The varying roles of a practice manager
When it comes to the day-to-day running of a dental surgery, the role of the practice manager is always one of great responsibility and requires the ability to manage a wide range of duties efficiently and effectively, but it varies enormously from practice to practice.
These days a practice manager’s remit is diverse – it usually demands administrative skills, customer service experience, management and leadership qualities, as well as the ability to maintain practice systems and understand compliance regulations. On top of these regular day-to-day activities, many practice managers are also now encouraged to focus on business development and can therefore play a prominent role in this area.
With so many balls in the air, it’s important for a practice manager not to be consumed by their workload. A great way to alleviate the pressure is to consider those areas of the business that could be automated or where the administrative burden could be reduced.
Dental plans can be a great way of streamlining administrative functions by helping remove certain time-consuming tasks from the practice team’s workload. For example, since dental plans are paid for by a monthly direct debit there is less need for credit control.
But introducing a dental plan has more fundamental benefits than just saving a little time. A dental plan underpins the financial structure of the business and the benefits are wide-ranging; helping improve cash flow with a regular monthly income stream and providing increased stability in the process, while giving some predictability in the appointment system and therefore making the workflow more efficient. All these factors help smooth out the peaks and troughs associated with running a dental practice, benefiting staff and patients alike, while making the role of practice manager more fulfilling.
With this in mind, when it comes to making a decision about introducing a dental plan or changing provider, it’s important that the practice manager is involved in the entire process. Ultimately it is the practice manager who will have to oversee the implementation of the plan and obtain buy-in from the team, so they should be at the heart of the discussions from the word go.
Before making the decision, it’s important to do some homework, as all plans are definitely not the same. When looking to adopt or change plan provider it’s critical to consider what extra services are offered as part of the package. Look for a provider who includes a comprehensive range of plan support services such as marketing consultancy, patient recruitment support and staff training in areas such as communication skills and objection handling. DPAS Dental Plans has helped manage the introduction of new plans into hundreds of practices over the last 18 years, taking care of everything so that the practice manager can remain focused on the many other aspects of their day-to-day role.
Access to web-based services
In today’s fast-paced world, the ability to access data and real-time reports remotely, while reducing paperwork, is a major advantage. This access to web-based services and online registration not only benefits patients, but also portrays the image of a forward-thinking business. At DPAS we’ve recently launched our new web portal with the varying needs of practice managers in mind, offering them access to a range of data and reports 24/seven, as well as providing an online registration facility for patients.
In our experience, most practice managers want to deal with an organisation that listens and responds by making changes that continue to improve its customers’ experience. Because practices come in all different shapes and sizes, DPAS Dental Plans are tailor-made to suit the individual requirements of each practice, ensuring clients are supplied with a practice-branded plan that is flexible, comprehensive and effective.
The role of the practice manager is integral to the smooth running of a practice, whether it’s a small private one-surgery facility or a multi-million pound business. Yes the duties will vary dependent on their particular circumstances, but it’s abundantly clear that the role of the practice manager will continue to develop and become more sophisticated in the coming years, so we’ll be ready to support you in any way we can.
To find out how you can benefit from DPAS’ flexible, comprehensive and effective dental plans, call 01747 870910 or visit www.dpas.co.uk.