Importance of a Dental Office Manager
When you first opened your own dental practice, you wanted to make sure that you were involved in every aspect of your new business to ensure its success. You picked out every piece of furniture, equipment, and even the dental team to represent your dental office. Now your practice is growing and the patient load is keeping you busy every minute you are in the office. This is a good thing, it is what you have wanted since day one, however, you are so busy practicing dentistry that the business end of your practice may be suffering. Now you have the task of hiring an office manager that you can trust with your beloved business. The need for an office manager is hard to admit for some dentists because it means actually giving up some control of their office. While this is a daunting task, it will allow you to focus more on the practice of dentistry and enjoy your office more. The following is how a dental office manager can help your practice.
Where to begin.
You may already have a person in your dental practice already that is the unofficial office manager. They may be a long-time employee who knows how you want your practice run and treat the office as their “own”. This means that he or she treats your practice with respect and strives to make your office run efficiently and effectively. If you already have an excellent employee who may be up for the task but does not have a management background, consider sending the individual through a dental practice management program, because we all know the importance of a dental office manager.
If you do not have an existing employee who fits this description, you may need to hire outside the office. When hiring an office manager, you need to be very descriptive of your expectations when interviewing. Experience or training in dental practice management should be mandatory and previous management experience should be a plus. Using a professional recruiter in the dental field would be beneficial when hiring for a management position.
What an office manager’s duties include.
This job description for an office manager can vary from practice to practice. While some dentists are willing to hand over the reign entirely to an n office manager by allowing them to do everything from hiring to payroll, some dentists are not comfortable with a manger taking over “everything”. That is okay, it is your practice and you have every right to determine how much you are willing to hand over. You have to be comfortable with having an office manager and you should assign them they tasks you feel at ease with them doing. I have seen offices where the office manager handles supplies, employee relations, and general administrative duties, but the dentist still does payroll. When you decide to hire a manager, you make the rules, it is your name on the door.
How an office manager will benefit your dental practice.
If you hire the right person and have a job description that suites you, having an office manager will positively affect your office. By alleviating the stress of tedious administrative duties and employee relation issues, you will be able to practice what you worked years to do, dentistry. While you may be giving someone else certain responsibilities, you need to make sure that you are kept in the loop of issues in your office and how your business is being run by having weekly meeting with the office manager. While you may be giving someone else certain responsibilities, you need to make sure that you are kept in the loop of issues in your office and how your business is being run by having weekly meeting with the office manager.
In the end, choose someone who is an extension of you. You want to hire someone that you can trust and that has the same goals for your practice. A good office manager will treat your office as though their name is on the door next to yours.