Unfortunately, I believe this likely happens more than practice owners think. All it takes is a busy front office team member and a lack of communication for these types of issues to happen. Fortunately, there are some proactive steps dental practice owners can take to make sure it isn’t happening in their practice.
It is critical that the doctor understands the front office workload. There are some front office teams that are so busy that they just physically can’t get everything done. Just because no one is complaining about having too much on their plate, doesn’t mean that patients and tasks are being handled as the owner expects them to be.
The doctor needs to communicate with the team on a regular basis to find out if there are tasks that are being procrastinated due to a heavy workload. A team member’s first priority should always be serving their patients. If they do not have the time to focus their energy on the patient, it is time to think about reallocating some of their workload.
- Is there another team member that is available to delegate some administrative tasks to?
- Do you need to consider hiring a part-time person to assist the front office team?
- Can you outsource tasks to a virtual team member who can help only when it is needed?
Helping the front office manage their workload will not only make for a better patient experience, but it will also help employee morale and increase job satisfaction. Dental practices spend a lot of money on marketing to get new patients, but the biggest marketing budgets in the world are not going to have any impact on your business if there is no one there to pick up the phone when they call.