Dental Practice Staffing: 4 Ways to Increase Practice Productivity

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Minimal turnover and a high retention rate is a sure sign you are staffing your dental practice efficiently and to increase practice productivity.

Attracting the right dental staff when you need to hire new staff members can be achieved with a few simple steps.

Other reasons you may need to staff your dental practice is family changes like a job transfer out of state or a staff member becoming a new parent. Bringing on a new hygienist or office assistant is the perfect opportunity for you to enhance your practice.

Aside from enhanced workflow management systems, product integration running in synch and efficiency, staffing your practice with the right people can enhance productivity.

The two components of every dental practice are office management and operations. When these two units work in harmony, you will see how productive your practice can really be.

Here are a few simple steps to improving productivity through having the right team in place.

Create a Staffing Plan

Your practice’s philosophy and a clear job description are the key components to creating a staffing plan. Utilizing your social media and your website to advertise is an effective operational procedure that must be apart of your onboarding process.

When your potential employee applies to your opening because you have laid out a clear description of their duties as well as the practice’s expectations, you save valuable time. 

Having these two processes in place, you are increasing practice productivity because you can spend more time on patient care than on hiring staff.

Interviewing the Right Candidates

With a little time and preparation, you can create a smooth interviewing process. You will be left with the most motivated candidates to choose from.

The biggest piece of advice for controlling the interview process is to ask open-ended questions

The thing is, most people regurgitate the same lines from memory for typical questions. Questions like “ What are three qualities you possess?” 

By not providing the answers before you ask the question, and staying away from closed-ended questions, you will receive more genuine answers from your potential employee.

When people are put on the spot and have to react, you will be able to see how motivated they are.

You will also get a glance into their ability to think quickly, their own philosophy, as well as how they will get along with your current team.

Finally, don’t forget to check the candidate’s references.

Teach Staff to Coach Patients

Now that you’ve hired the correct front end and back end staff, you can teach your staff to engage patients on the importance of hygiene practices. 

Because hygiene is more than having a clean mouth, your staff need to be interacting with patients to encourage twice-per-year hygiene visits.

Train your staff to get in the habit of looking up a patient whenever they call the office.

Get them to see the last time they were at your practice. If it has been more than three months, your staff member should offer them a check-up appointment. 

This phone call is also an excellent time for your staff to remind patients of how important regular check-ups are to prevent more severe dental issues like gum disease.

Properly trained administration assistants answering the phones, talking with patients and sending out emails.

These things can enhance your patient visits and in turn, produce more income for your practice.

Make sure to schedule the patient’s next visit before they leave. Also, confirming their next appointment a few days before their next visit may increase in services booked.

Teaching your staff how to teach your patients and collect information is a great tool for promoting patient visits. When your staff reminds patients about long term issues and regular cleanings your practice’s calendar will always be busy.

Boost Morale With A Bonus System

One of the best ways to improve productivity, growth, and efficiency within your team is a bonus system

Whether it is rewarding for no sick days or incentives for hitting certain targets. Moods are raised and employees are happier when they’ve got something to look forward to. 

Employees who get to have a say in how they work and how they are rewarded correlates to enhanced productivity. When your staff has a say in what their incentive is, they are more likely to hit their targets.

Providing encouragement and feedback to your staff through a reward system can actually increase patient numbers. Getting feedback from your staff is imperative to creating an effective bonus or rewards system.

In Summary

These four tips can be implemented in many medical practice settings to increase practice productivity. With a little planning and preparation, your practice can find success with these tips.

Hiring a new staff member that aligns with your practice’s philosophy can increase practice productivity. Properly training your employees on how to teach patients about the importance of regular check-ups and oral hygiene will keep your calendar full.

Rewarding your staff and providing feedback through incentives and a bonus system where they have input can increase your practice’s income and boost morale. Productivity and staffing your dental practice go hand-in-hand. Try one or all of these steps to increase your practice’s productivity today!

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About the author

Heather Burton

Heather lives with her husband and two children in beautiful British Columbia. Her passion has always been to enhance the lives of others by helping them reach their own personal goals and accomplishments. Content management is her specialty, and writing is what she does best. Her love for helping others lead her to the cannabis scene where she saw an immense gap between patients and medicine that can help them.

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