Continuing education goes hand-in-hand with practice growth

March 1, 2012
I just returned from the Yankee Dental Congress in Boston. The weather was wonderful and the food was great!

I just returned from the Yankee Dental Congress in Boston. The weather was wonderful and the food was great! I presented at two new-product, hands-on workshops that were well received. These workshops are a great opportunity to learn about new products without any pressure to buy. The people that run the Yankee are the best, especially my contact, Shannon McCarthy. Thanks, Shannon, for all your help!

With the close of March, a fourth of the year will be gone. What plans have you made for continuing education courses to help you stay abreast of new techniques? Have you included your team in your plans for attending these courses? I have found in my practice that including the team on these trips is a great team-building experience for all of us. Members of my team still talk about trips that we made 25 years ago … and they even remember what we learned! Including your team in continuing education seminars increases their dedication to the success of your practice.

I constantly get calls from dentists who want to know how to increase production in their practices. They ask: How do I attract more new patients? How do I keep the current patients committed to maintaining good oral health care? How do I keep them coming back? This is going to sound simplistic, but the answer is customer service! To learn more, I recommend John G. Miller’s book, “QBQ, the Question Behind the Question.” I know you will not be disappointed.

Increasing production also means ramping up your hygiene department. One of the best ways to help your hygienists learn what others are doing is to send them to the best hygiene meeting ever — “RDH Under One Roof.” Last year, over 1,800 hygienists attended RDH Under One Roof in Chicago.

The 2012 meeting will be held at the all-suite Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. My good friend Dr. Brian Nylaan sent his hygienist, Val, to an RDH Under One Roof meeting four years ago. He was amazed at the new ideas she brought back, and as a result, he has sent her and his other hygienist to the meeting every year since. Brian tells me that Val has turned the hygiene department into a major production center, and his patients are getting the best care possible. Make plans now to send your hygienists to RDH Under One Roof. Go to for more information and to register.

In my practice we have developed a mantra that reflects the philosophy of our office. It was developed through many team meetings and has helped us build a great practice through the years. Again, you might think it is simple … and it is. Our mantra is: “We will help you keep your teeth for the rest of your life.” Think about this for a minute. This is what all of our patients want. Nobody wants to lose his or her teeth! This mantra has become our contract with our patients. Everything we do in our practice revolves around this promise.

I mentioned customer service earlier. Helping the patients in our practice to keep their teeth for the rest of their lives is the best customer service that I can think of. How about having a team meeting in your practice that discusses the possibility of a contract with your patients? Would this create some discussion among your team members? I would hope so! It was a great team-building exercise in our practice. We still discuss ours every month at our team meeting, because it is an ongoing process and is constantly changing!

To sum it all up, there are a few action items in this month’s notes! Put on your planning hat and schedule some CE courses for you and your team. Send your hygienists to the RDH Under One Roof meeting. Check out your customer service and order John Miller’s book. Try some stimulating discussions at your team meeting. Taking your team with you to CE courses will help them build memories that they will talk about for years.

One of the best bonuses I ever used was rewarding my team for reaching a monthly production goal by taking them to dinner at an exclusive club with my wife, Sue, and their husbands or significant others. They not only had a great time with us all together for a great meal and great service, but it created memories that they still talk about. Treat your team members well, or someday they may leave to find someone who will.

My very best to you all!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
email: [email protected]

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