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Where there’s efficiency, there’s success! Tips on how to run a super efficient dental practice

The following video segment is part of another project that we at CDA are working on. We thought the information that our valued contributor David Chong Yen presented, is so valuable that we wanted to share it with our CDA Oasis viewers. The Two dentists present were part of the CDA project and provided their consent to be featured and present the video. 

David harnessed the long-time experience he has working with dentists and provided these excellent tips on creating a super efficient dental practice.  

I hope you enjoy the conversation and that you share your feedback with us oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca 

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager

Highlights

Strategies to Increase Revenue

  1. Practice Management Software
    • Most under-utilized technology in the dental office that has a wealth of information
    • Dentists need to data-mine the information that is captured in the software
      • Look at the demographics by age/location of patients and target these populations optimizing your SEO
      • Consider work that is outstanding – look at predeterminations that have been set out but, not acted upon
      • Look at billing codes and see where opportunities lie especially with respect to periodontal and preventive care
  2. Metrics need to be monitored and targets need to be set
  3. Know your “break-even” (B/E) point
    • Understand what your fixed costs are and how much you need to “break-even” and cover your expenses monthly
    • Dental practices only really have 2 variable costs (lab & sundries) which amount to ~14%
    • After your monthly expenses have been covered, any additional income is ~86% profit after accounting for the variable expenses
  4. Personnel
    • Offices with low turnover fare better overall
    • Consider the staff as an asset rather than an expense – pay/treat them fairly
    • Good team engagement results in higher levels of success for the practice
    • Consider profit-sharing with your team – everyone is in a win-win situation
  5. Scheduling
    • Discuss no-show and cancellations in morning meeting and identify patients that are already attending the office may benefit from completion of required complete oral examinations, radiographs or outstanding treatment to fill the gaps
    • Increase efficiency in the dentist’s day by scheduling long procedures, surgeries etc. on a day where hygiene works with standing orders so the dentist is not interrupted or breaks sterile protocol to do hygiene checks
  6. Minimize referrals by either bringing a specialist in and share in the revenues or increasing your skill level
    • Associates in the office should not refer out work unless the principal dentist is in agreement and cannot provide the treatment him/herself

Reduce Theft in Office

  1. Only trusted staff outside of the dentist/spouse should have access to chequebook and writing cheques to the supplier etc.
  2. Bank statements should be mailed to the house and all cancelled or cashed cheques should be reviewed
  3. Do monthly reconciliation of bank statements. If this is performed by an employee, reconciliation should not be by same individual responsible for writing cheques or paying bills.

Reducing Tax Burden

The taxes paid amount to the largest expense in a dental practice.

  1. Consider income-splitting with family members who are in a lower income tax bracket.
    • Ensure the family member(s) is paid legitimately and with a fair wage for the job performed
  2. Incorporate your practice
    • The corporation will still be taxed at a lower rate of 15%
    • Any interest paid on a loan taken out by the corporation is a tax-deductible expense
  3. Meals & Entertainment are tax-deductible at either 50% or in some cases, fully. Speak to you accountant for more information.
  4. CE courses combined with a vacation can be a tax-deductible expense
  5. Reduction of probate fees by having a double will, one for the PC shares and a separate will for all other assets.

Full Interview (37.58″)

 

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