The virtue of selfishness

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 Dr Mark HassedUsually selfishness is not a virtue but if you want to run a productive dental office then it’s vital.

The dentist is the generator of billable income for a practice and therefore everything in the office has to be set up to make them as productive as possible. A dentist who wants to be highly efficient must be utterly selfish with their time.

This has two parts:

  1. The dentist should never do non-billable work. Doing non-billable work (such as writing notes, referral letters and lab sheets) leaves less time for doing billable work.
  2. The dentist should never be kept waiting. The office systems and staffing levels must be streamlined so the dentist can always work at full speed.

This sounds simple but when I visit practices, I see these rules violated all the time. Have a look around your office and see if you are doing non-billable work or if you are waiting for staff to get things ready. One of the most common ways for staff to keep you waiting is by not fully setting up at the start of a procedure so they have to leave the room mid-procedure to get items.

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