5 Rules for Growing Sleep Service Offerings

Happy business team applauding togetherYou’ve already gone through the steps of choosing to provide dental sleep medicine services in your office—now what? To thrive in a new healthcare environment, dental sleep medicine organizations must improve and expand what they offer because just offering these services is not enough. If you are unable to provide sufficient unique value, you could possibly disappear and no one wants that to happen to their dental practice. Let’s take a look at five rules for growing your sleep service offerings.

  1. What is Your Goal?

By creating a goal, you can ensure you are on the right path to success. To do this you might want to write down different traits of how you would like things to work out with your dental sleep medicine practice. Don’t forget to ask your staff members to do the same, and then share the results. By looking at overall goals you can create a vision for your office that becomes successful with the help of your team members.

  1. Look Toward the Future

If you asked hockey legend Wayne Gretzky about his success on the ice he says, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has already been.” When you rely on data and what others say works with dental sleep medicine, you are missing the right opportunities. If you are to benchmark your practice you are only setting your sights on yesterday’s success—not the future.

  1. Ensure a Steady Flow of Patients

As with any business, you want to ensure you have a steady flow of patients. There are two possible sources for patients: current patients at your practice, and patients not yet in your practice. Because of this, two systems must be created: one to identify existing patients who would benefit from dental sleep medicine, and one to identify and attract new patients into the system. For a growth perspective, targeting your existing patients is the best place to begin. Once they are your patient, you want to keep them. New patients can be gained through a working relationship with the local Sleep MD.

  1. Properly Communicate Your Message

One of the biggest mistakes of offering new services is underestimating the importance of how you are wording the information. It is important to integrate new behaviors, and when you are talking about something new in your office, words matter a lot. The ways in which your service is described can be a huge determinant of whether your program skyrockets or falls flat on its face. Everyone in your dental office should have a solid understanding of what the service is, who can benefit, how it works, and why it is important.

  1. Maximize Operational Efficiency

Updating the services you offer requires careful planning. Although, successful  growth of your dental office demands flexibility and the ability to adapt and adjust as you gather information for your planning. You will need to consider the following:

  • Billing
  • Revenues
  • Staffing
  • Equipment
  • Expenses

Include each member of your dental team in the implementation of the new services and assign different tasks to keep everyone involved.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about what you need to do to successfully implement dental sleep medicine into your dental office.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

slider3-bg1As a dentist it might be difficult to stand out among your competition. With dental offices popping up in your community, how do you stay ahead of the rest? It’s simple and we’ve mentioned it before: offer Dental Sleep Medicine in your practice. By offering Dental Sleep Medicine and remaining up-to-date with important information you can stay ahead of the curve and stand out among other dentists in your community. Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this.

Attend Lectures and Courses     

One of the main and most important ways you can begin to integrate dental sleep medicine into your practice is through continuing education. By attending lectures and courses, you can gain a better understanding of dental sleep medicine, how to incorporate it into your practice and the best ways to inform your patients. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the services you offer your patients. And, the best part is your entire staff can attend courses together for a well-rounded dental team. Dr. Mayoor Patel and Nierman Practice Management currently offer an array of lectures throughout 2015 to help you better understand dental sleep medicine and how to incorporate it into your practice.

Create a Working Relationship with a Sleep MD

Once you have completed continuing education for you and your team, you will want to introduce yourself to your local sleep MD. By creating a working relationship, you are opening up the doorway to new patients and a collaborative effort between both parties. In order to provide oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea, your patient will need a referral and a proper diagnosis. This is where a Sleep MD comes into the picture. Through your working relationship, you can send patients to this doctor for diagnosis, just as this doctor may send patients to you for oral appliance therapy. Keep the door open for collaborative efforts between your office and other doctors that can help in the treatment of sleep apnea for your patients.

Stay ahead of the curve by offering Dental Sleep Medicine in your office—your patients will thank you. Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how to provide these improved services and to sign up for upcoming lectures.

