If your practice staff repeatedly asks you to explain how your systems work, it may be a sign that your systems need optimizing.

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

Yesterday I had a conversation with an orthodontist who is highly dedicated to practice excellence both clinically and managerial. The practice is doing extremely well, but the orthodontist was complaining that he must keep explaining the same things to his team over and over. He asked for advice on minimizing this dynamic.

First, it is important to understand that systems are the key to success in orthodontic practice. Good systems reduce questions. The better the systems the more efficient the practice performance will be and the closer the practice will come to reaching its true potential.

Second, repeating things is normal. An orthodontic practice is a complex small business with a lot of moving parts and pieces. It is almost impossible to eliminate all instances of repetitive direction. That is an unreasonable goal.

Third, any orthodontic practice that wants to move from what Levin Group calls Entrepreneurial Practice Stage 2 to Stage 3 will need a highly skilled and highly trained office manager. In a 30-year ongoing study of top 10% producing orthodontic practices conducted by Levin Group we found 17 principles that these practices typically have in common. One is a highly skilled and strong office manager.

So, if you continue to wonder why you find yourself repeating things to your team it may be that your systems are outdated, and you need to improve the level of management acumen in the office. The role of the orthodontist is to be a great leader. There is a difference between leading and managing. Leaders set the vision, establish the mission, lay out the core values that everyone follows and never violates. Managers make sure every team member knows what, how and when to accomplish their individual tasks so that the entire practice stays coordinated. As an orthodontist you should spend as much time as possible seeing patients. To reduce the need to repeat things to the team, increase the effectiveness of your systems and consider an office manager.

Roger Levin

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on orthodontic practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the United States and around the world. To contact Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

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