In this post, we’ll look at some concrete examples of great dental practice management. If you’re hoping to improve patient retention and attract new patients, looking at your overall practice management is a good place to start. Are you getting the most from your staff? Is your dental equipment up to date? Perhaps it’s time to update your practice design? Have a look at these award winning practices for inspiration!


NDI-Blog-And-the-Award-Goes-To-Learning-Best-Practices-from-Award-Winning-Dental-Practices.jpgBest Practice Example #1: Practice Design

Look no further than the yearly Wells Fargo Dental Office Design Competition for examples of the best innovations in practice design. Take for instance Dr. Eric To’s practice in Arcadia, CA, 2014 winner of the award for small practices. The judges noted that this contemporary design effectively incorporated technology and dental equipment into the practice design to help eliminate patient fear and anxiety and used aesthetics to overcome the stereotypes of a dental office.

What can you do?

Examine the way patients encounter dental equipment in your office and think about the focal points of each room. Do patients immediately see drills and other tools upon entering a treatment room, or rather a friendly botanical print on the wall? Even rearranging existing furniture, changing the orientation of exam rooms, and adding plants or organic artwork, can change the patient’s experience of your practice. Sometimes even small changes can make a big difference, and there is no need to buy new furniture or redesign the whole office.

Best Practice Example #2: Human Resources

What makes an award-winning dental practice? Just ask Dental Associates, the largest family-owned dental group practice in Wisconsin, which won one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2015 HR Awards. Their secret? Happy employees! Creating an environment of open communication and feedback helps keep their dental practice staff fulfilled on the job—they actually have a 96% staff satisfaction rate! Their hiring practices focus on bringing staff members on board who are dedicated and aligned with the practice’s vision for providing the best possible dental care.

What can you do?

Do you have programs in place for ensuring staff wellbeing and happiness on the job? Make sure to have a system in place that allows feedback for and from staff members on a regular basis. Have you crafted a mission statement for your practice yet? Once you have one, use it in hiring to make sure each applicant is in line with your practice goals.

Best Practice Example #3: Going Green

How can you make improvements in management practices that can boost your business and are ethically important? Try “greening” your dental practice by reducing waste, unnecessary energy, and water use and by choosing supplies that are more earth-friendly. One added bonus: you can use these improvements in your marketing. Just look at Paulina Song of Lake Merritt Dental in Oakland, CA, winner of the American Association of Dental Managers’ Green Leader Award for 2015. This practice’s green certifications and accolades are a major marketing point in their website.

What can you do?

Find out about local organizations that certify businesses as environmentally friendly. Review your practice supplies and see if there are options available using recycled paper, less packaging, and easily recyclable packaging. Analyze your energy and water use and see if there are more efficient options available. Switch to more green power sources available in your area.

These are just a few examples of award-winning dental practices and what makes makes them outstanding. Analyze your management practices periodically, from office supply purchasing to software to staff evaluations and more. Keep your practice in the best possible working order by making improvements where you can. An efficient, happy dental practice means better patient retention, happy staff, and more new patients coming in! But don’t just take my advice: listen to the award winners!


Image: SunnyView Dental Georgetown operatory_1 by SunnyView Dental, CC BY 2.0

Categories: Practice Management