Whether you’re a seasoned dentist with years of experience or you’re fresh out of dental school just getting started, every dentist needs a strong team.
Dedicated dental professionals help you care for your patients in the best possible manner and create an environment in your office that patients and staff alike can enjoy. After all, changing people’s lives through their smiles can be very rewarding!
Depending on the size and location of your dental practice, you might start to find yourself staying late at the office or bringing work home to finish. If this is the case for you, it may be time to consider hiring an office manager to lighten your workload so you can get back to focusing on what you do best, taking care of your patients.
But how do you find the right professional for your dental practice? Here are some things to consider.
What Is a Dental Practice Manager Responsible For?
This is primarily up to the dentist and their specific needs; however, here are some things you can include in your practice manager’s job description:
- Managing Patient Relations: Creating excellent patient experiences should be the goal of every team member, and your office manager oversees this. Good communication skills help them manage both team members’ and patients’ needs, and they can turn complaints into wins.
- Hiring and Firing: It’s hard for dentists to make time for hiring new team members. Your practice manager can oversee hiring new employees and handling those that may not be working out.
- Establishing and Implementing Systems: Every dental practice needs systems to help employees effectively do their jobs and provide patients with an excellent, consistent experience. If you don’t have these established already, your office manager can help you create them. If you do, your office manager oversees following and implementing them.
- Sales Goals and Scheduling: Your practice manager should oversee the schedule and ensure that it is maximized to meet your daily sales goals.
- Treatment Coordination: With excellent communication skills and an ability to explain dental treatments to patients in an understandable way, your practice manager is often your treatment coordinator.
- Accounting and Collections: Your practice manager may be the one to oversee insurance filing and collections unless you have an insurance coordinator. They are also mainly in charge of collecting balances from patients at the time of service.
- Compliance with Industry Standards: Following HIPAA guidelines and requirements is a must to avoid costly fines and industry scrutiny. Your office manager is in charge of ensuring that systems are in place to follow HIPAA guidelines properly.
- Marketing: Office marketing or communication with the agencies that help your dental practice with marketing is another responsibility your practice manager can handle. Marketing is an ongoing responsibility that regularly requires time and attention.
- Patient Retention: Handling patient concerns or complaints can fall on your practice manager. They can also oversee asking for and handling patient reviews and managing patient referral programs.
- Promotes a Positive Office Culture: An upbeat dental office is a great place to work and an excellent place for patients to receive dental care. A good office manager will have ideas on how to create and maintain a positive office culture.
This sounds like a tall list!
You may want to revise yours based on your dental practice’s unique needs. For example, a larger dental practice with multiple dentists may already have an insurance coordinator or a treatment coordinator that the office manager would oversee rather than performing those duties themselves.
How to Find the Right Practice Manager
Once you decide that a practice manager is suitable for your needs, you’ll want to spend some time finding the right candidate.
You can use online job recruiting services with companies like Indeed or ZipRecruiter or dental job boards. These services can help you sort through candidate resumes and pinpoint suitable candidates for you to interview.
Local dental staffing companies can also help find the right person, and they can take some of the workload off you during the process since they screen candidates first and then send qualified people for you to interview.
Qualities to Look For in a Practice Manager
Some of the qualities to highlight in a good candidate are:
- Exceptional Communication Skills
- Friendly or Approachable
When considering the amount of experience your candidate should have, think about your own work style.
Are you a hands-on dentist? Are you involved in most aspects of your dental practice? You may be successful in hiring and training someone new with less experience. You can look for a candidate with a friendly and coachable personality.
Are you looking for more autonomy? Would you prefer to leave the details to someone else so you can focus mainly on your patients? Look for someone seasoned with more experience and a proven track record.
A dental practice manager can help you grow your practice and reach your goals. They may also make it more enjoyable for you to work each day since you can focus on engaging with your patients as they lighten your workload.