You love dentistry and you enjoy talking to patients, putting them at ease and providing amazing care. You also appreciate the relationships you’ve built with your loyal staff. And despite all this, you have a family, hobbies and a penchant for relaxation. What’s more, you started your own practice for the freedom and flexibility it would bring, of which you haven’t experienced a great deal. Consider the ways to offset your workload and free up valuable time for those important parts of your life that fall outside of dentistry.
One of the simplest approaches is outsourcing. Keeping all of your services in-house sounds good in theory and can have many benefits, but it can be more trouble than it’s worth for a younger practice with limited staff and resources. Dental Economics’ Wynnie Zuchowski assembled a great list of questions a practice can ask itself when considering outsourcing as an option:
- Do you or your staff have the needed expertise?
- If you outsource, will the company represent your brand the way you want it to?
- Does the company have a good reputation?
- Have you run the numbers–hiring the staff versus hiring the company?
- Are you looking for short-term help or long-term solutions?
- Do you require full control of every aspect?
Outsourcing administrative tasks like collections and virtual billing can be a great place to start.
Another important time-saving measure is to make sure you’re hiring the right people. Having a dependable team in place can save time and money, avoiding the need to micromanage. One way to enhance your hiring process is to hire a professional recruiting service. By giving them the criteria for your ideal candidate, you can save countless hours sifting through resumes and cut right to the interview process.
Before you begin conducting interviews, articulate your practice’s mission and values. Without revealing them to potential candidates, ask questions that will help reveal if candidates’ personalities and values align with those of the practice. You might also consider extending the process by adding a second or third interview. While it may be a bit more labor intensive than your current process, it can help weed out candidates who aren’t completely serious about the position, while helping you learn more about those who will stick it out to the end. It will also allow you to allocate proper time to asking both job- and personality-related questions.
Another effective method of saving time and money is an upgrade of computer equipment. This may seem counterintuitive as computer equipment and related software do require an upfront investment. However, the power possessed by newer systems can cut down on workload.