Cathy Jameson, PhD
The model of success that we teach at Jameson Management, Inc. is a practice-management design that supports the patient, the doctor, and the team. We believe in "taking care of people." Yes, we believe in taking care of patients. However, we take that one step further by focusing on taking care of the dental team as well. If you are not healthy and happy; if you are not providing dental treatment in a manner that supports your physical, emotional, and financial well-being; if you are seeing so many patients that you feel you don't have the time to provide quality care; if you are not charging fees that are equitable for the services you provide, then total success cannot and will not be yours.
What is our model of success?
• See fewer patients per day
• Do more dentistry per patient (when and where that is appropriate)
• See the patient for fewer appointments
• Minimize the number of team members in the practice
• Maximize the talent of each team member
• Increase the profit
• Share the profit
• Reduce stress
Sound interesting? I hope so! This is a healthy, delightful, fulfilling way to practice dentistry. You can concentrate on doing the kind of dentistry that you prefer and do so in a manner that you prefer.
Increasing the number of patients that you see each day is not the answer to productivity and/or profitability. When you spend quality time during your new-patient experience — and when you plan, prepare, and present your recommendations excellently — more people will go ahead with the total treatment rather than doing things in a piece-meal fashion.
Each time you engage in a a new- patient experience, focus on this model as you plan the patient's treatment. Think, "If I had my choice — and money were not an issue — how would I prefer to provide this care? How many teeth would I work on per appointment? Where would I start? Where would I go next?" Then, present this plan to your patient, explaining the treatment scenario in terms of the benefits.
Of course, the financial responsibility must be addressed. Make sure that you have several financial options in place, so that you can make financing affordable and comfortable for the vast majority of your patients — without running a banking business in your practice. (See Collect What You Produce, by Cathy Jameson, published by PennWell Books).
Your practice has approximately 25 management systems. Each one is critical to the smooth flow of your practice. When effectiveness and efficiency are the foundations of your management systems, you have time to focus your energy on your priorities, such as the new-patient experience and consultations. If your management systems are not organized excellently, they will cost you both time and money.
Be careful not to "get in your own way" by thinking negatively. If you think, "Oh, we can't do this" or "Our patients won't do this" or "We can't charge enough to be able to do this" or "Yeah, but we've never done things this way," you will get in your own way. If you believe that you can't do something, then I promise you that you can't. Your actions and the direction of your practice will follow the major focus and thought process of your mind. If you believe something can't happen, you are absolutely correct — because that is what you have chosen.
However, the "flip side" also is true: If you believe that you can place this model of success into action in your practice, then you have taken the first step to making it a reality. Take that step!
Cathy Jameson, PhD, is president of Jameson Management, Inc., an international dental lecture and consulting firm. She has been a featured speaker for major dental meetings throughout the world and is an adjunct faculty member of the Oklahoma University School of Dentistry and an associate professor at the NYU College of Dentistry. Her books, Great Communication = Great Production and Collect What You Produce are top sellers for PennWell Books. Contact Dr. Jameson at (580) 369-5555, or email cathy@jamesonmanage ment.com.