Dental Practice Management 101

You’ve done the hard work to earn your dental degree and launch your dental practice, but as a small business owner, this is only the beginning of your journey. Along the way, there are a number of necessary steps to take in managing a successful practice, from managing a budget and implementing marketing strategies to protecting the business from potential liabilities. Let’s take a brief look at some essential dental practice management tips.

Maintain a Budget

As every small business owner knows, it is essential to manage expenses. Whether you are just starting or have an established practice, it is crucial to establish a budget that considers what has previously been spent while forecasting costs for the coming year, such as rent, equipment, utilities, and maintenance. With a realistic budget in place, you can anticipate how many patients you must see, determine the fees for your services, and ensure that the practice will be profitable. Working with an experienced dental accountant can help.  The LaMaster Law Firm has worked with many dental accountants across the nation.

Reduce Overhead

A comprehensive budget analysis will also allow you to consider how to trim your overhead. In this regard, there may be opportunities to cut supplies costs or obtain better pricing from other suppliers. Moreover, if you are leasing medical space, it may be possible to negotiate a new rental rate upon renewal of your lease.  Most dental practices are spending about ten percent of their revenue on their mortgage or lease.  Another large cost center is employees’ and payroll.  You need to make sure that you are within industry standards for compensation and benefits.  At the same time, you need to make sure that your employees are happy about the place they work. Finally, you should review your insurance policies to ensure that have coverage that is not only adequate, but cost effective as well. In any event, periodically analyzing your operational costs can help you find ways to reduce overhead and improve your profit margin.

Employee Training

It goes without saying that one of your most important resources is your staff (hygienists, assistants, and front/back office). With this in mind, it is important to ensure that all staff members are sufficiently trained so that they will understand critical policies and procedures, particularly regarding HIPAA compliance. At the same time, as the first point of contact with patients, staff members should represent your practice professionally. In this regard, patients should be greeted cordially and asked if they are satisfied with their treatment. One way to ensure that staff members are on the same page is by maintaining an employee manual or handbook.

Implement a Marketing Strategy

Back in the day, dentists could rely on their patients for referrals. In today’s competitive dental practice landscape, however, it is crucial to have a contemporary web-based marketing strategy. This starts with having a state-of-the-art website and digital marketing plan that will enhance your search engine rankings. In addition, it is also vital to implement a reputation management plan to ensure that any patient reviews on the internet are positive.

Risk Management

As we wrote in our last blog post, dental practices must also consider a number of potential legal and business risks, such as medical malpractice claims and other lawsuits. By engaging the services of an attorney who is dedicated to dental professionals, you can develop a comprehensive plan to successfully manage your practice.