Under New Management

Ragini and I are about to undergo some major changes to the way we run FlossNYC. We realized that we haven’t been operating at the optimum level and we could really tighten things up on a management and process level. We’ve been on cruise control for a bit and things have started drifting from where they should be. It’s a little embarrassing that we let it get to this point. Time for action.

In a previous post, we talked about how we were moving our billing service to an external service. Well, after giving that a shot, we realized that it was failing miserably because we weren’t able to keep a close eye on the progress and status of claims. So we decided to cancel the service and bring it back in house. But the whole reason we switched in the first place was that our treatment coordinator was spending more time on billing than coordination, the lifeblood of the office. So now, we need to make sure he compartmentalizes these tasks if we give it back to him. But it needs more than just, “Okay, do a better job this time…”

We have to institute a comprehensive philosophy change.

So we put together some key changes that tighten the way we manage the staff as well as some new processes that will improve the patient experience:

  • We wrote up a patient experience guide from the patient’s point of view that explains how a patient SHOULD experience FlossNYC — we want our staff to ALWAYS be thinking from the patient’s perspective
  • We’re wrote detailed job descriptions for each staff member so there’s no question of their responsibilities and what we expect
  • We’re going to keep tighter accountability of the staff with monthly reviews where they’ll rate themselves on how they did their jobs and whether they have provided patients with the customer experience we outlined in the guide
  • We creating a new system for non-verbal communication so the patient always feels like they have 100% of their provider’s attention
  • We’re going to detail how we want diagnoses and procedures explained by every member of the staff so everything is aligned and in-sync. If anyone in the office is asked, it should always be the same.
  • We’re requiring our hygienist to ask 2–3 non-dental related questions and have the assistant note any personal events or happenings in the patient file — these can be brought up in future appointments to the patient’s delight
  • Finally, we’re going to give the office a facelift with new paint and flooring

We’re still talking over the final list of ideas, but we’re going to be implementing these changes over the next couple weeks. We’re really excited because things have admittedly been a little loose for a while. And whenever we tighten the screws and put in some more controls, we see instant increases in revenue and patient demeanor.

In case you’re wondering, I sourced some of these ideas from Dr. Mark Costes, who runs the Dentalpreneur podcast, which you may already listen to. He interviews really interesting guests and and his company runs over 10 practices for many years, so he clearly has valuable insight on management techniques and how to keep things running smoothly. I almost always have new ideas every time I tune in.

We’re all at different stages in our careers. The key is to figure out where you want to be and then find the people who are doing that now. You’ll always learn something.