The success or failure of your dental practice depends on the success of every team member. If your dental team has begun falling behind, you can take several measures to get them back on track and boost your profitability, patient satisfaction, and retention rates as a result.
Read ahead to learn how to improve your dental team performance.
Defining Success for Your Practice
Before you can understand your dental team’s performance, you should consider how you would define success within your dental practice. Success looks different in every healthcare practice. Understanding your goals can help you determine how each team member can help you meet them.
Many dental practices measure their success with the following criteria:
- Number of staff (see our Ebook: State of Dental Staffing)
- Number of patients in the database
- Number of appointments each week
Your dental practice may measure success by comparing these criteria to previous months or years. You may also compare your performance to other dental practices in your city or state.
Alternatively, you may have personal parameters for success. For instance, you may ask for satisfaction reports from your dental team members to ensure that you are creating a positive work environment. You may also invite feedback from patients to ensure an exceptional patient experience.
Measurement, KPIs, and Goals
Defining specific goals and key performance indicators for your dental practice is crucial in determining your success. Without these specific parameters, you will not know how your dental practice’s performance measures up compared to other practices, past years, and nationwide trends.
Know What to Measure
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable indicators of progress, performance, or success. Your dentistry practice can use these indicators as performance evaluations. With these indicators in mind, you can develop a dental employee training program that shapes your dental staff to improve these measurements.
KPIs, What Would Indicate Growth or Success
Our recent blog post lists 4 Dental KPIs that every dental practice should consider. Keeping these parameters at the forefront can help you run a successful dental practice:
- Profitability: While revenue is an important KPI, profitability is even more crucial. Your dental office needs to bring in enough cash to pay for overhead costs, office staff paychecks, dental equipment, and other expenses. You also need plenty left over to reap the fruits of your labor. Many dentistry practices have a gross profit margin of 30% to 40% of their revenue.
- New patient conversion rates: Bringing in new patients regularly is important in running a successful dental practice. You can calculate your new patient conversion rate by dividing the number of new patients in a given period by the number of patient inquiries. You can also implement dental marketing strategies to improve potential patient conversions.
- Cancellation or no-show rate: Cancellations and patient no-shows can quickly kill your profitability. Measuring your cancellation rate is important to identify how this issue impacts your practice and what measures your staff needs to take to reduce it.
- Hygiene reappointment percentage: Ideally, every patient who comes in for a routine cleaning or dental procedure will schedule additional appointments every six months. But in many cases, patients come in for one appointment and never return. Measuring your reappointment percentage can help you realize how this churn affects your success.
Outside of these four major KPIs, you can also track parameters like productivity, revenue, outstanding collections, and more.
You can measure these KPIs in a few different ways. To start, you can track them manually over specific periods, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and discuss them at each staff meeting. You can also implement patient automation software that tracks callers, appointment scheduling, and cancellation rates for you.
Measuring your KPIs isn’t enough to improve your dental team member performance. You also need to set goals that your dental professionals, desk staff, and other team members should strive to reach to improve upon the existing KPI figures.
Knowing how to set good goals is a valuable skill to have as a dental practice owner. We recommend using the SMART goals method. Each goal should be:
- Specific: Detailed and meaningful
- Measurable: Quantifiable (just like KPIs)
- Attainable: Realistic
- Relevant: Related to your dental practice mission
- Time-based: Deadline-oriented
Communication, Appreciation, and Accountability
Encouraging your dental employees to reach goals is one way to improve their performance. However, you also need to create a dental practice culture that motivates your employees to go above and beyond for your dentistry practice. Your practice should foster:
- Healthy communication that minimizes conflict
- Appreciation for your dental care team and the efforts they put into your business
- Accountability for performance, productivity, and patient care
Why Appreciation Matters
Showing your appreciation toward your dental team members can go a long way in improving performance. Employees who don’t feel appreciated may feel no loyalty to your practice. As such, they won’t be motivated to perform above the bare minimum you expect from them. They also won’t hesitate to transfer to another practice that offers better pay, benefits, or practice culture.
Follow Up and Recognition Show You Value Both Staff and Goals
Do you provide an annual performance review for your employees? Sitting down with each staff member and reviewing their performance from the year can produce several benefits:
- Show that you recognize an employee’s hard work
- Hold employees accountable to production goals
- Encourage teamwork to meet provided goals
- Give staff an opportunity to voice concerns or ask questions
During an annual review, take time to discuss the key performance indicators you have tracked for each employee in your dental office. Feedback is an important part of any workplace, so if there are opportunities for your staff to improve, kindly sharing feedback to help them grow goes a long way.
Also, consider asking your staff for feedback as well. Your staff can see aspects of your practice you may never consider, and demonstrating an ability to act on feedback from your staff can build a culture of trust and accountability for your entire office.
With these tips in mind, you can take measures to improve your dental team’s performance and your dental practice’s success as a whole.
If you’re looking for a user-friendly platform to track KPIs, communicate with patients, and perform a host of other tasks, request a Weave demo today.
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