#1 – Takes over administration of practice

#1 – Takes over administration of practice

Congratulations!  You’re spent at least five years of hard work to reach this point.  You’ve learned lots of “cook book” ideas.  Now it’s time for you to learn lost more – and then apply it using your own style.  You’ll find it’s a lot harder to become your own person, a true professional in your own right.


Start at the Beginning


Review this manual.  It’s different from all the others.  Some tasks you’ll need to implement immediately.  Others won’t be important for several months.


Quickly develop a network of other administrators.  Dentistry may have a couple in our area but contact the Dayton Chamber of Commerce with a description of the kind of administrator you’d like to work with.


The first 10-15 tasks will help you get oriented to the practice.  In level 8 you learned to gather data, now you’ll need to apply it.


Don’t worry about making mistakes. You’ll make plenty and some of them will be huge.  Won’t it be fun?  Keep your sense of humor.  Recognize a problem, go through the problem solving steps, and make a decision.  Keep track of how it’s going.  If you made a bad decision, correct it.  Don’t second guess yourself.  Learn from your mistakes.


You are now directly responsible to Dr. Smith with the success of the HealthPark – high perceived value of our clients, happy/career developing staff/dentists and making a profit.




Without work, all life goes rotten.  But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

  • Albert Camus


. . . work cannot be satisfying unless it enables personal growth.

  • Avrom King


So what’s the difference between managing – telling people what to do, and leading – inspiring others to their best efforts?  It’s the difference between telling and inspiring.


How do you know when you’re managing?  Managers work off objective, factual goals.  They justify their decision and results (good or bad) on what happened in the past.


Leaders are right brain visionaries.  They take chances.  They do what “feels” right even when they can’t justify their actions with facts and figures.  Sometimes their left hanging out on a limb, but even when it breaks off, they dust themselves off, learn from the experience and try again.


Do you lead by yourself?  I hope not!  Try to grow as many leaders as possible among the staff.  How do you know who your leaders are?  You don’t.  All you can do is give people responsibility and see what happens.  Sometimes you’ll have to clean up a mess.  Sometimes you make a leader.  This is a mess, inexact process, but the mess is worth the result.


Most projects only need one leader.  If one of the staff is leading, take a deep breath and fade back as a helper.  Offer support, play a part, encourage, but don’t try to manipulate your blossoming leader to do it your way.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.  We can’t correct – and be stronger for going through the process.

Try to develop the following leadership skills:


  1. Have a vision of what the future will be at HealthPark.
    1. How will we serve our clients in the future?
    2. How can you express your vision to grab the imagination of the staff?
    3. When situations change, change your vision.  Try to keep your vision five years in the future.
  2. Facilitate the staff to achieve success in their terms.
    1. Spend time to get to know each person.  Help them feel important.
    2. Reward every positive – even if it’s just a “well done.”
    3. Blend personal and HealthPark goals.
    4. Analyze processes, find opportunities, develop a plan, and track progress
  3. Be positive, excited.  You set the atmosphere for everyone.
    1. Commit yourself completely to HealthPark’s success.
    2. Remember the Golden Rule, lead by example.
    3. Continual change, continual quality improvement, reduce inefficiency, always responding to our clients.
    4. Routines are comfortable, accepted, but they stifle creativity
    5. Balance your personal and professional life.  They’re equally important.


Each tack has a team member now.  Besides managing the whole practice, you’ll still be responsible for all the staff in your track.  Go ahead and use the next highest level person in your track as your assistant.  Staying close to the people in your track is the best way to live the kind of problems your track leaders are facing.


Speaking of problems, you’re going to be “breaking in” a new position.  Here are some problems to watch out for:


  1. Don’t assume.  Read and become familiar with the manual material.
  2. Learn how the other tracks work.  What are their problems and perspectives?
  3. How do you get the various personalities – doctor, staff, and track leaders – to work well together?
  4. How do you get the staff and doctors to accept you as their leader?
  5. Forgetting to tie your projects to business goals – improved production, collection, higher quality


As you develop your managing skills, you’ll learn more and more about Edward Deming, the business manager who taught the Japanese how to structure their work force so it could successfully challenge the United States.  Here is his philosophy.  Use it like gospel.  I hope it makes use as successful as the Japanese.


  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improving products and services, allocating resources to provide for long-range needs rather than short-term profitability.


  1. Adopt the new philosophy for economic stability by refusing to allow commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship.


  1. Cease dependence on mass inspection by requiring statistical evidence of built-in quality.


  1. Reduce the number of suppliers for the same item by eliminating those that do not qualify with statistical evidence of quality; end the practice of awarding business solely on the basis of price.


  1. Search continually for problems in the system to constantly improve processes.


  1. Institute modern methods of training to make better use of all employees.


  1. Focus supervision on helping people do a better job; ensure that immediate action is taken on reports of defects, maintenance requirements, poor tools, inadequate operating definitions, or other conditions detrimental to quality.


  1. Encourage effective, two-way communication and other means to drive out fear throughout the organization and help people work more productively.


