Dental Office Manager Training Pays Off: New Career Opportunities Abound
Are you the dental office manager for your small practice? Maybe you have wondered about career development but figured since you’re already the manager, there’s nowhere for you to advance? You may have more opportunity than you realize!
First of all, everyone knows that every dentist is not the same. Some dentists are great at endo, some place implants, while others are amazing with people or have an inspiring vision for their practice. It’s exactly the same for dental office managers. Some are insurance geniuses, some can handle even the most upset patient while others run effective, on time meetings. The more skills you have, the more opportunities you have to expand your responsibilities and therefore your compensation level.
Dentrix has introduced a new Mastery Tracks online testing program that allows you to prove your skills. Dental office managers can take a series of tests to show their knowledge for front desk, financial and practice analysis specialist positions. Passing these series of tests provides you with a certificate you can use to increase your pay with your current dentist or even use to move your resume to the top of the pile if you are looking for a new position.
There are several ways you can increase your dental software skills. First, if you are working in a practice that pays for dental software tech support, be sure to take advantage of the online training available through the vendor. If you are lucky, your dentist may send you to a training or even use the remote profitability coaching allowing you to learn more. Another option for dental practice management software training is the online dental staff training program available through dentalpracticecoaching.com. This is a subscription-based online training that provides step-by-step instructions for the tasks required by dental front desk team members and dental assistants. No matter which software package your office uses, make it your goal to work through every online training program so you learn everything you can.
Dental Office Manager Training Topics
Dental office managers that have advanced technology and people skills are excellent candidates to become the administrators of a dental group practice. As dental group practices grow rapidly, there are more and more opportunities for dental office managers to increase their responsibility and substantially increase their compensation. A dental administrator manages the entire office and has several area of responsibility:
• Staffing: Hiring, training, managing staff benefits, compensation and raises
• Technology: Purchasing, supporting, training staff and coordinating with vendors
• Communication: Arranging meetings, creating agendas and following up on every task discussed
• Vendor management: Meeting with vendors to make the most of the relationships, gather competitive quotes for all major purchases
• Financial management: Making sure all expenses fall in line with national benchmarks and goals are set properly
• Quality of care: Support clinical staff through statistical measures of performance such as case acceptance and completion, redo work and decay rates
• Marketing: Manage the website and social media efforts as well as more traditional marketing activities, measure the return on investment for each
As multiple location dental group practices become more prevalent, the dental administrator has new opportunities for coordination and management. Now, scheduling becomes even more exciting as dentists often rotate through different locations and staffing needs fluctuate. Recruiting for dentists and specialists is added to the administrator’s responsibility list and helping the dentist owner to set performance goals and contracts for new associate dentists is needed. Often, the dentist owner serves as the clinical director and has regular meetings with all the dentists in the group. The administrator not only schedules and attends these meetings, she also creates the agenda and provides a report on shared marketing or staffing issues.
I am seeing several opportunities for dental administrators to run a 3-6 location dental group practice. These groups are popping up all over as retiring dentists successfully sell their solo offices to younger dentists who are able to take on the debt. Dentist owners’ options for management are often few and far between and they end up looking at candidates with no dental experience who have been trainers in retail management or perhaps have medical office administration background. A dental office manager who deeply understands the software, the world of dental insurance (and medical insurance from a dental perspective) and is willing to develop her people management skills is a wonderful candidate for this dental administrator position.
You decide what your career path will be. The opportunities exist. Are you ready?
Hiring a strong dental office manager is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.
Feel free to email me.