Systemize Your Practice: Where to Begin

Systemizing your practice is the key to achieving the freedom you desire.  Systemizing your practice will allow you to spend less time at work.  It will enable you to focus on growing your business and treating patients, instead of the countless mundane details that bog down many dentists.  Are you ready to systemize your practice?  Here’s where to begin:

1) First, make a list of the various activities you engage in each day. How much time do you spend seeing patients?  How much time is spent bookkeeping?  On the phone with patients?  Ordering supplies?  Cleaning your office?  Marketing?  You get the point… make a record of how much time you spend on various activities each day.

2) Now, attach an approximate hourly value to each activity. The time spent seeing patients may be worth $300 an hour.  The time you spend marketing may be worth $150 an hour.  The time you spend cleaning your office is probably worth less than $10 per hour.  These figures don’t need to be exact—just a ballpark estimate.

3) Next, identify the activities you need to move OFF your plate. Where do you start?  Easy—the lowest valued activity should be the first you get rid of.  Why would you spend time bookkeeping, with a value of maybe $20 per hour, when you could be providing much greater value elsewhere?

4) Prepare to hire your replacement for the first activity you are going to delegate. For some dentists, this will mean hiring a secretary or a cleaning service.  For others, it may mean a part-time bookkeeper.  Whatever the case, the key is that you prepare your new hire for success by creating clear expectations and directions.  Create a manual for each new hire, and make sure he or she understands each step. 

5) Evaluate the performance of your new hire. Is he performing well?  Is he following your established procedure?  If so, great—and if not, the employee needs to be retrained or replaced.

6) Start the process again. Now you’ve freed yourself up to spend more time creating real value for your practice… so what’s next?  Repeat the process!  Select the next activity to move off your plate, and begin creating a manual for your next hire. 

Of course, you will encounter bumps along the road—it’s not always as easy as one, two, three.  But by identifying the activities you wish to STOP doing, and by training capable replacements, you will gradually free yourself up to create true value for your practice.  And that is the key to the ultimate success of your practice.

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