By Roger P. Levin, DDS
The vast majority of orthodontic practices do not take the time to document and quantify how their systems should operate. This creates strain on team members who today, due to the explosion of new materials, technologies, regulations, and software systems, need to know ten times more information than was the case 20 or 30 years ago. It is exceedingly difficult for team members to perform effectively today without understanding exactly what is expected and how to do it.
There is an old muffler commercial for a company called Midas, which ran on television for years. It ended with the phrase, “You can pay me know or pay me later.” The point was that the muffler repair was inevitable and would be less expensive if taken care of now versus putting it off.
The analogy is that you can either get your management and operational systems well designed, structured, and documented now or you will pay for it later, in the form of working extra years before reaching financial independence.
What is a system? It is a step-by-step outline of exactly how to do every part of the job. Many ortho practices have outstanding systems and outstanding performance. Their production is excellent as is their profit. And they have highly efficient and enjoyable practices. The reason is that when systems are documented and taught to the team with the appropriate scripting everything about the dental day gets easier. Stress decreases. Fatigue decreases. Fun increases. Production increases.
Can’t really be that simple? Yes. I have seen practice after practice enhance performance immediately by implementing management systems that the team can use to train, track, and monitor themselves.
Many orthodontists spend a lot of time on their own training and continuing education. They don’t spend the same amount of time training their team. Practices must leave time for training the team in practice systems. It is a commonly held belief in the business world that every dollar spent on training produces three times return on that investment. Practices that provide high levels of training on documented and proven systems perform better are more efficient and can sustain success. These are the ortho practices that will be the winners of the future.
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email email@example.com.