Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

The Next Level -Your Dental Equipment & Your Desktop?

The technology train is going faster everyday so if you have not engaged with any of the new technology, it is a long road. You need to start walking down the field or plan on walking off. The next level is here.

As the advancements in technologies reach the dental industry, industry standards will need to change. One thing that will never change is the rising cost of “Down-Time” and the dramatic effect it can have on the dental office.

Down-Time … You have a full day booked or maybe just a few patients and the compressor won’t start. You call your favorite service tech and it takes them an hour to get there. Then they diagnose and hopefully fix the situation, but you had to reschedule the patients and lost the day. What did the down-time cost? What is it worth to never have that problem, because you know it’s going to happen at the worst time. Equipment manufacturers are addressing those concerns.

Equipment Manufacturers … Several of the large equipment manufacturers are incorporating software management into their products. Your compressor, vacuum, x-ray, sterilizer, and more will be monitored and warn you of needed maintenance and possible failure. Just like the warning lights on the dashboard of your car, by addressing the problem before it happens lets you control the down-time. When shopping new equipment it would be a good idea to add this to your list of questions.

The List of Questions … When shopping for new equipment in today’s dental market there are more things to think about than ever before. Everything you buy today must be able to adapt to tomorrows technologies. We have all heard the term open platform, the concept becomes more important every day. Think about the next 5 years and what you will need to incorporate new medicine. One thing that is always overlooked by most dental practices is the cost of operation after the warranty and promotional offers. The cost of software management and support need to be part of your annual budget. Just like your rent it will always be there and continually rise. The success of your practice will rely on the future integration of technology and your dental equipment so plan for the next level. It also matters where the equipment is purchased? Will that organization be able to service your needs in 5 years?

The Next Level … It all starts with quality practice management software. Add to that a quality office manager, not just a front desk, that becomes the systems monitor. If any of your equipment starts to malfunction or is due for servicing, warning windows will appear on designated screens. The data can also be transmitted to a quality service organization so that the technician knows what the problem is and is prepared with necessary parts. The next part of the equation is the IT person. This one is critical because dental related software is very complex. The guy at the gym is not a seasoned dental certified IT group. How about the next level of systems monitoring? It’s here, Tech Central can already monitor your network and provide 24 hour remote service. Soon they will be able to keep an eye on you compressor, vacuum, x-ray, and anything else that gets plugged in. That is where “Out-Sourcing” can save you a lot of money. I have a client that will do $1M Gross this year with 2 chairs. The office spends their time doing dentistry and not paperwork. This is all Next Level Dentistry. Control the costs of operation and spend time doing dentistry. I am always available to address your questions or concerns.



May 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Audit … Get Ready Because It’s Coming!

Federal Tax Audits, State Tax Audits, Insurance Company Audits

Yes, they are all coming and they will be in real time. With changes in federal regulations and the Affordable Care Act more freedom is being given to the states to manage their own programs. With that, the government‘s plan to lower the federal tax rates will also lead to a reduction in federal aid to the states. The idea is to give the general population more money to spend and a greater say in how they spend it. That is a consumer driven economy. However, to maintain public services the federal and state governments will need capture lost revenue. With the technology now available, and years of electronic data random audits will be the new normal.

Lost Revenue … Hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected sales tax revenue is lost through interstate retail commerce. Individual state laws do not apply to non-resident companies, states cannot force other states to comply with their laws, that’s where the feds come in. One of the responsibilities of the federal government is to regulate trade between the states. The lost revenue issue may be solved by creating a federal sales tax.

The Federal Tax Audit … Don’t think you are too small to be noticed. The feds understand investment so their time was spent on big organizations. Technology has redefined the term “BIG”. If your organization accepts payments through federal programs such as Medicare, you are on the radar screen. If patients claim your services as tax deductions you’re on the radar. If your cash deposits fluctuate beyond an average range you’re on the radar. Maybe it’s time for a self audit on record keeping, ask your tax advisor.

