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There are a plenty of forums and sites offering seemingly magic “dental office management tips” to dental professionals. Here’s the truth: there’s no “secret formula” to running a dental practice. It requires a lot of work, plenty of persistence, and a little bit of luck.

However, there are some tried and true strategies you can implement that’ll definitely make things run smoother. Here are 9 dental office management tips that successful dental practice managers say you should add to your workflow.

1. Show up (on time).

We’ve all been there: you can’t find your keys, coffee spills on your shirt, the dog runs out the front door — it happens to the best of us. Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes running late is inevitable.

However, as a manager or dental professional, you set the standard for what’s appropriate at your practice. Do your best to cut the lateness to a minimum, and communicate anytime you think you might be running a couple minutes behind. This will build transparency and trust and you’ll find your staff taking the same concern to their timeliness.

2. Know your staff.

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as an out-of-touch boss. When a boss doesn’t show up, can’t manage practice dynamics, or misses important social events, it’s hard to build a culture of respect.

Take some time out to learn your professionals and office staff on a deeper level. It’ll give you a better understanding of office dynamics, inform you of how your staff works best, and guide you to places where staff might need extra assistance. Being present and engaged will make a big impact on team morale.

3. Keep great records.

Keeping organized is critically important. Not only will your business benefit from easy-to-find patient information and files, but you’ll be protecting yourself in case you’re hit with any legal issues. Consider making copies of your important documents, but be sure to follow compliance laws with sensitive patient documents.

4. Set goals.

Avoid the dreaded “plateau panic” by setting weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. This can be both for financial and professional growth. You’ll keep yourself motivated everyday and you’ll find work more enjoyable.

Oh — and be sure to celebrate those big wins along the way!

5. Modernize communication and billing.

Don’t be left in the dark. Many dental offices struggle because they can’t keep up with the digital demands of patients. Get an online appointment maker, make sure your website is up-to-date and patient-friendly, and think about ways you can make life easier on your patients and staff with new technology.

7. Create a healthy culture.

A happy employee will work harder for you. This is fact.

Consider ways to keep your office fun and positive, like office happy hour events or meals for the staff. Also, be sure to address concerns early and often as most issues can be solved with clear and direct communication. How you handle problems as a manager will set the tone for other internal conflicts.

8. Trust your employees.

You put your staff there for a reason, so trust them to do their jobs. While micromanagement may feel like it limits overall risk, it may actually produce more employee turnover. Losing employees is tough on morale and workflow.

Communicate effectively and hold your staff accountable for their work, and you’ll create a hardworking and transparent practice that runs like a well-oiled machine.

9. Hold morning meetings.

Holding meetings is a great way to bring the staff together, address any barriers to work, create an internal culture, and put the team’s focus on the week or weeks ahead. These can be held once a week or once a month, but they should be direct and helpful to the team as a whole.

As a practice owner or dental office manager, you’ll be in charge of setting expectations and running your staff. Implement some of these dental office management tips into your practice and see how they impact your office!

Put these dental office management tips to the test

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