Is Your Practice Major League or Minor League?

Is your practice Major League or Minor League?

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Have tons of ideas, are excited about all of them and see none to fruition. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Have tons of ideas, pick a few and do their best to make them happen. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are always worried about the practice down the street. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Embrace their colleagues and network with them. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Think they know everything. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are always learning. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are always gathering information but can never get things started. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Know that sometimes you have to “ready, fire, aim!” 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are made up of individuals who all scramble for credit. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are truly a team. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Bitch and moan about things they can’t change. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Accept the everyday headaches, change what they can and aren’t bothered by the rest. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Blame outside forces when things go wrong. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Use failure as a learning experience. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Say “We’ve always done it that way.” 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Say “How can we do this better?” 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Pinch pennies when it comes to team compensation, continuing education and marketing. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Know where to save money and where to spend it. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

See their work as a way to earn money so they can enjoy the other parts of their lives. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Have fulfilling lives outside of dentistry, but also enjoy enriching the lives of their patients. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Believe in instant success. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Know anything worth accomplishing takes time, and what might look like overnight success is rarely such. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES

Have “a crown prep in room three…..”


MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are truly interested in their patients and treat them accordingly. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Interrupt. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Listen. 

MINOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Demonstrate their bile, they get frustrated or angry and it’s easy to see. 

MAJOR LEAGUE PRACTICES 

Are cool, calm and collected.

Transforming The Difficult Patient

Difficult patients can be frustrating, dependent, annoying, entitled, manipulative, hostile, time killing and possibly litigious.

But – oftentimes the patients who are the biggest PITAs just need the most loving, and can be magically transformed into great patients and fantastic beacons for the practice.

Here are some signs that you have a difficult patient:

  • You dread seeing a certain name on the schedule
  • Team members delay returning calls
  • Someone utilizes way too much of your time
  • You feel like you are in a constant “no win” situation
  • Patients are sometimes mean, belligerent or abusive

But no matter what – difficult patients happen! What can we do?

Here is an excellent flow chart for a conversation with a difficult patient. If you like easy to remember acronyms, you can call it the “OAEBSDAADD” method!

  • Observe: Notice the patient’s words, voice, and attitude. Remember, you are very frustrated but they are frustrated too.
  • Apologize after you hear the complaint: Even if you think you are 100% right, you can always apologize for something. “I’m so sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations” is a good generic one.
  • Express empathy and connect: Pick up on the trigger, and then respond. “That must be difficult.” “You sound worried (or frustrated, or concerned). What can we do to help?”
  • Be respectful: Look the patient straight in the eye and be as pleasant as possible. Speak in a friendly approachable manner.
  • Slow down: We tend to rush when dealing with a tough patient because we are frustrated and want to end the transaction as soon as possible. This is counterproductive. Take a deep breath and slow down. Many times all a difficult patient wants is someone to listen to them.
  • Don’t defend: Do not under any circumstances go on the defensive. If you become confrontational, you are giving the patient ammunition to remain difficult.
  •  Ask: “Do you have any questions?” and/or “Does that sound good to you?”
  • Act: Form an action plan; follow through.
  • Document.
  • Don’t take it personally.

Here are some more tips for dealing with the difficult patient:

  • Take a look at yourself and figure out why a certain patient can push your buttons. Sometimes the problem is within.
  • Know when to say “no.” Sometimes difficult patients are like little kids and they just need limits.
  • FINANCIAL SITUATIONS can create a difficult patient. Don’t be a bank, and have simple and easy financial options in place. Payment options such as Care Credit can go an amazingly long way in proactively defusing a difficult patient.

Difficult patients are and will always be part of the practice of dentistry. Hopefully these tips will help you defuse even the biggest pains in the butt and help you (and the patient) to enjoy your practice!!

The Dangerous 12 Steps

Many of you have been asking us for our “go-to” place to purchase your dental supplies. From what we are gathering, so many offices now are getting sick of the shenanigans that some of the suppliers are pulling. You know what we mean… here are the typical dangerous steps:

Step 1 – Bob the friendly rep comes into your office with bagels and doughnuts for everyone.

Step 2 – Bob shows you some incredible “specials.”

Step 3 – The hygienist comes in and asks Bob if he knows how to fix a hose in her treatment room.

Step 4 – Bob tinkers with the hose and fixes it.

Step 5 – You place an order.

Step 6 – Bob makes it clear that since you are a customer, they will continue to service your equipment and that there is no one else on the planet that can do this.

Step 7 – Bob leaves but checks in with you every once in a while with coffee and doughnuts laden with addictive sugar and fat for the team.

Step 8 – You are feeling euphoric with this great service so you continue to place more orders.

Step 9 – Knowing that you are hooked, someone back at supply headquarters is on the computer slowly and methodically raising your “special” prices.

Step 10 – Bob continues to deliver the “drugs” to your office.  At this point you need them and you will pay anything.

Step 11 – You start to realize you have a serious problem but don’t know where to turn.

Step 12 – The Madow Brothers turn you on to Darby Dental Supply. You discover that they have the best service and the same low prices every day. The deadly habit is broken. You are free.

Call Darby at their brand new hotline number – 1-855-879-1136. Tell them Rich and Dave sent you. Just don’t ask for any doughnuts!

 

Other People’s Conversations

Do you ever overhear a totally ridiculous dental conversation – one where you just want to run over to the person speaking and punch them? Even though we are very non-violent, it seems to happen all the time. Here is a conversation that was actually overheard at our local diner last week. (In Madow vernacular, overhearing someone else’s conversation is called OPC’ing.)

Ignoramus A: “Yeah – I went to the dentist yesterday. He totally ripped me off. Don’t even know why he needed an x-ray, the filling was just on the top of the tooth.”

Ignoramus B: “Well, they gotta make as much money as they can. Those x-rays are a scam.”

Ignoramus A: “And all of that money goes right into his pocket. That hygienist probably rents space from him and pays him even more.”

Ignoramus B: “My dentist tried to get me for a root canal last year. I told him just to pull it. I’m not paying for that guy’s fancy car.”

And on and on. We’ve all heard this stuff many times! But as wrong as these people are, we suspect that some of these conversations could be avoided if the doctor or assistant took a little more time to give a meaningful and easy to understand explanation for everything that was being done. For example, instead of just saying:

“Please open a little wider so we can ram this uncomfortable plastic x-ray holder with a knife edge on the bottom down your throat,”

Try something like…

“Since this tooth has a cavity, there is even a greater chance that there is more decay on a side surface that we can’t see or touch. This quick little x-ray will show us the entire tooth so that we can do this filling right the first time and make sure all of the decay is removed.”

And then….

“Great news! The x-ray has shown us that the decay is limited to just the top surface. That means you won’t need a large filling or a crown!”

Now is this person ever going to complain to their friend about the money-grubbing dentist taking unnecessary x-rays? Possibly, but the chances are much lower!

Bottom line – always remember that what is totally routine to us could be a new and possibly frightening situation to the patient. Always take a few extra seconds to let them know exactly what is going on and why. It pays off big time!!!

We Are Excited!

We have been quiet for a while but you can now stay tuned for a new Madow post every week!