The Pros and Cons of Practice Turnaround. How to Recover and Learn

According to the Levin Group Data Center 2015 report, about 75% of dental practices have seen a decline in production since the Great Recession (2008). It was noted that the number of adults looking for dental care had been dropping, and people had been more careful with their health care expenses. Along with the increasingly competitive environment today, dentists are in search of solutions that will help them boost their revenues and prevent their practice from going downhill. It’s the time when you might be thinking of a practice turnaround.

What is a Dental Practice Turnaround?

A dental practice turnaround is when a dental practice needs to reinvent itself to recover financially due to a period of poor performance. Experiencing a significant period of slow business may be due to having fewer schedules, high employee turnaround, experiencing the same mistakes over and over again, and overall less activity. A turnaround is vital because it marks an improvement or upward shift for your practice. It’s a restructuring process where the practice converts to enter a period of success and profitability.

Pros of Practice Turnaround

In case your dental practices downsizing during the turnaround, then your operational costs will decrease as well. For example, if you dismiss some of your employees, your payroll expenses will be lower. And cross-training the remaining employees to understand each other’s roles and be able to perform each other’s tasks will instill a stronger sense of culture in the office. Also, specializing your employees will help them do better work and maintain an edge in the field. Training them may require some time, but it will definitely be worth it.

Next, decision-making and communication often improve when a practice eliminates any unnecessary layers of management or administration during the turnaround. By simplifying management, you will reorder the organizational structure in your practice, remove the barriers to productivity, and open the lines of communication.

Furthermore, another advantage of dental practice turnaround includes the introduction of new technologies that may lead to improved operational efficiency. For example, you can improve efficiency by introducing a patient scheduling software or a workflow software (so you don’t waste hours entering data).

Cons of Practice Turnaround

In many ways, turnaround promotes productivity, but in other ways, it may detract your practice from it. If you dismiss a few skilled employees (while other employees aren’t cross-trained to do their job), your practice could experience a loss of productivity and efficiency. Training employees to able to complete other worker’s tasks requires added time and training expenses.

Employees who stay after the turnaround may feel insecure about their jobs because of significant changes in the organization. That may lead to poor customer service and low employee morale. Productivity may suffer if the practice turnaround involves a change in employee responsibilities or new technology. Employees will need some time to learn their new roles, and the dentist (practice owner) should invest some finances and time in proper training and education.

Analyze Your Practice Before Making Significant Changes

To have a better understanding of where your dental practice is regarding active patients, systems, and terms of production, you should first analyze its performance before making any major changes. It’s of utmost importance to bring informed decisions, which is impossible without accurate information. To analyze your practice, you should examine your practice’s main areas of expertise:

  • Production
  • Scheduling
  • Team building
  • Collections
  • Scripting
  • Hygiene
  • Marketing
  • Case acceptance
  • New patient experience

Rely on thorough analysis to detect all the deficiencies and create a strategic plan to address them in your practice turnover. That way, you’ll be able to restructure your practice, recover from poor performance, and learn from your mistakes.

As for employee training, Dental Specialties Institute Inc. is there to help you educate your Dental Assistants. We have been one of the leading institutes for continuing dental education in California since 2000. We are approved by the Dental Board of California and the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.