Over the last 50 years, thousands of successful businesses across many different industries have proved that turnkey or “systemized” organizations are more profitable, more flexible, less stressful, less volatile, and offer more predictable quality. Companies like UPS, McDonalds, Ritz-Carlton and Starbucks all know that in order to thrive they must implement systemized processes.
Many small business owners, including dentists, make business decisions on instinct. They have so much on their plate they don’t always slow down to document their decisions and processes. This shooting from the hip decision-making method often appears to work on a day-by-day basis, but long-term it can cause a multitude of problems.
Systemization is the solution. It provides a mechanism to release you from management responsibilities allowing you the freedom to focus on your patients and clinical skills.
In your dental office, there are specific steps to transforming your daily office management activities into efficient systems.
- Ask your team to document their current processes.
- As a team, discuss these systems, revise and finalize them.
- Assign "teachers” for any training needed to execute the system.
- Set and announce a date for implementation.
- Ensure each team member has access to your practice’s systems, in digital and hardcopy format.
- Require the use of the systems when training new team members, as well as when troubleshooting issues that come up.
- When mistakes occur, blame the system first and not a team member. As a team, revise or correct this system to prevent the mistake from happening in the future.
The foundational systems that every dental practice needs are:
- New Patient Systems
- Scheduling Systems
- Practice Monitoring Systems
- Financial Systems
- Team Development Systems
- Practice Development Systems
- Compliance Systems
- Human Resource Systems
One important note about systems, they must be patient-focused. Employees left to design and execute systems on their own instinctively structure them to serve their own personal whims, instead of what is best for your patients or your business. By taking the time and energy to design patient-focused systems you reduce this instinctive tendency, your stress, and team strife. You also assure the knowledge of how to run your practice is retained in your business and does not walk out the door with a departing employee. Now, that is valuable.
Sandy Baird, M.B.A. has spent over 30 years managing and working in her husband’s dental practice, she understands the stress and challenges of being a dentist/boss/business owner. In 2005 she opened Baird Dental Business Concepts and has trained, coached, advised, and partnered with a wide diversity of dentists and their teams. As well as being a full-service dental consultant, she also shares her passion for dentistry through speaking and teaching. Learn more at www.bairdconcepts.com.