The autopilot practice management system: Do what you love, automate what you hate

Jan. 16, 2017
Through use of practice management and practice optimizer software, autopilot is here for dental practices. Here's why that's good news for dentists.
Gary Kadi, Founder of NextLevel Practice

"I love business—numbers and dealing with team problems," said no dentist ever. Add the gift of corporate competitors (who are experts in these areas), and private practitioners find themselves in a very tough spot.

It's time to get off the treadmill and activate autopilot. We all know that except for takeoff and landing, airplanes are flown by computers. Is there a way to translate that successful model to dental practices?

The answer is yes. Through use of practice management and practice optimizer software, autopilot is here. We call our version the "Dental MicroManager," which is powered by our partner Dental Intel. It's an autopilot practice management system specifically for dental practices.

The Dental MicroManager is more similar to autopilot for airplanes than you may think. Before takeoff, a pilot enters a route into a computer, giving it a start position, an end position, and how the plane should get there. Along the programmed route, there are points the computer targets, each with a corresponding speed and altitude position. With the Dental MicroManager, the software sets your destination for income, time off, and how many patients you see. Then you enter your goals for production, collection, case acceptance, and patient treatment.

The autopilot system on a plane relies on sensors around the aircraft. They pick up information, such as speed, altitude, and turbulence. The data is analyzed by the autopilot, which makes necessary adjustments to stay on track. With the Dental MicroManager, you and your team receive real-time, leading data that allows you to take steps to meet your daily goals. For example, your appointment coordinator has a dashboard that shows appointments missed. The software automatically creates a list of patients who need to be called and scheduled. It also allows your team leader (you or your office manager) to set up goals by position, allowing management automation.

The pilot or the copilot must remain at the controls to keep an eye on the computer, making sure everything is running smoothly. Pilots also have professionals on the ground in towers for support. With the Dental MicroManager, practices get "ground control" as well. Imagine having an accountability coach who monitors your statistics and sends alerts via e-mail. Never again will you be blindsided by a down month.

In airplanes, the autopilot disengages itself in the event of extreme turbulence. At that point, the pilot is alerted to take over control of the plane. Turbulence strikes dental practices too. Often the doctor and team go through challenges and feel like they are alone. But in the case of the Dental MicroManager, they have help. Your on-demand accountability coach helps you with issues that come up—things like someone quitting, how to find good people to hire, or how to deal with a defiant team member.

General guidance given to pilots is, "Let the computer do it because it can do a better job than a person." Just think about how hard it would be for a person to concentrate for long stretches of time while flying hands-on. Think of how much energy and passion you will have after you've responsibly gone "hands-off" in areas that drain you.

With the increased corporate competition, dental practice owners must work harder to preserve the viability of private practice. Software that helps the dentist-owner work smarter is a necessity. I believe it is vital for the future of our industry and the proper care of patients. Why? Because corporate focus is on shareholder value, whereas private practitioners are focused on patients and their well-being...while also making a great living and being free of distractions that come with running a business.

Author's note

Starting in next month's column, look for a new format entitled "Gary on the Money: Real Dentists. Real Stories. Real Results." Each month we will do a case study of one of our clients. We'll look at a challenge and the steps required to overcome it. As a bonus, we will have a video accompany the article. You'll observe the actual coaching session and learn about the steps that you can take to get the same results.

Gary Kadi is CEO of NextLevel Practice. He created NextLevel Practice to implement the Complete Health Dentistry business model, where teams willingly embrace and implement change, patients respect their treatment regimens and invest in their health, and doctors enjoy practicing the way they envisioned when they graduated from dental school.

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Study: OraCare Reduced Probing Depths 4450% Better than Brushing Alone

Good oral hygiene is essential to preserving gum health. In this study the improvements seen were statistically superior at reducing pocket depth than brushing alone (control ...

Clincial Study: OraCare Proven to Improve Gingival Health by 604% in just a 6 Week Period

A new clinical study reveals how OraCare showed improvement in the whole mouth as bleeding, plaque reduction, interproximal sites, and probing depths were all evaluated. All areas...

Chlorine Dioxide Efficacy Against Pathogens and How it Compares to Chlorhexidine

Explore our library of studies to learn about the historical application of chlorine dioxide, efficacy against pathogens, how it compares to chlorhexidine and more.

Enhancing Your Practice Growth with Chairside Milling

When practice growth and predictability matter...Get more output with less input discover chairside milling.