Managing a dental practice with multiple locations is no easy feat. It’s a lucrative venture but requires extra planning and consideration to master.
This guide breaks down a few essential tips for managing multi-location dental practices.
1. Clearly Define Roles in Each Location
As the owner of multiple dental practices, you can only be in one place at one time. So, how do you ensure that each location operates to your standards and provides an exceptional patient experience?
Creating and defining clear roles for each staff member is crucial for keeping your dental practices organized and ensuring they operate successfully, even when you cannot check on them in person. Each dental practice location should have its set of management professionals dedicated to the success of that practice. These roles may include:
- Regional managers
Along with designating these roles in each location, ensure every staff member knows their responsibilities well. You won’t have to worry about micromanaging every person across your locations; instead, you can rely on trusted employees to handle such management-related tasks.
2. Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Across the Board
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) provide step-by-step instructions for different tasks and processes within your dental practice. They may cover topics like submitting insurance claims, billing patients, creating schedules, and more.
To ensure consistent quality across your multi-location dental practice, create SOPs each practice can use for training purposes. Doing so will streamline the training process for new hires, improve the efficiency and productivity of current staff members, and ensure each practice follows the same standards.
3. Create Clear Communication Channels
Each of your dental practice locations shouldn’t exist in a bubble. Instead, creating easy communication channels between locations can ensure that all staff members collaborate well despite working in different physical locations.
First, with Team Chat you can establish an instant messaging system that lets staff members and dental professionals communicate with each other throughout the day.
Next, set up biweekly or monthly Zoom calls where the staff members in each location can communicate directly about challenges and successes. For example, you can set up breakout rooms where the regional managers from each location can communicate, the accountants can compare books, etc.
4. Track Performance Metrics Closely
While trying to manage multiple dental practices, it’s easy to overlook small issues that could lead to bigger challenges down the line. You may focus more on keeping each practice afloat than optimizing performance. However, because any business can fail when even one aspect stops performing, it behooves you as a multi-practice owner to ensure consistency of branding, company vision, and operations across all locations.
Make a habit of closely tracking performance metrics for each dental practice location. Set up programs that automatically track key performance indicators (KPIs) like:
- Number of new patients
- Number of returning patient appointments
- Frequency of no-shows
DSO Scorecards allow you to compare figures across each dental practice location easily. You may notice that one practice has been seeing a significant number of new patients while another has been losing patients steadily. Knowing these figures can allow you to take a closer look at the factors impacting performance and roll out strategies to improve them.
5. Use Technology to Streamline Processes
Managing multi-location dental practices may seem like a never-ending job. One way to lighten your workload is by implementing technology to streamline routine processes. For example, you can
- Implement automatic insurance verification systems to save time managing claims.
- Use Virtual Check-In to allow patients to check in from their cars or seats in the waiting room, freeing up time for your staff members.
- Send automatic appointment reminders to patients instead of using manual reminder calls.
- Allow patients to fill out digital forms that they can complete before arriving at your office.
Look for new, innovative ways you can use technology to save yourself time and streamline processes for staff members. By cutting out rote tasks, you can focus more on high-level issues, such as enhancing the patient experience and running profitable dental practices.
Dental Intelligence is a full-scale practice performance solution that can help you optimize communication, efficiency, and performance tracking within your multi-location dental practices. Learn more about how Dental Intelligence has helped produce profitable dental services by requesting your free demo today.