A Guide to Multispecialty Dental Practice Management
As people look to save time in any way they can, multispecialty dental practice management seems to become increasingly important.
A busy parent may need to buy groceries and pick up a prescription while their child is at soccer practice. An employee with an important work deadline might need their lunch hour to drop off their car for both an oil change and overdue safety inspection.
In either case, the customer prefers to complete both tasks at the same location.
Healthcare – particularly dentistry – may not be that different. Like any services industry, customers (patients) often expect multiple services during the same visit.
More and more dental practices are embracing the “one-stop shop” customer model. Staying competitive may mean expanding services.
Considerations for Multispecialty Dental Practice Management
While the term “comprehensive care” is now commonplace, making good on that expectation requires meticulous and well-thought-out planning. Everything from the costs of increasing your office space
to your hiring criteria is usually more complex than they are for a standard dental practice.
Three important considerations for multispecialty dental practice management are as follows:
1. Your Practice’s Location and Layout
A multispecialty dental practice usually requires more amenities and space than does a traditional practice. You should consider the following:
- Location. You should consider landing your office on a site easily visible from and accessible by major roads and highways. Most multispecialty dental practices are not tucked away in a secluded office building off the beaten path.
- Capacity. How many patient chairs you install might depend on the number of specialty services you plan to provide. For example, you might consider two or three chairs for routine cleanings, another two for general dental procedures, and two or three more for specialized services.
- Room size. Many specialty procedures require added space for additional equipment. For example, if you plan to perform oral surgeries, one room should be large enough to fit sedative equipment and the additional assistants necessary for monitoring the patient. You might also consider large multifunctional workspaces with flexible privacy options. Screens can be moved in and out of the room depending on a given procedure’s privacy requirements.
- Amenities. You should consider adding features not necessarily included in a traditional dental office. For example, you might add an exit designed specifically for sedated patients. If they are still feeling the effects of anesthesia, a direct route to the parking lot – instead of maneuvering through a crowded hallway – can be useful.
2. Expanding Your Specialty Services
Hiring for a multispecialty dental practice may go above and beyond the process required for a traditional dental practice.
You should consider what services you expect to provide and in what order you plan to add them. An easy and efficient way to establish an order might be ranking services by prevalence.
You may have to build a team of dental specialists including:
- Orthodontists. As many of your younger patients get older, some may opt for braces as their adult teeth settle in. This might mean that you should hire an orthodontist. If the potential revenue is there and you have the income stream to keep hiring, this might make sense as the first addition to your services.
- Periodontists. Many adult patients may require implants and/or periodontics at some point. This can also be a common treatment. As such, you might consider adding a periodontist to your team early in the hiring process.
- Oral surgeons. As your specialty practice grows even further, you may also consider adding an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons are typically late-round hires due to their accompanying up-front costs and logistical changes. Beyond paying a surgeon’s salary (which can be substantial), you will need to obtain the necessary licenses for surgery practice.
You may also need to renovate your office space to accommodate their operating area and an enlarged recovery area, make a crash cart available, and train and/or hire assistants on anesthesia use and procedures.
You should keep in mind that each of these add-on specialty services may generate new appointments organically. For example, periodontal procedures require three-month maintenance visits/check-ups that might require additional hygiene appointments.
3. Promoting Your Specialty Services
Now that you have spent all that time redesigning your floor plan, hiring specialists, and training your staff, you should get the word out.
You may have already completed these online marketing tasks in the past, but now might be a good time to revisit them. If you have not done this in the past, it might be a great time to start.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). You may have already traveled this path once before. You designed your website and carefully worded your online marketing material to ensure that a search engine finds your site based on the right keywords. However, your services have changed and so have your keywords. You should expand your keywords to accommodate your new services.
- Content marketing. You might consider adding informative blogs and service pages to your website. These may allow you to educate would-be clients, build relationships, and enrich your website’s text with additional keywords that can enhance SEO.
- Extend your reach on social media. You may already have a Facebook page or Twitter account dedicated to your practice, but are you hitting all your prospective patients? As you expand your services, you should expand your online community reach accordingly by joining social media groups that specialize in your new services. As always, be sure that you and your staff adhere to the ADA’s code of conduct for social media use.
Find the Coverage for Your Different Services
Multispecialty dental practice management can be a difficult endeavor. There are many factors to consider, including what specialty services to add, how many specialists to hire, and how it all affects your practice’s physical layout.
You have enough to think about, and how to provide different insurance for different specialists should not be near the top of your list. Regardless of how you choose to run your business, Dentist’s Advantage can work with you to choose the coverage for all the services you plan to provide.
Get a quote today.