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The Economics of Efficiency

Part 5 - Remaining steps and conclusion

Dr. Chris Griffin, DDS
Dr. Griffin finishes up the remaining steps to high production and wraps up with some words of encouragement.

Staff communication. This is a huge key to the practice. Now in our practice like I say we’ve done it all live systems and all that. One way we do communicate through that board is really more of a focus device but we use it for communication. Also we have the little handheld radios. Our staff they wear them in their ear. They communicate like that. One thing I would say about those if you don’t have them, you should get them. Now once you get them don’t let your staff just be asking for stuff all the time. You got to have a system for that too. You need to have some good clear protocols. Set some guidelines. You know the best doctors they use them but if you listen in their crisis, there’s very little chatters. Usually very silent and it’s only use as needed cause these can become a hindrance. And if you let your staff say well we don’t need that cause it’s so bothersome, it’s just because you don’t have the right system showing you how to use it. Communication with patients. I’m not a big pushy guy anymore. Like I said I used to push people into this huge treatment they didn’t want. Either they wouldn’t show up again or they didn’t like it once. They were unhappy once they got it down. Now we have a system for how we diagnose. We never throw everything at them at one time. We do complete diagnosis but we don’t throw anything at them in a monetary way that scares them to death. We sort of ease them into it. We got a three step diagnosis I do. I don’t just throw everything at them at one time anymore. This picture is actually our orange card. It’s our treatment planning organizer. This is the strategy that we used to get a new patient exam diagnosed to figure out exactly all the dentistry they need. Get it on one sheet of paper. And now you’re laughing at me cause I said a sheet of paper, right. We’ve tried to go paperless twice without success because we never can find the way to match this speed and efficiency of using one sheet of paper that has all the information on it for diagnostics. It divides the appointment up. It goes through, this card is very powerful because on one side it has all the diagnostics and it divides the appointments up into procedures. And then on the right side it has all financial arrangements to be done by the front office staff and the patients. So in this case on the left, my assistant Jacky is handing my coordinator, Tameki, the card cause the diagnosis is on the left of the card. Now Tameki is going to take the first appointment, figure out the financial arrangements on the right side of the card, take it into the room, present it to the patient. The patient will sign it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And now this card goes into the record and some practice even go paperless except for this card and just keep this card for speed purposes and this card now has listed out each procedure the patient needs. There’s also a system for using this. You don’t have to do exactly like I’ve done with this. But you need some system for the clinical staff to very quickly get the information that I’ve diagnosed to the front office and the front office to get the treatment financials to the patient, get it approve, and so then we can do the same day dentistry which we find very powerful. Occasionally, we have systems where I have a set of guidelines for how much we’re allowed to offer financials to patients. Nobody wants people owing too much. That’s not good business and it doesn’t’ make people happy. But we have set a guideline but occasionally you know. This is one of my team leaders like I said she has the right to talk to me about stuff during the day when other people wouldn’t. That’s not often but she can review this card with me as need be. Now let’s talk about we said we wanted to create a competitive advantage above all the above prices in your area, city or town. You can do whatever. You can do sedation. You can do braces. I think same day dentistry is the most powerful thing you can do because realistically how many practices are going to able to get somebody in today and do the definitive work. A lot of practices might say they’re going to do some, but they’re just going to get you in, give you prescription. Throw some glass on and [mend] a broken tooth or whatever. We’re actually doing definitive dentistry. Now to do that you have to be very good at your systems or else you’ll get stress. But like we’re showing you, it’s not that big a deal to get these really awesome systems going. And after a while you know, it just becomes second nature. Here’s an ad that we’ve even used for some of our clients. We developed this from one our clients that he also got good at same day dentistry. And you can advertise this in your area. And I’m telling you nobody else is going to have anything this powerful because elective dentistry is way down. Just look at the statistic from ADA. It just is. Now you might be doing a good bit right now but it’s a downward trend. So I would suggest that you if nothing else start building this up inside your practice because right now this doctor just put the ad out and other dentist what can they say. They’re not going to be able to get people in like he is. So they can really compete with him. It puts him in a competitive vacuum. So I would encourage you same day dentistry is a wonderful way to do this. There are other ways also but I would suggest you give this a thought. And finally life balance. Now we all want to be able to make good money and take off a lot of time and be with our family and do stuff we want to do, right. If you get into this grind and you working four maybe five days a week and then by the weekend is here and you need one of those days to recuperate and then you got to worry about the next day getting ready for practice. That’s a tough cycle to get in. I really really think if you’ll put this strategies to good use you can do something like we talked about to get maximum income with minimum hours in the office and who knows. And these are my actual numbers. Before I started pricing like this we did $390 an hour. Today, we do $1290 an hour. And I’ll take a whole day off that I usually not and we do a lot more, way more than we used to. And so I love the way that my life has turned out. Now I really do. And I would encourage you this is a great way to practice. Like I said if you want to just keep turning out that assets that’s fine but I think time well spent could be taking away from the practice and give you the balance that you need. Cause if you got a good balance in your life, it’s just going to reflect in everything else you do. Of course some people have associates and stuff. And there are ways every dentist has a unique strategy for this. But I would encourage you form a strategy that makes your life the life that you really want to live and not just something you feel like you’re tied to and can’t get out of. So the eight keys let’s just recap. We had staff effectiveness. We had clinical excellence, stress free systems, doctor efficiency and focus, new patients. We got to find a way to get a steady stream of those coming in. staff communication protocol. We got to find you a competitive advantage and finally we got a find a doctor life balance. Those are the eight keys to having a happy, very highly productive, stress free practice and that work every time they’re tried. So I mean I don’t really know why you wouldn’t want to work that way. Please take my word for it. I don’t know if you’re just, some people are just stubborn or whatever, but the value of doing dentistry this way is just so much better for yourself, your family, your practice, less hour, more money, less stress, happier home life, healthier. You’re going to be healthier. Enjoy what you do. You’re going to retain better staff. You’re going to attract better staff and you’re going to build equity. And equity in your practice is something that very likely maybe the largest asset that you have. All right, and finally I'll just leave you guys with this do you want to have less income and more stress which is the way things are heading or do you want to have more income and less stress and I really think this is the way to practice if this is what you want to do. Thanks everybody!