Many dentists are now expanding their dental practices and employing associate dentists so that there are 2 or more offices under the same management. Some practices are more like business chains, with branch offices found in multiple cities. Because of this, they are able to offer lower, competitive fees that drive in new dental patients from all of the surrounding areas. Branch practices work well when different neighborhoods are trying to be served, or a certain type of patient sought out. While managing multiple dental practices can be a rewarding experience, it can also cause job related stress. It’s important to know how to manage your time and stress, so that your energy is well spent on your career and personal life.
Keeping a Schedule
Although it can be difficult to manage time when you have so many responsibilities, it is essential for your success. Write down a schedule that outlines when and where you will be on certain days of the week. Remember to be flexible should something come up last minute, but otherwise try to always abide by this schedule. Not only will you find it helpful, but the dental staff at other offices will know when and where you’re expected to be each day as well. Once you’re where you are going to be, rank your duties from which are most important to the least, and how much time is needed to complete them. Give yourself a number of minutes or hours.
Making assignments for other dental team members will lighten some of your responsibilities. If the practices are all open during the same times, then other team members will need to know how to operate during your absence. Discuss possible situations that could come up given the patients on the schedule that day, and what they should do if a problem comes up. Don’t throw these responsibilities onto the newest team member; instead, rely on someone with a longer background and investment in the office to represent your choices if you’re gone. A dental practice management program can help train a team leader at each office to equip them with the knowledge and skill to take this type of task on.
It’s important to be accessible when you’re running an efficient dental team, even more so when you’re managing multiple offices. When someone calls or emails you, you need to be able to respond to them in a very timely manner rather than letting the messages pile up and left unanswered. A personal cellular phone works well if you’re going between several offices, so that team members never have to guess about how to get a hold of you. Don’t stress, you’ll only need to answer these calls during business hours or emergencies! If you have confidence in your team, you’ll be able to go further and they’ll be able to succeed under your supervision. No one can afford to micromanage in this situation. When all team members have the same training, standards, policies and expectations, management will flow more smoothly. When you know where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing, you’ll be able to focus on getting the job done.