Big Buzz had the pleasure of speaking with Kim McCleskey of Avitus Dental about the vulnerability of private practices as the dental industry evolves, and how the entire dental team is absolutely necessary to a practice’s success.
The dental industry has evolved significantly in recent years. Practices are not competing like small town dental offices anymore, doctors are dealing with increasingly complex cases and the dental staff (practice administrators, treatment coordinators, financial advisors, consultants, etc.) is tasked with running a business: operational, financial, internal, medical and dental billing/insurance, and more. Each member of a dental team is wearing multiple hats and stepping outside of their comfort zones.
The catch is, these team members are not taught these highly technical skills in school, yet they are absolutely vital to the success of a practice. Beyond the hard skills and knowledge necessary, the empowerment of education allows these players to be elevated to the highest level of professionalism.
The other key to a successful small business, such as a private practice, is getting creative with what success looks like and knowing where and when certain services or tasks should be outsourced. The most successful practices maximize their internal strengths – the innate and fine-tuned strengths of the doctor and his or her team members – and then surround themselves with professionals and experts that can complement and supplement their weaknesses, as well as take tasks off their plate that are disinteresting or tedious. Oftentimes, these may include marketing, payroll, billing, HR, accounts receivable, etc.
The future of private practice dentistry depends on strong independence and sustainable growth, both of which need to be thoroughly considered, strategized and made agile as the industry continues to evolve.
Kim McCleskey is a dental practice management consultant with over 25 years of experience administering and leading large dental practices. She has managed individual practices as a practice administrator and has overseen multiple practices as director of operations. She has also founded and run her own consulting firm. Kim specializes in practice management, strategic business planning, leadership coaching, team development and post-acquisition consulting.
Avitus Dental has created Mastery Courses for practice administrators, dental consultants and regional operations directors. These are jam-packed, education-filled, coaching-based yearlong training courses to learn the business of dentistry.