By Kevin Henry, Managing Editor
What does it take to be the Dental Office Manager of the Year? Judging by the 2011 winner, Robyn Rossetter, dedication, leadership, and community outreach top the list.
Robyn — who works for Dr. Duongvannak Keo’s Amazing Smiles in Merritt Island, Fla. — was recognized as the recipient of the 2011 Office Manager of the Year by the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM). A committee representing the SCN, ADMC, a former Office Manager of the Year, and staff from AADOM selected Robyn based on her integrity, character, and commitment to serving her patients and community with compassion and generosity.
She was nominated by her coworkers, who wrote that Robyn “is an inspiration to us …. She leads by example daily and brings out the finest qualities of our dental team.” “Robyn quietly goes about changing patients’ lives,” wrote Dr. Keo. “She is the epitome of how a manager should run a thriving dental office.”
Robyn, meanwhile, attributes much of her own success to her team of “motivated people who have the same goal, the same purpose in life” that she does. In short, that goal is to create an atmosphere of excellence and provide patients with an exceptional experience on every visit.
Keeping the focus on the patients
Part of the secret, says Robyn, is making patients feel comfortable and welcome. “We want patients to feel like they are with friends,” she says. That extends from a warm, inviting greeting from a team member when patients arrive, to the practice’s overall look, which is less clinical and more like a hotel lobby or spa — complete with hardwood floors and a notable lack of stark white paint.
But the real key to excellence, says Robyn, is making sure that patients and their concerns are everyone’s primary focus. That might mean getting a new patient in the schedule as soon as possible or making evening hours available. It could be as simple as listening to what is most important to the patient, and then using that information as a guideline for what to focus on first.
For instance, says Robyn, “We always want to provide the best care. And, for more complex cases, it’s easy for the patient to be overwhelmed; so instead of picking something to start with, they do nothing. We’ll take the necessary time to make the treatment less overwhelming by breaking the plan into small steps.”
From cost concerns to community involvement
Part of the plan is also addressing patient cost concerns from the start, particularly since, Robyn notes, the practice is in an area hard hit with economic concerns.
“Every patient who comes in is waiting to hear how much it costs,” she says. “Sometimes, they don’t hear anything else because they’re waiting to hear about cost. So first we ask about insurance, and then the second thing we do is introduce monthly payment plans like those offered with the CareCredit healthcare credit card. Having financial options available is a huge factor in having patients accept dentistry.”
Robyn has helped the practice extend this same philosophy of compassion and caring into the community. For instance, it was her idea to have the practice help meet the needs of a local family for a year, rather than doing an office holiday gift exchange. And she organized a fund-raiser that supplies local elementary children with backpacks filled with food each weekend.
Reaping the rewards
There’s no question that Robyn’s hard work is paying off. The practice continues to grow its bottom line every quarter — and welcomes an average of 65 new patients each month.
While that might be reward enough for Robyn, as Office Manager of the Year, she also received a well-deserved awards package provided by AADOM and CareCredit — cosponsor of the Office Manager of the Year award and AADOM’s Founding Sponsor. The package includes $1,000 and free registration for the 2012 AADOM Conference scheduled for Sept. 6–8, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
To learn more about AADOM and the 2012 Office Manager of the Year nomination process, visit www.dentalmanagers.com/OMY.
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