Last updated on February 28th, 2024 at 04:22 pm

Staff related issues (hiring, training, etc.) are always a hot topic. I recently had an opportunity to answer a question about staff training in my “Ask an MGE Executive” column of our newspaper The Successful Professional. Due to the general relevance of the subject, I offered it up for our webletter. The column follows:

Question: What are your suggestions with regards to training staff?

Answer: That’s a great question and a much more important subject than it would seem at first glance.

When you open a dental practice, you are faced with a choice. You can do what many solo practitioners do and make the practice an “extension” of yourself – i.e., you hire some assistants and front desk personnel that “help” you run things, but you ultimately remain responsible for every aspect of the practice. In this instance, your practice is limited by how much you can personally do. Expansion (more new patients, increased case acceptance and production, etc.) will depend on how much you can do and will only end up creating more work for you.

Your second option is to create a real organization, in which the various aspects of your practice are split up and assigned to each of your staff. Each staff member has their own zone of responsibility and is in charge of handling their area of the practice. They are accountable for the success or failure of their area. In this wise you can have an office that is actually manageable. You assign an aspect of the practice to an employee and can expect it to get done, leaving you free to what you are there to do in the first place – practice dentistry. You can see that in this way the growth of your practice is not limited to only what you can accomplish yourself.

(Related: Dental Consulting vs Training)

Now, regardless of how you operate, it’s still your business, which means you are ultimately responsible for what goes on. And there are some things you cannot delegate – especially when it comes to patient care (unless you add associates). With option two though (a real organization), you end up with a real team who are accountable and responsible for their own zones or areas. This makes for better service, happier employees (in my opinion) and exponential business growth potential.

If you want option number two, then I suggest that you train your staff on their jobs very well – after all, the better they are trained, the better they can be a contributing member of the team, and the worse they are trained, the more they get in the way and create more work for you. In fact, if your staff aren’t trained to do their jobs proficiently, you can’t have option two. So bring your staff along to seminars on subjects such as case acceptance and scheduling for maximum production. Getting your office manager or a Public Relations executive trained on marketing for new patients is also an excellent idea. And it is absolutely vital that you and your office manager are trained to be competent executives.

If you pay proper attention to training your staff, you will find that not only will your practice’s production and profitability increase, but your work load and stress level will go down significantly. If you need help with this, give MGE a call. We offer many services for training staff. Feel free to write me at sabrib@mgeonline.com if you have any more questions or would like more information about MGE’s services.

Sabri Blumberg provides this general dental practice management advice to furnish you with suggestions of actions that have been shown to have potential to help you improve your practice. Neither MGE nor Ms. Blumberg may be held liable for adverse actions resulting from your implementation of these suggestions, which are provided only as examples of topics covered by the MGE program.


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