotional flyers or advertising only to be let down when potential new patients call and are not handled effectively. Or they come to the practice once, only to never return again.

That's what other practices are doing in the fight for new patients and if it's working for them, it'll work for me too, right?

As the adage goes, one man's meat is another man's poison.

Elements like having systems in place for day to day tasks, effective recall systems to ensure patients come back to maintain their oral health, inefficient use of dental chair time, expenses not being in the healthy range, ineffective marketing spend, limited leadership or even team culture on some occasions - all can influence a practice's growth and success.

Finding the gaps in your unique practice will help identify the opportunities for your practice to grow. Unfortunately, there is no one gap that when filled will lead to a successful and efficient dental practice. You will need to analyse all the elements to see where your gaps lie.

By focusing a small amount of your time into analysing your practice, you will then be able to set out on the path towards peak efficiency.

How will you know then when you've attained peak efficiency?

Operating at peak efficiency means having...

  1. Systems to deal with the day to day running of your practice;
  2. A plan in place to know where your practice is heading;
  3. A good ROI for your marketing efforts;
  4. An understanding of your recall rate - our clients like to have their "Active Maintenance" above 75%; and
  5. An engaged and empowered team.
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