The Random State Audit … If you have never been through one, you can’t understand. I live in New jersey so I can’t comment on the other 49 states but I went through a NJ State audit and I got to tell you, it is not fun. One of my clients is dealing with it now so I thought it would be a good idea to spread the word of caution. The state asks to see everything and when you give them everything you have, they will ask for more. That’s when the fun starts, finding what you don’t have. You will need to prove every payable and receivable transaction. Everything needs to balance with back-up documentation and if you don’t have it, you pay. State tax laws are very specific and the local governments want every tax dollar due to them. However, taxable items in one state may not be taxable in another. As an example, NJ & NY classify taxable items completely different and the point you take possession is where the tax is collected. Ask your tax advisor about state tax compliance and reporting taxes not collected in both your receivable and payable departments. A $17.00 mistake cost my company $2500.00 in interest and penalties plus the accounting time.

Insurance Company Audits … If you do not participate with any insurance companies this will not effect you. However, if you do participate you are required to prove full regulatory compliance upon request. From OSHA to emergency medical equipment all state and federal regulation must be in place. It amazes me that so many dental offices don’t have an emergency O2 tank with an Ambubag and those that do haven’t checked the tank since they got it. You may want to review your insurance contracts for more details.

The Bottom Line … Benjamin Franklin said “a stich in time saves 9”. Preparation and accurate records are essential. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


May 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Thing?

    From the Disney’s Talking Points .. Doing Things Right or Doing the Right Thing?       

Picture yourself staying at a Disney resort. You’ve just completed your weeklong stay and are checking out at the front desk, when the Cast Member looks you in the eye and says with a smile, “Thank you for being our Guest this week.” How does hearing the word, “Guest,” make you feel? Since the opening of Disneyland in 1955, Cast Members at Disney theme parks and resorts have referred to our visitors as Guests. Does it matter?

Although using the word Guest is not necessarily unique to our organization today, there are important reasons behind why we encourage our Cast Members to do so. It provides a framework for understanding how we should interact with people – actually treating our visitors as if they are guests in our own homes.

As we have previously shared in our book, Be Our Guest: “…words create images and corresponding assumptions in people’s minds. Take the word Guest. An unhappy Guest and an unhappy consumer create two very different images in an employee’s mind. Guests are welcome visitors, whom you host; consumers are statistics. If someone is your Guest, don’t you feel a greater obligation to ensure his or her happiness?” And, at Disney, happiness is the goal!

In fact, everything we do in terms of service design revolves around our guests and our common purpose—a simple statement that represents what we stand for and why we exist as an organization. This statement defines the expectations we have of ourselves as Cast Members and reads like this: “We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere.” Striving to create happiness allows us to begin forging life-long relationships with our Guests.

So, how can an organization ensure that its employees are able to actually deliver on the purpose? We now return to the question at the opening, “How does hearing the word, ‘Guest,’ make you feel?” You would probably agree that, in general, the words alone are not sufficient. The behaviors – the eye contact and sincere smile – also matter a great deal. In other words, we should consider our focus on “doing things right,” and “doing the right thing.”

“Doing-Things-Right” This is critical for efficient, high-quality, and consistent delivery of the desired Guest experience. One method commonly used is providing scripts. By scripting transactions, you can help to ensure that employees have the tools to “do things right.”

“Doing the Right Thing” On the other hand, providing a clear framework can help employees “do the right thing” on behalf of their Guests, rather than abdicate to the script alone or simply do what’s been done before. This unscripted approach empowers people to internalize and “own” the common purpose and then deliver the Guest-focused behaviors that bring that purpose to life. In past Talking Point posts, we’ve shared that the key to our success lies in a holistic approach. You must give people purpose, not just rules. Once employees understand and internalize the common purpose, they can choose to go that extra mile because they have a heart for service, turning “customer service” into “Guest service.”

Think about it: Are your employees able to “do the right thing” on behalf of your customers, or must they focus solely on “doing things right?”

May 7, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment