Since the dental economy became more challenging, most dentists have been looking for ways to increase production. Generating more referrals, bringing in new patients, and adding services will all work; however, there is another approach that can also yield excellent results.
Measure and begin tracking production per patient, then implement strategies to raise that number. Give every patient -- not just new patients -- a comprehensive exam every year, and use the results to create a comprehensive treatment plan. Then, using a combination of case presentations and periodic reminders about treatment recommendations, you will see your per-patient numbers grow. A realistic target is an increase of 15% year over year.
Take the time to identify new treatment options for patients. As you add services and as patients' needs change over time, be on the lookout for new ways you can improve their oral health, function, or appearance. Also, if older dental work begins to deteriorate, be proactive about upgrading it.
Don't make assumptions about what patients may want. Even patients you've had for years may surprise you about the kinds of treatment they would be interested in. Make sure they're aware of all the services you can provide for them, and let them decide what they want.
Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit LevinGroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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