Speculate to accumulate
Amsel & Wilkins LLP has serviced its community for more than 50 years, and places part of the success down to keeping up with technological advances
Residents of Banbury have long been familiar with Amsel & Wilkins on their high street. Established nearly 50 years ago, this practice has expanded to occupy the first and second floors of the original building, and into the next-door premises.
Established by Martyn Amsel and Peter Wilkins, the business was purchased in March 2008 by John Adams, Nigel Braine-Hartnell and Piers Neville, and renamed Amsel & Wilkins LLP.
With more than 80 years’ service between them, the three principals are supported by a skilled and long-serving team.
Claire Lee, practice manager, talks about how the practice has developed: ‘Over the years, Amsel & Wilkins has grown from a squat practice with three surgeries and up to 10 staff to nine surgeries employing 18 staff members.
‘Martyn and Peter inspired all their staff to be the very best they could be, with nursing staff going on to train as hygienists, then returning to the practice once qualified. Martyn Amsel teaches four-handed dentistry internationally and, over the years, the team has benefited from being trained by him and his nurse Sally.
‘The team celebrated Martyn and Peter’s 40th anniversary in practice in Dublin. Many of the team have been with the practice for years, with length of service ranging from six months to 43 years.
Diane Durrant, our business manager, has worked here since 1976, originally starting as a dental nurse and moving into the business side of the practice, gaining qualifications in accountancy.’
Since its conception, this fully private practice has gone from strength to strength, with 35,000 patients on its books.
Alongside the three practice partners there are now three associate dentists, as well as visiting specialists in periodontics and oral surgery, offering a range of services from family dental care, Invisalign/orthodontics, implants, endodontics, periodontal therapy, oral surgery, sleep/snoring appliances and facial aesthetics, as well as referrals from other local practices.
Move with the times
Claire knows investment is important to keep the practice up to date: ‘As a practice, we are always keen to move with the times, utilising new techniques that benefit our patients. We pride ourselves on regularly refurbishing our surgeries to keep them up to date and equipped with the very latest technology, including digital scanning and intraoral cameras.
‘Our Cerec CAD/CAM (indirect restorations placed in as little as two hours) and Itero scanner not only remove the need for “gooey” impressions, but shows potential smile outcomes to our Invisalign patients, as well as reducing our carbon footprint.’
Claire is also the first to recognise the importance of support systems to manage essential ‘behind the scenes’ activities, such as appointment scheduling and billing.
She said: ‘Our ability to deliver the highest standards of dentistry and patient care is very much dependent on the use of reliable, robust practice software. Back in 1997, we decided to move the practice over to Exact from Software of Excellence (SOE), and always install the developments and updates to maximise usage.
‘Using this software, we can remind patients of their appointments via email or text message and, run follow-up lists for patients that need to book in for treatment; while online recalls and Easy Post for check-up reminders means not only less printing, but more time for our receptionists to spend with patients.
‘The system also enables us to produce useful reports for KPIs, daily cash flow and chairside analysis – to name but a few.’
Diane recalls: ‘At the time we knew we’d need support and approached IT experts Microminder, who came recommended by SOE. We were one of their first customers and we haven’t looked back.
‘For over 20 years they have been providing us with a full range of IT support services. We use them for advice and purchase of our main hardware upgrades, virus monitoring and internet provision.
Our experience has been that they have always given us balanced advice and only recommend hardware updates when it is absolutely necessary.
‘Reliable, secure systems are essential for any busy practice, so when issues arise Microminder know how important it is to keep our systems running.
‘During major hardware upgrades they work at the weekends to minimise disruption to patient care and when we have unexpected issues they calmly work in the background to fix the problem – without this we would be panicking.
Their team of highly trained engineers are excellent, if one isn’t able to find the resolution to our issue, they quickly refer to a colleague until the problem is resolved.
‘The friendly, approachable way they deal with their customers is very reassuring and means we are never reluctant to phone and ask for their help. We’re never made to feel as if we are asking stupid questions, whatever the problem. Having Microminder at the end of the phone brings peace of mind and allows us to focus on looking after our patients.’