Dental Practice Tag Archive

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Key Pros and Cons of Private and Corporate Dentistry Models

by Dr. Patrick Cassidy & Eddie Stephens

Seth Godin talks perspective in his book, Linchpin. And in principle perspective can help you navigate the ever evolving narrative about Private solo or group dentistry, and Corporate solo or group dentistry.

Godin shares the story of a first-class train passenger traveling through Spain. He has the good fortune of being seated next to the famous artist, Pablo Picasso.

The traveler takes advantage of his fortunate moment with the great Picasso. He asks, “Señor Picasso, you are a great artist, but why is all your art, all modern art, so screwed up? Why don’t you paint reality instead of these distortions?”

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Growing a dental practice in a rural small community – Dr. Bryant Birch

Are you living under the illusion that advanced dentistry is just a big-city thing? That your success is limited because you’re in a rural area? You’ll think again after hearing Dr. Bryant Birch’s story in today’s episode. The nation’s mentality is changing, and technology is being welcomed and expected. Listen to T-Bone’s conversation with Dr. Birch for the inside scoop on how to expand your dental practice in a small town.

Dr. Bryant Birch: Small town dentist attains big success

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Three Paperless Forms Options

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Forms and signatures are one of the essentials of record keeping. How then can you have a paperless record? There are three methods to gather the information electronically and totally bypass the paper (paperless forms).

Tablet PC: A tablet PC is a mobile computer in the shape of a slate. The i-Pad is the best known tablet but others using Android are also available and work in the dental office.  Tablets use a touch screen that allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus (a digital pen) or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse. In other words the user can simply tap the screen to check off a box on a form, and sign directly on the computer screen.

Digital Signature Pad: The tablet PC represents the ultimate computerized version of the brown clipboard. However there is a second way to fill in forms that may be easier and less expensive to implement. That is to simply use existing desktop computers and a signature pad.

Online: The third way to gather data without paper is the Internet. A web based system puts the same digital forms as you would use on the tablet onto a web site. The patient could then fill out the forms from home or office. Once the forms are filled in the data could then transfer to the dental office and eventually to the patient’s electronic record. This is by far the best option however the office needs to have complete paperless records, a PMS that can accept web based information and a well designed web page.

Look here for help going paperless.

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Performing vs. Engaged Employees

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Performance management has become an over-used buzz word in the corporate world. Most companies understand the value of setting clear performance goals for employees, evaluating the employees’ performance against those goals and providing the employees with feedback on what they have done well and where they might need improvement. We value highly performing employees. But do we value highly engaged employees? What is the difference?

Performing employees give to get. Their focus is on the getting. They value what they get from the company. They get a good salary. They get to work in the town where they have social ties. They get good working conditions. They get good working hours. They value all that they get. They understand that to get all those things, they must give to the company. So, they do. They give to the company their best efforts towards the company’s goal. They do a good job so that they can get all those things they like. They are more likely to be lured by another employer from whom they can get more, than one to whom they can give more. Their focus is on the getting. Giving is the means by which they get. They give to get.

In contrast, engaged employees get to give. Their focus is on the giving. The engaged employee is proud that they help people; they save lives; they teach others; they invent new things; they work on challenging projects; they lead a team; they make a difference. Their pleasure is in the giving. Getting is incidental. Yes, they have to pay bills; so, they like that they get a decent pay to live. But they work because they like what they do. Giving is the reason. They are more likely to be lured by another employer where they can give more than one from whom they can get more. Their focus is on the giving. They get to give.

Would you rather have a performing employee or an engaged employee? No doubt, you probably would like an engaged and performing employee. Likewise, you will probably not tolerate for long a dis-engaged and non-performing employee. Those are the easy cases. How about the hard cases? Would you rather have a well-performing employee that is struggling to be engaged or a well-engaged employee that is struggling to perform? And, why is that? An engaged employee that is not performing is usually lacking some necessary skills. A performing employee that is not engaged is usually lacking necessary attitude. This brings to mind a favorite quip: If you have an employee that does not have the skill set needed to do the job, give them a year to learn the skill set; If you have an employee that does not have the attitude needed to do the job, give them the entire weekend.

Should we be evaluating our employees just on their performance, or also on their engagement? How do you evaluate people on their engagement? Does engagement change over time, just as performance does? How frequently should you give employees feedback on their engagement? These are all questions worthy of consideration. Ask yourself: Do you have performing employees or engaged employees?

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Variable Compensation: Incentive, Bonus or a Reward?

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Let me start by wishing all of our readers a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, hopefully had some relaxing time with family and friends, rang in the New Year with good cheer and are back to work with a positive outlook. This month’s topic is inspired, in part, by a discussion I had with my staff on this topic at our planning meeting a month ago, as we were massaging our variable compensation program for this year. A week or so later, my friend, Gerhard Beenen, sent me an article, Why Not Give Money Instead of a Gift  that added some fodder. Finally, given that many of you might be planning your compensation programs for this year, I thought this topic might be apropos.

Is there value to supplementing base compensation with variable compensation? Do you have a variable compensation program in your company? Although the employer benefits by indexing a portion of the employees’ compensation to the performance of the company, does it drive the intended behavior in the employees? Is variable compensation an incentive, a bonus or a reward? To explore this, let us focus on the distinction between an incentive, a bonus and a reward, in the context of variable compensation for employees.

An incentive is a contractual agreement (written or verbal) between the employer and the employee in which the employer sets certain predetermined goals upon achieving which the employee is entitled to a predetermined amount of compensation. The presumption is that the opportunity of this compensation will incentivize the employee to work harder to achieve the goals. Typically, incentive compensation is not paid for trying hard or for “almost” meeting the goal; but when the goal is met the employee is entitled to the agreed compensation. So, in an incentive compensation there is an a priori contractual agreement, an expectation that the employee’s behavior will be influenced and the employee has a sense of entitlement when they meet the goal.

A bonus is a contractual agreement between the employer and the employee that allows the employee to share in the “profits” of the company. Although the amount to be shared is usually pre-determined and agreed, there is no expectation that the employee’s specific behavior (drive, motivation, etc.) will be influenced by the bonus program. Nevertheless, both the employer and the employee feel good when the bonus program pays out, and they all feel part of the team. As in the case of an incentive, if the company does well, the employee feels entitled to the bonus. So, a bonus is similar to an incentive but there is no expectation of influencing the employees’ behavior.

A reward has no a priori contractual agreement and, as such, there is no expectation of influencing the employees’ behavior. Nevertheless, the employer, ex post facto, offers the employee(s) some compensation for a job well done – e.g., completing a project, finishing the year with a bang, achieving superior business results, etc. In this situation, the employee has no expectation, and is pleased by the magnanimity of the employer.

To drive home the distinction between the three, let us highlight a subtle point. When an incentive is paid out the employer thanks the employee. When a reward is paid out the employee thanks the employer. When a bonus is paid out they both thank each other.

What works best – incentive, bonus or a reward? Do incentives work? Do people’s behaviors really change? Are people motivated by money to the extent that their behavior can be affected? The article mentioned above has some interesting insight into these questions. Is there value to a bonus? If it is not intended to change behavior, why create the sense of entitlement? Do rewards have long term value? Are they forgotten the next week? Do you have to reward everybody? Do you have to reward every year? If you do, do they become an entitlement and degenerate into a bonus?

These are all questions you should ask yourself. You should have clear convictions and expectations in setting up a variable compensation program. As a proponent of intentional leadership, I posit that at a minimum, having clarity of intent and purpose creates intentionality.

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