Tag Archives: practice manager

#theApexShow Round 4 – Sylvie Sturrock

@sylviesturrock You are ALSO a practice manager at the Neem Tree – how does this help your coaching? #theapexshow

@mkritzinger There are numerous companies and people in the dental world that claim to be able to help with dental businesses – however they have none or very little experience of being in a practice environment – As a dental nurse, receptionist in practice I have been to most of the training providers sessions that are on the market over the last 25 years and they have great ideas, great at motivating on a day out, and then the team goes back to practice with new found enthusiasm and the nothing happens!!

They tell you what you need to do – but NOT HOW TO DO IT – theres no reason to do anything at all and time passes and people forget.

I know what its like to be a DN in a great systemised practice

I know what its like to share a passion and a need to care for patients

Ive got the clinical knowledge needed to understand all clinical points of view

I know how frustrating it is when nurses don’t show up

I know how to make patients feel special

I know how to create a fully functioning clinical environment for team and patients

I know how to build a great team and how to be part of that is the critical success of the business

With Samera clients I create a bespoke plan together with the leaders of the business whether it be GDPS, Partners, associates, clinical leads and PMs – we agree on a course of action.

We agree on the direction the practice needs to take – in an agreed timeframe and we ALL work at it together – I visit 1/12 min and keep a close eye on progress BUT also if I say you need to do a,b,c lets say then I must of tried and tested it at the neem tree so it becomes the “ideas factory”

Currently Im working with one practice that Im just doing a 1:1 session with every few months just with the Principal – Im coaching him on how to become a great leader.

I try and turn practices into real businesses and my success at the neem tree shows in the figures. A PM should bring into the business 10 x their own salary as a rule of thumb.

The other main benefit to clients or course participants is we can show them exactly what we have achieved – we can take them into the clinic and show them what it takes to build a practice.

The neem tree at Esher opened recently opened – in the last 6/52 of the build we ran a HANDS ON course – the only such course in existence – so the delegates got to see the gradual progression of the project first hand – they got to speak with the designers, project managers and ask the questions they wanted – it was a great success!!

2nd #theApexShow Round 5 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 What is the ideal ‘workspace’ for a TCO to see new patients?

Laura Horton: I have been into practices that have different set ups.

If a practice contacts em and they do not have a consultation room the majority have a space that they can either convert into a consultation room. examples of this mainly are the practice office. Again some practices do not use a TCO full time until the role grows they may only use a TCO 1 -3 days a week. When you use the office it must be completely clutter free, it has to be a homely environment.

The same as when you use a spare treatment room. This is also what other practices are doing. This room must be cleared of clutter on the work tops, have nice music playing when the patient walks in. Some practices have then covered their dental chair with throws and cushions so patients do not see it as a clinical room – which is very good for nervous patients.

I have two practices that just do not have the room. What they have both done is to use a coffee shop across the road from their practices. They know the staff who work there which has two benefits: 1. they have private corner of the shop reserved for them 2. If the TCO was to see a male patient out of the practice they are safe.

The reason the last two practices use outside facilities is because they know that having the role of a TCO in the practice is good business sense. The patients really enjoy going to the coffee shop especially the nervous ones and it is a story they tell their friends about too!

2nd #theApexShow Round 4 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 Once trained, does a TCO need a refresher course at some stage?

Laura Horton: The two day programme is very intense yet teaches so many verbal skills to the team involved that they find the approach softer. Role play is such a huge part of the programme, repeating processes and verbal skills again and again until the TCO can say the right words but in a fashion that flows. The words I may use do not flow for everybody. I am always on hand for my TCO’s to contact me and ask me any advice they may need. However if I can go back to practice after the TCO has been working for a couple of months and to complete and observe and learn that is often beneficial!

2nd #theApexShow General Q&A 2 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 What is some of the feedback from the TCO you’ve trained?

Laura Horton: Becoming a TCO is a career move for a member of your dental team. To be given this responsibility, alongside having such a fun and varied role to perform creates job satisfaction in itself. Dentists are overworked and need to be spending less time doing non-clinical work. The forward thinking dentists (usually the principal) wants a TCO, which is why they contact me. The only challenge for the TCO arises if the other dentists have not been involved in the training and therefore they A. do not understand and know the depth of training the TCO has had and B. do not like to delegate and let go of anything. Communication is always the key with any change in a business and this is why I like the treatment coordinator implementation to become a team training event.

2nd #theApexShow Round 3 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 What selling tools does a TCO need, ie biz cards, brochure, laptop etc?

Laura Horton: Visual aids are important in a consultation. We need to be able to prove to our new patients exactly what we can achieve. Portfolios take time to create and if you do not have one already then sooner you start to create one the better. Tools such as Caesey and Medivision are great too, especially in treatment presentations when root canal treatments or fillings are needed.

2nd #theApexShow General Q&A 1 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 What should a TCO never do?

Laura Horton: Every time I go into a practice that is already embarking on using a TCO, or if I meet a TCO and ask them how they hold their consultation they are recommending treatment and talking clinically. This is not what the new patient consultation is about! It is about building a rapport and listening to the patient as well as validating the solutions that your practice has to offer. This is why training has to occur not only to ensure the first impressions are correct but that they hold a structured consultation that is a process!

2nd #theApexShow Round 2 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: @LauraHorton1 What is the first thing you teach any new TCO?

Laura Horton: The treatment coordinator (TCO) aims to remove 90% of non-clinical dentistry from the dentist, to provide a high level of customer service and to build excellent relationships with the patients. But to do this we must start with the basics – the theory of the role and its requirements, how this role can be used in your practice for each patient and then we begin to learn all the communication skills that we need. I teach TCOs about body language and actively listening. In dentistry we talk too much to our patients we need to stop talking and begin to actively listen to our patients needs and wants.

First impressions are everything and if a TCO gets this wrong then they will not be as successful, we need to practice and confirm that everything the TCO does in relation to impressions and customer service is consistently correct.

#theApexShow Round 1 – Laura Horton

#theapexshow: What is a Treatment Coordinator?

Laura Horton: The aim of the Treatment Coordinator (TCO) is to expand an employee’s skills and capabilities and teach excellent communication styles and techniques.

The TCO is an increasingly popular role in private practice, but it is often difficult to know the correct way to successfully introduce this vital role to a practice. Therefore, it is essential that effective, focused training is undertaken.

The TCO aims to remove 90% of non-clinical dentistry from the dentist, to provide a high level of customer service and to build excellent relationships with the patients. The role enables the TCO to engage with patients on a different level – in sharp comparison to the traditional way it has been done.

The objective of my training is to ensure that the TCO has work sheets and a consultation form amended to suit the individual practice (which are then incorporated into every new patient consultation) The TCO’s diary is planned and organised correctly for maximum efficiency, a high level of communication skills will be taught, to aid successful consultations.

The TCO will then see all new patients for a free initial consultation. This is a ‘try before you buy’ appointment for the patient. Before they commit to an examination they will be aware of all the options available to them and how the practice operates.

At no time is the TCO recommending treatment to a patient, they will rarely get involved in a dental consultation, their conversation is solution orientated.

The new patient will be aware that they are seeing a team member not a dentist and scripts for scheduling this appointment are given to the front desk team. This role is about building a relationship with your new patients to gain a long term commitment from them.