Client interview, September 2017 - Why did you bring on Prime Practice?
David was the sole owner 3 years ago, but when his nephew James bought into the practice, it was decided that in order for them to work together, they would use Prime Practice to ensure they were collaborating effectively and help to build and grow the practice.
What has changed since taking on Prime Practice?
James and David were able to collaboratively work out the vision and goals for the practice and outline what was important to both of them. The next step was to get the whole team on the same page. Prime Practice helped create the vision and then provided a great way to implement new systems across the whole practice.
What is your most valuable Prime Practice tool?
Teaching everyone how to communicate well and consistently has been key. Having a consistent, procedurised way to do things has also been critical. It has given the team something to follow and given us a way to implement systems and follow them effectively throughout the practice.
Coaching has also been amazing.
We touch base with our coach every 2-3 weeks. We discuss how we are doing and follow up on the last meeting’s actions. We are all accountable for moving forward with the actions which is very powerful for us. We all have the same vision, but different ideas on how to get there. Coaching helps us join the dots and helps us focus on how we can work together to reach the same goal.
What we really like about Prime is that there is no set way on how a practice should run, as every practice is different. But Prime has provided options and opened up new ideas for how to do things that work for us. And still achieve the same goal.
How has Primespeak helped your practice?
It has been incredibly useful learning how to communicate effectively with patients. Understanding how to use the DREC (Damaging results of existing conditions) and how to approach the patient in an ethical, non-judgemental way has made patient interactions much easier. The patient is able to make a decision from an informed place and the pressure is off the dentist.
How have other workshops been?
We recently revisited the Getting Aligned workshop (one of the first workshops in the Prime Practice curriculum) as we had some new team members. There were other practices in the room with us and it was amazing to see what a practice looks like at the beginning of the Prime Practice journey, in comparison to what our practice looks like now that it has been primed. The other team was initially so resistant to change, but I think hearing how well using Prime systems had worked for us, we helped to turn that resistance around for them.
It takes time to see the improvements, but when you start to see the benefits of Prime Practice and the outcomes of increased patient uptake, and much-improved patient reviews, it is all so rewarding!
How has the practice grown?
We have increased our dentist days and are looking to employ a hygienist soon due to the improvements in our patient flow and increases in production.
Our referrals have definitely increased. As a matter of fact, most of our patients now come from word of mouth referrals.
How has your patient flow improved?
Improved team communication has been a big one. We initially struggled with daily huddles and now have worked out a way to do it that works for us. We have also implemented new patient telephone slips which helps us immensely. So we really know who is coming through the door. We know what they expect, what they want, any hurdles and how to approach.
Also, putting some focus on active maintenance was a massive improvement. No longer does a patient leave without a hygiene appointment booked. It has become a responsibility of the dentist to discuss this during treatment, and make sure the patient understands the importance of active maintenance. And they then need to hand over to the front office effectively too. We now monitor our active maintenance rate and have come a long way. Our dentists are also having fun with this and see it as a competition to improve their figures. As a result, we are now looking to hire a new hygienist to manage the load.
Also, after a lot of work, pre-blockings have started working really well for us. We have created a consistent way to do this and it has become a sacred part of how we work. The dentist days are more consistent, it is more effective for DAs, so they can manage their days better and close effectively at the end of the day. The dentists are able to do production units at the beginning of the day or whenever suits them. Everyone is happier with how this is now working.
If not for Prime Practice, where do you think you would be at?
Had we not joined Prime 3 years ago, we would have had 4 dentists all doing their own things with no team cohesion, and very few systems. Our communication regarding treatment would definitely have suffered and we wouldn’t be giving patients a full picture of their treatment.
We meet once a week for Prime meetings. All staff are trained on topics that are going to help us and the team are given real responsibilities. This empowers the whole team and helps everyone feel valued and helps us all work together.
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