The Importance of Assessing Your Dental Practice

assessing your dental practice - Dr. Rick Mars

Self-reflection is essential for those trying to improve themselves. The same can be said for your dental practice. Assessing how your practice is doing is vital. If you coast along without reflection, you will miss countless opportunities to give your patients and staff a better experience. 

In this article, I’ll discuss ways to accurately assess your dental practice to identify areas of improvement. 

Gather information from the inside. Your staff probably have a few ideas on how you could improve your practice, but unless there is a safe space for employees to share their thoughts, they will likely keep their critiques to themselves. I recommend giving them an outlet to share their thoughts with complete anonymity.  

  •   Suggestion Box. At your morning meeting, ask staff to come up with one thing they would improve about the practice. Of course, everyone would like a pay raise, so I would specify that the ideas should be unrelated to compensation. Place a suggestion box in an accessible place to collect answers. You also might consider leaving the box out at all times and checking ideas once a week or so. A steady flow of feedback makes it possible for you to constantly improve.
  •   Electronic Survey. Another great way to gather staff feedback is with an electronic survey. This method is especially helpful if there are specific topics you’d like to poll your staff about. It also offers even more anonymity than the suggestion box because there’s no chance of recognizing anyone’s handwriting. 

You’ll be surprised how many valuable insights you can collect by just asking. Your staff want to see the office improve just like you do. Harness their perspectives and you’ll go far!

Listen to your patients. This one may sound like a no-brainer, but, like staff members, patients don’t always feel like they have an outlet for providing feedback. Here’s how you can see what your patients think about your dental practice. 

  • Appointment Follow-ups. Soon after a patient comes in for an appointment, send them an email and/or give them a call to ask about their experience. This correspondence could include a digital survey as well. You could even have a dedicated email address to collect patient feedback. Asking patients a day or so after their appointment ensures that their experience is fresh in their mind.
  • Read Reviews. No one likes a bad review, and hopefully if you’re doing things right, you won’t have many. Online reviews for dentists on places like Zocdoc and Healthgrades are extremely important in our digital age. They play a big role in potential customers’ decision-making and can impact your practice’s success. I recommend answering reviews whenever possible. If the feedback is positive, you can thank them for their business. If the reviewer has concerns, you can take their experience into consideration and tell them that you will try to improve in the future. 

Interested in learning more about how you can improve your dental practice and enhance patient experiences? You can find this information and so much more in my book, The Big Smile