Why settle for only one month of increased dental compliance and all of the team building and good health practices that go along with it? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the late-winter efforts of your team to boost client compliance stretch into spring, and then summer and fall?
In my work, I spend time with a diversity of practices. I’ve observed practices with poor dental compliance and great dental compliance and it’s clear to me that the difference between the two is resolve, follow through, and a thoughtful approach to communication and marketing. I’d like to share with you the ways that you can achieve all three and make your February Dental Month happen 365 days every year!
Resolve to Improve
Are you or are you not committed to the good health behind preventative dentistry? As experienced veterinary professionals, you recognize that this elective procedure comes with real risks and, depending on your practice, a sizeable invoice. Practices that successfully promote preventative dentistry realize that less anesthesia is better than more anesthesia; that it’s better to have the patient anesthetized for fast preventative cleanings than it is to have the patient anesthetized when it’s a senior with advanced oral disease and infection. Successful practices price preventative care to incentivize client action and offer a suite of payment solutions. Lastly, and most importantly, they take the time to train anesthetic safety and monitoring to their team members, staff the dental suite adequately, and hone a patient workflow that minimizes mistakes and decreases patient stress.
Follow Through as a Leader
Just yesterday a practice owner wrote to me and lamented, ‘It’s not that I’m not committed…it’s my team. When I mention anything else about extra client care at this point, I am met with laments of being understaffed and stretched over limits. By no means am I shooting this down, but I am currently feeling shot down myself.’
I feel your pain. You should know that the push back you are getting from your team is not unique to your hospital. You should also recognize it. In almost all cases, teams that push back are being truthful. They really do feel that they are understaffed, ill equipped, incapable, etc. at working any harder than they already are at improving compliance.
However, practices with high compliance regularly help their team members understand how their work is directly tied to the practice’s Mission. In this context, we can’t accept roadblocks, but must work together to move through them. Otherwise our efforts demonstrate a hollow commitment to care, service and patient wellbeing. Additionally, leaders who respectfully encourage team members to achieve goals demonstrate that they are paying attention and are aware of untapped potential in their team members; an important quality in any successful coach.
Communicate and Market Your Message Effectively…and That Means Online
Too many veterinary professionals are still fledging their way through online exposure to their clients. It’s too bad. Social media and other digital marketing opportunities abound. In fact, the depth of affordable market penetration that small business owners can now achieve is unprecedented. But please don’t throw a handful of Facebook posts, blogs and brochures at your client base and hope that something sticks. Take time to think how improved compliance to prevention defines who you are as a practice and how your dental compliance program is unique to your hospital and who you are as a team. Successful marketing includes a specific voice, a clear and trusted message, and a plan by which the marketing unfolds to the client. Clearing these ideas up before you market will ensure that the materials have a successful position in your workflow and that your marketing efforts in general will be implemented and followed through upon.
For more specific dental compliance marketing and communication ideas my colleague Vickie Byard, CVT, VTS (dentistry) and I have put together an evening of learning, which can be brought to your event or local group. You can find out more about scheduling this event by contacting me, or keeping an eye on our events calendar. I look forward to talking with all of you about improved compliance over a good meal and a glass of wine (or perhaps a mojito!)
All my best,