6 Survival Tips for the Stressed Dental Practice Manager
The life of a dental practice manager is nothing short of challenging. There are staff to organise, practitioners to communicate with and of course, patients to be looked after.
It’s a stressful environment, where errors can mean missed appointments and wasted time for practitioners, as well as receipt and invoice mistakes and upset patients. Investing in a reliable and top-quality practice management system may help practice managers take some of the stress out of the job.
If you’re a stressed-out practice manager, here are some tips to help you survive the stresses of a busy practice and enjoy a little less pressure.
1. Use an online appointment system
Online bookings have become one of the most popular ways for patients to make appointments. They can be booked at all hours of the day, there’s no waiting on the phone to speak to someone and you can usually see exactly what times the practitioner is available. A practice management system with an integrated online booking tool will also allow for easier communication with patients, freeing your practice staff from constant phone calls and giving them time to complete other tasks.
Online booking can also enhance the patient experience of your practice and add to overall increased satisfaction and retention. It can also attract new patients who visit the website and make an online booking as a result. But don’t forget to clearly advertise other methods of communication for patients who do prefer to use the telephone to book appointments. To learn how your patients can book online 24/7, click here.
2. Invest time in training staff to use the software
Good practice management software is user-friendly, but staff will still need to be well trained in its application and use. Effective training will ensure that staff are efficient in using the system, therefore reducing instances of human error and avoiding missed appointments, communication problems and unsatisfied customers. And when your staff are well-trained, you can trust them to complete their tasks without much supervision from you. To find out more about D4W Training options, click here.
3. Delegate tasks accordingly
Practice managers need to be able to delegate tasks to other staff to avoid getting burned out and snowed under a mountain of work. Be organised, prioritise tasks and delegate as needed. Ensure that staff are clear about instructions and are not thrown in the deep end with practice management software they are unfamiliar with. Remove the clutter from your practice with electronic patient forms.
4. Move to the Cloud
A good practice management system will give you the confidence to get on with your day-to-day tasks, knowing that all the information you need is available to you at a few clicks of a button. A high quality dental practice management software will allow you to generate reports, integrate with health care claim programs and potentially cut errors related to payment, invoicing and receipting. These days however, even all these capabilities aren’t enough. For many dental practice managers, it is also vital that their dental practice management systems have Cloud capabilities. This way no matter where they are and even with multi-site dental practices they can access their dental software solution and a single universal database. Learn more about the new D4W Cloud.
5. Find easier ways to communicate with patients
Let’s face it – patients don’t exactly appreciate missing a scheduled appointment or turning up to find out they’re not booked in. An effective patient management system can make patient communication easier without spending hours on the phone. Patient case management software also provides easy access to patient records and treatment plans and ongoing appointment schedules. This can potentially help avoid no-shows and last-minute cancellations and in turn reduce wasted time for dentists and hygienists.
6. Take a break
Last but certainly not least, take a break once in a while. What’s the point of having the latest dental practice management software if you can’t take a breather every now and then? To avoid getting too stressed out, make sure to take some time off every week, and even in short periods during the day. Have confidence in your well-trained staff and dental management software.
Your dental practice doesn’t have to be a place of stress. Invest some time and energy in a top-notch practice management system and take some of the pressure off.