Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Time Change Making You Grumpy?

Fall back, spring forward is something most of us grew up with. Daylight savings time was just converted back to standard, maybe for the last time, I hope! First established in the late 1800’s it was designed to get more hours of daylight for work. The concept took one hour of daylight and moved it from morning to night. It also has a big effect on people that work on a time slot schedule like in a dental office. Unfortunately, the psychological adjustment also effects the boss.

The Boss … This is when a team leader needs to step-up and show why you are an All Star! That hour will affect you as much as anyone else but unlike your team you have no choice but control your emotions while dealing with theirs’s.  Lead by example and do something special to lighten the environment.

Lighten the Environment … For the next few weeks or so your team will be grumpy. Your patients will be grumpy. Your family will be grumpy. Everything in your life will be “out of it” however, it will get better. But you can’t let your team’s “blahs” add to your patient’s grumpy day. So, carve out an hour and buy them lunch. Smile, be overly upbeat to compensate for the time change blues.

Time Change Blues … Daylight Saving Time (DST) messes with our body clock. Changing the clocks does not create extra daylight, but it shifts the time the Sun rises and sets. This can cause disruptions to our body clock, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm. Generally, adjusting to the time change in the spring is more difficult than when the clocks go back one hour in the fall. But losing an hour of sleep may do more than just make you feel groggy — it could have a serious impact on your mood, motor skills, appetite, and even your heart. Understanding the effects of time change is part of employee management and the Total Health Concept.

The Total Health Concept … The key to success if finding the positive that is in every negative and use it for the overall good. Question: What is the positive in a biannual time change? Answer: Asking your patients how they feel…  How many people ask you how you feel with the time change? Nobody… so it is something different that a patient will not expect but remember. Have a conversation about the concept. Ask your team to bring up the subject with the patient and you will see how it helps them to understand that time change effects everyone. You are also creating a small WOW factor because nobody ever spoke to your patients about total health and sleep deprivation.

Sleep Deprivation … Don’t you just love how everything comes full circle? The real positive of the time change conversation is that it opens the discussion of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Now you may have a clinical treatment plan that fits and advances you overall marketing plan.

Your Overall Marketing Plan … Everything feeds everything else. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Risk Management, did we forget?

It’s been a long 2 1/2 years and a lot of things in the outside world around us may have us forgetting about some basics. The chances are that your risk management program is outdated and should be reviewed. Over the last several weeks, a number of my clients/customers have requested the conversation.

Your exposure to litigation depends on your ability to defend yourself or your team against a legal assault on your practice. The stories I have heard and seen are countless. Patients, team members, pedestrians, tenants, all ages, all demographics, the potential for a legal disaster is only around the corner. The key is to be ready to defend yourself by creating an updated risk management program. You may want to start with a “Patient’s Bill of Rights”.

Patient / Practice Bill of Rights … What is it exactly? A printed statement informing the patient of what they can expect form your office with regard to privacy, professionalism, diagnostic opinion, clinical options, referrals, liabilities and payment options. It also states what the practice expects of the patient such as scheduling, cancellations, payment terms, etc. The “Bill of Rights” should be prepared by a professional familiar with healthcare law. A signed & dated document is gold to any defense team representing a well organized facility. Signed and dated documents are your first line of defense.

Defense Wins Games … When I coached baseball I believed in defense. Offense (your marketing & treatment planning) sells tickets, but your defense will save a close game. You’re your business and clinical teams are the on the front line everyday so training and consistency are critical. Every patient must be processed according to practice protocol. Train your team on people skills so they know what to say and when to ask a supervisor. Prevention is the best form of risk management.

Risk Management … Every business has an offence & defense. In the real world your defense won’t stop litigation, it will only minimize your out of pocket expense. Litigation can come at you from any direction so a professional consultant is strongly recommended. Yes, it will cost you some money but it’s part of your business investment and figured into your quarterly budget. Unfortunately, most people that read this rant won’t want to spend $350.00/hour on legal advise. I can’t tell you how big of a mistake that can be. A couple of thousand dollars now may save a couple hundred thousand down the road if you have to go to court.

Court of Law … A person is innocent until proven guilty but when the plaintive is a general consumer and the defendant (you) is a professional business the rules tend to change. It’s not that the law changes, it opens more doors for the plaintiff’s legal counsel as far a business ethics and the Consumer Protection Act. Most litigation is settled out of court but “settlement” costs money regardless of right or wrong. I know it is hard to believe, but quality documentation can be the difference between a $10,000.00 settlement and $100k. A Risk management program must also include disaster recovery.

Disaster Recovery … What is considered a disaster and I don’t mean a day full of cancelations. A disaster can be a flood, fire or death. The one thing we never really plan for is what happens after we die? Sure, there is money for the family, but what about everything else. Anticipate disasters, they will happen.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

November 1, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment