Renew and Invigorate your Practice this Spring

  • by Eric G. Jackson , DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FICD, FADI
  • Feb 21, 2019, 15:58 PM

I love Chicago for many reasons, but one of the most notable is the changing of the seasons. The beginning of spring is always a great time of year because Chicago is notorious for very long, cold and windy winters. In early spring, the snow is melting, the trees and flowers start to bloom, and the world seems to open its eyes again. Spring is also a great time for renewal and rebirth within your dental practice — but, a word of caution, don’t bite off more than you can chew! Equipment, concepts, techniques and philosophies are evolving in our field faster than ever. Here are some ideas to help your office reach full bloom this springtime.

Plan out any desired springtime changes as a team. Even though the practice owner(s) will make the final decisions, make sure you have an actual management meeting to discuss and plan everything before implementation. Your staff and coworkers each see the practice from uniquely different viewpoints. What you might think is a priority (or not a priority) might be the minority opinion when the staff or management is polled. Having these meetings will help prevent you from investing time, effort and money in things at inopportune times.

Once planned out, only change one major system, concept or protocol within your office at a time. Remember that it takes time for the entire team to become comfortable with something new. Just because you feel at ease implementing and understanding a change quickly doesn’t mean your staff will. Give everyone time to adapt, and they will thrive.

Don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you think there’s nothing to improve? I’ve always relied on patient surveys to guide my decisions. Like staff, your patients each view your practice with a uniquely individual perspective. Online surveys are a great way to be minimally intrusive yet still collect valuable opinions from the people who matter most.

Perhaps your practice truly is one of the exceedingly rare ones that doesn’t require any springtime invigoration. If you find yourself in this position, I encourage you to look beyond the walls of your practice for other possible areas of renewal and rebirth. Look to your community for opportunities to volunteer your dental services and knowledge to those in need. Offer your dental services at the local free clinic, through the local health department or via a large-scale endeavor like a statewide Mission of Mercy. Consider helping train your future colleagues at a nearby dental school. If your area lacks any of these volunteer opportunities, consider applying for a grant, and create your own. Contact your local AGD component or your state dental society if you need leads. There are lots of ways to revitalize the oral health of your community this spring, you just need to decide which one to undertake.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Make this spring the most impactful season your practice or your community (or both) has ever seen! I wish you all the best.

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