  1. Break down barriers between departments by encouraging problem solving through teamwork, combining efforts of people from different areas such as research, design, sales, and promotion.


  1. Eliminate numerical goals, posters, and slogans for the work force that ask for new levels of productivity without providing methods.


  1. Use statistical methods for continuing improvement of quality and productivity, and eliminate work standards that provide numerical quotas.


  1. Remove all barriers that inhibit the worker’s right to pride of workmanship.


  1. Institute a viscous program of education and retraining to keep up with changes in materials, methods, product design, and machinery.


  1. Clearly define top management’s permanent commitment to quality and productivity and its obligation to implement all of these principles.


The Seven Deadly Diseases


  1. Lack of constancy of purpose.
  2. Emphasis on short-term profits.
  3. Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.  Evaluation nurtures rivalry and destroys teamwork.
  4. Management mobility.  Job-hoppers never understand the companies they work for.
  5. Running a company on visible figures alone.
  6. Excessive medical costs for employee health care.
  7. Excessive warranty costs, fueled by lawyers’ contingency fees.


The Obstacles to Quality Transformation


  1. Hoping for “instant pudding” – that proclaiming quality will make it happen.
  2. Believing that industry will be transformed by solving problems, automation, gadgets and new machinery.
  3. Searching for a ready-made quality recipe instead of creating one that meets the organization’s unique requirements.
  4. Making excuses for avoiding quality issues:  “Our problems are different” “Our quality control department takes care of quality problems,” “We installed quality control,” or “We’re meeting specifications”


Here are five parts to Avrom King’s ideas on what an administrator should try to develop.


A dentist and team who joyfully provide optimal services . . .


At an exceptional level of excellence . . .

For those clients who are able to receive these services with gratitude . . .


And whose enhanced sense of benefits permit them to pay with delight . . .


A fee which allows you and your team to feel richly rewarded.


The major key in your success is your ability to make decisions.  Most of the time your job will be to help the group come up with a consensus.  When everyone agrees, they own the decision and will work together to make it successful.  The book Effective Business Decision Making by William O’Dell outlines a decision making model.


Adjust to Environment


Develop Alternatives





Establish Criteria                                                        Criteria = the yard sticks to

measure which is the best



Establish Alternatives





Make Decision


A major “reality check” on your effectiveness is how well you delegate.  Delegation implies good training, excellent communication, and high level trust.  See how you answer these questions.


Do you work later than anyone else in the office most nights of the week and Saturdays?


Is it difficult to find time for treatment planning and making long-range practice goals?


Are you constantly fighting to keep on schedule?


Is your desk always filed with bills and professional journals – no matter how hard you work?


Do you make daily trips to the post office to pick up and deliver mail?


Do you open and soft the office mail?


Do you go to the bank regularly to drop off deposits and withdrawals?


Are you your own bookkeeper?  Do you personally type business correspondence?


Do you order supplies and unpack them when they arrive?


Have you failed to take an annual vacation at lest a week long during the last three years?





Provide the highest value to the greatest number of clients.


Job Description for HealthPark Office Manager  (Updated December 2012)


Responsible for:

  • Running weekly dentist and team leader meetings – print weekly unscheduled treatment & case acceptance lists for dentists to make follow up calls
  • Writing weekly blog post and posting in all social media platforms
  • Managing all photos and videos to publish in social media – record one video/month
  • Coordinating with all vendors
  • Updating website content – learn basics of WordPress
  • Managing technology – replace dead computers, work with IT company when problems occur, understand basics of DemandForce, Yodle, Dexis, manage hardware (keep up with database size and drives needed), intraoral cameras, movies,
  • Manage hiring process for new staff and set up orientation
  • Give staff raises – calculate, meet with staff, manage dental benefits
  • Strategic Plan Calendar – get these tasks accomplished
  • Maintain all equipment and interior of building
  • Run end of month – stats for patients, staff & profitability
  • Support dentist/specialist needs – transition to clinical notes
  • Dentrix – move individuals to correct accounts, run correct new patient list (Loraine teach)


Will need training:

  • Work through levels
  • Basics of WordPress – to update website
  • Solve staff concerns


Work Jill handled that must be delegated away from new hire:

  • Handling patient complaints
  • Level meetings for secretary and general



Job Description for Bookkeeping Person

  • Payroll and benefits – 401k, Health Savings Account, Flex, Vacation hours, bonuses
  • Payables – pay inventory bills & make sure correct (not accept $2000 of medications! and make sure items allocated to correct dentist), enter credit card expenses accurately, all bills paid on time so not destroy our credit, use billpayer system through PNC bank
  • Reconcile business checking account
  • Dentrix reports – close month (and troubleshooting), end of month for dentists (expect 10-12 hours/mo), refunds
  • Refunds – sent out & match between Dentrix, Excel & checking account


Will need training:

  • Peachtree (now renamed Sage 50) accounting software – payables & general ledger
  • Dentrix
  • Excel
  • Billpayer system through PNC bank
  • Timeclock