We talk about fundamentals in the business of Dentistry. It's really no different than fundamental in any sport. We need to bring it back to the basics. A LEAN dental practice does more with less.
When my brother was a senior in high school, his high school football team has played together since he was 8. Our high school was a small, farm country school in Northeast Ohio. I think each class gratuated around 200 kids. As a whole, the football team consisted of small white boys. They all had a goal and that was to become state champions in football. When the state semi-final game was approaching, no one thought the team had a chance. They were about to play Steubenville RIG RED in Canton at the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Hell, just playing here was an honor. Big Red had a few of the nations top recruits in football and had already made commitments to play Division I for teams like Penn State and THE Ohio State University. Down 21-0 at half, the fans pretty much counted them out. With some amazing coaching and heart, our little, white boys won this game. They used a LEAN strategy to win the game. They streamlined their game, used their speed, didn't do any fancy but just play the game. They utilized the PDCA (Plan,DO, Check Act) They made a plan at the start of the game, did the plan, checked it a halftime made some appropriate changes, acted on them and won the game. They brought the fundamentals back.
In Dentistry, the same applies. In any type of business the same applies. The fundamentals are crucial to running a lean, streamlined business. This would be standardization in value- added processes. Map out the process. Then ask yourself, where are my bottlenecks? Where is my non-value added time...THIS IS ALL WASTE. As defined, waste is adding time and resources without adding value to the finished product. Think about how much time it takes you to tear down an operatory. If it is more than 3 minutes, you are wasting time. The process of standardizing work can be done in all areas of your practice.
In case you are wondering, West Branch High School won the Division III state championship in 1994 the following week. My brother was a 5'9" linebacker and captain of that team. I think about those boys when I am working with a dentist and his practice. Just when you think it's impossible, great, big things can happen.
Yes, I got married this weekend to the most wonderful man on this planet.....
He said to me these vows written by the great Paulo Coelho
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning.”
― Paulo Coelho,
Have you ever thought the use of bins and tubs would change your life and the way you manage your dental practice? Well, they will.
As a veteran dental assistant, I have discovered first hand the issues that stood in the way of providing an optimum level of care. I was not as effective as I should be becasue I did not have the tools in place in order for me to be the most efficient in my craft. I always thought having a sterilization tech would make my life at work more manageable, but this wasn't the case. Why was I taking so much time emptying a tray, throwing the instruments into an ultrasonic (and I mean throw because there was always another patient), bagging the instruments, and setting up a tray? Because I didn't have another option. How was I going to convince the dentist I worked for for help? I was just a dental assistant, right? I needed a dentist named Dr. Dave Ahearn to turn those problems around and into profit with solutions
For nearly two decades, Ergonomic products and Design Ergonomics have been offering dental office efficiency solutions and it is with my help it can all be implemented.
Doesn't it make you crazy Dr. to be in the middle of a procedure and your assistant doesn't have the product you need? After rifling through several drawers, she still doesn't have what you need when you need it. You see Dr., you can't use what you can't see or reach. This is when you really start to waste away. Wasting away production; your time, your money, your composure. The dental assistant will inevitably travel on over to the storage closet, or what I like to call "the room you never want to see". She knows it's in there because she just ordered it but the product is no where to be found. So, she steals it from op 2. Of course, she forgets to return it and her co-worker, who hoards material, flips out when she doesn't have what she needs. You're sitting there with your 2pm patient, finally on schedule today with your first patient after lunch, awkwardly making small talk as you mask your negative feelings toward your ENTIRE staff. You're now frustrated for the day, she's frustrated for the day, tensions are high AND you're running so behind you can't even take a potty break. Does this sound familiar?
Well, I get it! We get it!! Ergonomic Products now offers clinical coaching where myself or another will consult with your practice to discover needs and make a plan to solve your issues. We not only come up with the plan, but we also implement these solutions and provide you all the necessary checklists to help you better optimize your schedule, manage your practice, and help you do what it is you do best.......DENTISTRY. Now, you can.
Call us and speak to any one of our talented staff. Our schedules are booking up fast, so don't waste any more time. We provide coaching to all of North America.
Your Dental Prophet,
I have spent the last 40 years trying to figure out what works for me. At age 41, I cannot live without these things
- 1. L'Occitane Aromachologie Repair Shampoo and Conditioner
- 2. Aveda Brilliant Damage Control
- 3. Aveda Phomollient
- 4. Origins GinZing
- 5. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
- 6. Banana Boat After Sun Aloe After Sun Lotion
- 7. Bare Minerals Original Foundation
- 8. Clinique High Lengths Mascara
- 9. Sephora 12 Glitter Copper
- 10. California Mango Magic Mango Cuticle Oil.
Implemented Compassionate Finance this week through Comprehensive Finance. It's amazing what one can accomplish if "options" are offered.
Many patients who have large treatment plans have a hard time swallowing the figure presented in front of them. What if you could take the financial pain away? Well, Compassionate Finance has helped us close 50% more treatment plans than before. A patient utilizes their existing insurance maximum as a down payment since at least 20% is required down in order to qualify for the loan. In some cases, patients may qualify for Care Credit which, too, helps with this down payment.
