The ultimate goal of a practice management consultant is to help steer the doctor client into a more predictable business model with less stress, delivering quality dentistry with a happy, well trained team. As a result of the consultant's input, the doctor should be able to administer their practice at a higher competency level, without consultant assistance at the end of their program. In other words, the consultant is the “training wheels” for the uphill ride, and the goal is for the doctor to then be able to enjoy an unrestrained ride without a consultant.
The foundation of the BEST consulting is:
- Build strong relationships with the doctor and their staff.
- Effectively address the real concerns.
- Solve problems in the practice with workable solutions.
- Train and gain compliance with the systems being taught.
- Repeat the above as needed, until the doctor client is smoothly running an improved practice themselves and satisfied with the results of their program.
Failing to “bond” with the doctor and/or their staff, failing to use good communication skills while ferreting out basic concerns and problems, doing the work for them instead of teaching solutions and providing easy-to-follow policies and checklists, failing to gently but firmly insist on adhering to the new management systems that will give them the prediction they desire don’t help the practice, they cover up potential problems, ultimately end up holding the practice back, and lead to dissatisfaction with the consulting experience.
A vital part of our management approach includes getting the doctor themselves, not just their office manager or other staff, to learn about what is being done within their practice and why, so that without us, he or she will be able to use similar approaches to solve similar problems. It’s very much like being a parent. You want your child to ride a bike by himself; you don’t want him to have training wheels forever.
An example of this: Once during a hiring process, one of our clients [a brand new dentist], asked me to make a reference call to another doctor to check on an applicant. Though it would have been easy to make that call for him, the doctor was given some step by step guidance and, though reluctant at first, he made the call himself. Not only did he gain a new staff member [the review was good], but he also learned more about the hiring process and gained confidence that he could train his staff on doing a similar task in the future. He was was excited afterwards. This was another step forward in helping the doctor become more successful, while providing competent administrative leadership in their practice.
My viewpoint is—the ultimate goal of the BEST consultant is to work with the doctor until they are smoothly running an improved practice themselves, they’re satisfied with the results of their consulting program, and training wheels aren’t needed any longer!