Does Your Customer Service Need an Attitude Adjustment?

10Yes, education is important for treating and caring for your patients, but there is one more thing that can make all the difference: customer service. And, this doesn’t just mean the front office staff—it means the dentist, too! Being a dentist requires extensive training, but the attributes valued most by patients when rating and reviewing their doctors is customer service, which is not taught in dental school. When your patients are leaving reviews, you want them to remember each member’s name. Adding that personal touch helps your patients feel comfortable and wanting to return to your practice.

Interpersonal Skills and Bedside Manners

Imagine yourself in the dental chair. How would you like your dentist to treat you? What about if your family member was visiting the dentist? Treat your patients how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed. The dental office is not like working in retail, but customer service should still be at the top of your list.

The front office staff should be pleasant and smiling when they greet the patient—after all, they are the first people you see when entering the office. Make sure your front office staff is educated on services, protocol and even miscellaneous topics so they can properly address a patient’s concerns or questions. The more your staff knows and understands the better service they can offer your patients.

Next, your dental hygienist or dental assistant should also be knowledgeable in all areas of your practice and the services offered—their skills and knowledge are a reflection on you. Make sure they are educated in dental sleep medicine and other areas of importance so they can answer any questions the patient might have. After the front office staff, the hygienist or dental assistant are seen next and make an impression before they even meet you, the dentist. Greet the patient with a smile, ask how their day is—get to know your patient and they will feel more comfortable.

As for the dentist, you are the face of your practice. Get to know your patients and their individual needs and conditions. By getting to know your patients and understanding them, you can create patients for life. Help your patients get to know you and how knowledgeable you are in dental sleep medicine and other dental areas. Once they know you and the services you offer, they will be more prone to share their experiences on the Internet.

Patient Reviews

Patients continue to rely more and more on online ratings and reviews. From Google to Yelp, review sites are aplenty. And when a person is searching for a new dental office they will often resort to reviews and ratings to see what others are saying. If your patients are leaving reviews, and good ones, the chance of getting new patients increases significantly. The appearance of positive words outnumbers negative words three to one—that’s a lot! When negative reviews were found, the common complaints seemed to be about rudeness or feeling rushed. But more people noted their dentists were compassionate, friendly, and knowledgeable—keep that up!

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about each team member’s role in the dental office and how you can continue to provide your patients with quality service they will want to come back to.

Dental Sleep Medicine is NOW

Couple in bed while the woman is trying to sleepIn this difficult economy, standing out among other dentists is a must. And right now dental sleep medicine is in! By being able to offer dental sleep medicine in your practice, you will be the real winner. Dental sleep medicine allows you to share with patients and potential patients that your office has a new unique and essential service to offer. Once you offer dental sleep medicine services, it is your job to inform your community of your new services.

Create a Buzz

Not many people are aware that dental sleep medicine exists or how a dentist can help in the treatment of sleep apnea. It is your job to create a buzz about it. When asked about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, how comfortable are you with the answers? There are currently more than 50 million people who suffer from sleep apnea, meaning there is a greater need for public awareness of this potentially deadly condition. As a dentist offering services in dental sleep medicine, it is important for you to educate your patients on sleep apnea and how important treatment is. Think about strokes, heart attacks and diabetes—your patients can benefit from knowing the risk associated with untreated sleep apnea. The more buzz you create, the more your patients will make treatment a priority.

Educate Your Staff

As a dentist it is vital that you understand and are comfortable in dental sleep apnea, but it is also important for your staff as well. Once you have received the necessary education, teach your staff about their roles and suggest they completed educational classes, too. The more you and your dental team know about dental sleep medicine, the better prepared you will be to provide your patients with proper treatment. And with education comes knowledge and trust. Once a patient likes, trusts, and believes in you and your team, you have created a patient for life.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about Dental Sleep Medicine, and where to complete continuing education.