With some creativity, compassion, and care we can help our patients receive the much needed oral care and offer up a plan to help them afford it. We are thrilled at what a difference we are making for our patients.
How do you make for affordable dental care?
Many have answered the question well and as you can see there's more than a few ways to go about this process. At the end of the day there is 3 major considerations when determining your cost on a construction project.
First is room yield, take your total square footage and divide by your total # of treatment rooms. A design firm that's focused on both clinical efficiency and patient comfort (ebm) will be in the 320-350 sf per treatment room range. This is inclusive of ALL major amenities including staff lounge large enough for huddle, consultation space, appropriately sized waiting and reception areas, business offices, etc. Considering the industry average is 450 sf per treatment room, there are multiple opportunities for improvement on this front, when you're paying $150-$200 per sf for construction, any space saved is $$ saved.
Second is equipment costs, again similar to construction costs, there are averages that a cost conscious design firm will be cognizant of and do their best to ensure you stay below. Industry average has new treatment rooms fully equipped (x-ray, chair, lights, delivery, etc.) in the $40k-$50k range. There are several solutions out there allowing you to do this for the $20k-$30k range.
Last but certainly not least is operative production, is your design firm simply designing an office for you or are they helping implement total practice solutions to make you more productive? Industry average doctor production per hour is $432. $1,000/hr+ is not only possible, but easily achieved when focusing on eliminating non-value added steps from your day to day activities. Is your design firm capable of having these practice specific discussions? "How do I eliminate the front desk bottleneck?", "How many new patients can I see per day?", "What are some of the best practices for sterilization efficiency?", "How do I handle inventory and reordering?", "What's the best way to schedule multiple providers and varying shifts based on my patient demographic?"
Depending on what you're looking for will determine which design firm is right for you. Compare your project to the averages and to the goals you set for your practice. Individually some costs may be higher and some may be lower, but only the big picture perspective will determine how valuable (or not) their involvement was.
Discover more on this thread by visiting http://www.dentaltown.com/MessageBoard/thread.aspx?s=2&f=309&t=234697&r=3653228
The best investment you can make is your health. You can make all the money in the world, but if you're not around to spend it, what is it worth? Daily, I present treatment plans to patients and so many times I hear, "Oh, I can't afford that!" Meanwhile, I see Louis Vuitton bags, Hugo Boss suits, acrylic nails (spent $40 at least every two weeks), etc. Why does the general public think dentistry is optional? This question I ask every time I smell gum disease. What can we do to change the way patients think?
I have my thoughts, how about yours?
I stuggled so hard learning in school because I found it unbearable to sit still long enough to read something and then summarize what I had just read in a few sentences all while under the clock. I was never prepared to take a test. I knew it would be multiple choice or true or false.... I discovered in the last few years (now 40) that learning was difficult I am not alone.....
Four years ago, I was asked to take a personality test. The test was described to me as a requirement to get a job with a leader in the dental community. The test will require no more than 15 minutes of your time, but it is important that you answer honestly. At that time, I needed the job but I didn't take the test lightly. I trusted the man who offered the test, so I buckled down to be thorough and honest. What I learned was life changing for me. My results of the Kolbe A Index revealed what I had always struggled with my entire life. The results revealed my ability to learn while sitting still in a quiet environment was virtually impossible. My results helped me understand why I had difficulty focusing.
After receiving the results of the Kolbe Index, I sought out the help of a therapist to help me understand other complications in life which resulted in a diagnosis of Adult Attention Definciency Dosorder or ADD. In order to come up with the results, I was asked to undergo a number of tests. No, I wasn't poked or proded. No, I didn't have a bunch of tubes in and out of my body. I had to take tests. Four hours of hands on Q&A, puzzles, memory, relation, memory plus puzzles, math, comprehension just to name a few. My frustrations grew deep as the tests went on. I sweat through a number of them. I was clearly nervous. The simplest tasks were incomplete and I immediately felt like a dumbass! I was so incredibly stupid! I left the therapist office in a daze. I wondered what I could have done differently to achieve better (if) results. Were there better results? I was consumed with what I had or how I had answered in the previous test that I couldn't focus on the present task in front of me.
When the diagnosis came back, I was not surprised. The doctor asked me if I had had trouble learning while growing up. He asked me if I had gotten into trouble at school. These questions were difficult to answer I suppose but I really did have trouble. I could recite what was lectured to me, but could never do well on an exam. I could act out a detailed event, but I could never take a test and deliver the same result. The therapist then told me something I am now understanding to be my capable learning technique. Imagine, I can comprehend a book best while reading when two televisions are playing two different stations and at the same time while jumping on a trampoline. I learn when chaos surrounds me.
I couldn't study. My parents would send me to my room and tell me to buckle down. I was not being insubordinate, I couldn't focus. I tried college, but I didn't do well. I worked, I parented, I traveled. I once thought I would never amount to much, but I did. I am a success in life. My job is great! My child was raised right! My family bond is strong! My personal relationships with people are consistent! My heart is good! My faith is strong! I find the good in others! I am smart, I just hate reading......but I love stories.