My keys to a happy dental office are simple: I encourage play, the break room is stocked with snacks, and when someone goes above and beyond I reward them. We celebrate birthdays, have lunch together a few days a week, and go out to baseball games. For us, this works. Patients are happy, we are happy and most of the office staff that started with me is still here.
It’s important to recognize that depending on the career path you choose, you may enter a practice situation where there is already a routine in place. When I joined the Paducah office, I was the new guy. For the first month I observed. Over time I made changes, but it’s important to first really live in your new team’s world.
With every member of my team, I’ve built mutual respect. They all know that my priority is the patient (and having fun!). When you put patients first, I guarantee that everything else will fall into place.
One of the most important factors in ensuring patient satisfaction is creating an enthusiastic team environment. This makes a huge difference to the patient experience. Your patient may “hate going to the dentist” but should love visiting your office. I’ve got two squirt guns at every patient chair and I’m not afraid to use them!
If I leave you with one piece of advice, it’s to focus on making work fun, not on making money. If you do this, you’ll find that your office staff will stick by you, your patients will keep coming back, and you’ll want to go to work each day.
Now that you’ve listened to my two cents, here’s an added bonus for you. Visit http://kaplan.aspendentaljobs.com/register/sept12 to enter to win free Kaplan test prep for either NBDE I or II. Good luck!
~Dr. David Elrod, Aspen Dental Practice Owner, Paducah, KY