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Getting Systems in Place for Your Practice

There’s a lot that goes into a successful dental practice, and part of your success can be attributed to your systems. Do you have a system in place for every area of your practice? Does your team know the system, understand the system, and — most importantly — use the system? These are the things that can affect your day-to-day experiences at work. 

Having a Checklist 

The only sane way to run a team is to divide the jobs. But in dividing the jobs, nobody should be left in the dark, and everyone needs some sort of awareness. For example, the front desk needs to have awareness of what the assistant does, and vice versa.

But have you ever noticed that we become extremely comfortable with the stuff we do every day and forget that if someone doesn’t do what we do, they don’t know how it should be done? 

That’s why it’s important to get a manual, a system, or a checklist in place. 

As a dentist, people ask you weird questions — really weird questions.

“Does my insurance cover veneers?”

“Is this going to take five hours?”

“My sister had an implant and it failed. Is mine going to fail?”

If the person who answers these questions isn’t around, what is your team going to do? A checklist for everything that happens in the office is key to keeping your practice running smoothly, even in the event that someone isn’t there. It should include information about every role in the office so your team can be on top of their game even when someone else is out. 

Everybody should have access to the checklist. 

Getting Everyone Involved

There are some things that everyone on the team should know about and be involved in. For example, people probably ask you, “What’s your cost to work with you guys?”

They don’t ask it like, “I’m really interested.” They’re asking it like it’s going to be expensive. They do it with emotion. So when people say that, you could say, “That’s a good question. A lot of people ask that. I would want to know that, too.” This makes you more likable, more credible, and gives your brain a chance to think.

But this only works if everybody does it.

So, every person at your practice should be able to say this whenever anyone asks a question they don’t know the answer to. Even when they know the answer, they can say it to soften the answer that’s coming.

Again, that was an example, but it really doesn’t matter what it is: how you answer a question, how you clean the bathroom, how you set up an operatory. Everybody just needs to know, everybody needs to be involved, and everybody needs to understand — and use — the system. By writing it down, you save yourself the frustration of having to repeat yourself over and over again. Written systems also clearly lay out exactly what needs to be done and how. 

Systems aren’t about perfection; they’re about making things better, smoother, and less stressful. When everything is working as it should, and your entire team is following the systems you have in place, you should have smooth sailing at your practice.

Start Somewhere — Start Today!

You may be feeling a little overwhelmed now, thinking, “I have to make systems?!” And trust us when we say, you’ll be glad you did — eventually. It’ll take a little while to get there, but you have to start somewhere. Make a list of all the checklists or systems you need, and then prioritize them. Start with what’s most important, make sure everyone gets it down, and then move on to what’s next. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. As long as you’re making progress, you’re moving in the right direction. 

At Duckett Ladd, we know you want to successfully run your practice and achieve your ideal quality of life. Our accounting, tax planning, and business strategy services can help you do it. To find the fastest solution to your business challenges, get in touch with our team today!

Duckett Ladd, LLP does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This content has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Also, tax law is ever-changing and every effort should be made to seek out the most current information. Make sure to check the date of published content to ensure the most current information.

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