Patient and a doctor who is holding a chart smiling while sitting in an office

Should You Hire a Dental Practice Management Consultant?

Aug 20, 2018

Author: Mirissa D. Price, Harvard DMD '19

Have you considered hiring a dental practice management consultant in your dental office? As the owner of a dental practice, you wear a lot of professional hats. You are a health care provider, business manager and mentor. Every once in a while you may even have to pick up a wrench and fix a leaky faucet yourself.

Whether you wish to reduce your workload or expand your business, a dental practice management consultant can be a vital resource in reaching your dental practice goals. Regulations vary across countries, and while organizations can guide you on how to run a practice, a practice management consultant can craft a plan based on your individual situation and needs.

What Is a Dental Practice Management Consultant?

Your office may already have a full-time office manager, and in some places they may need to be registered. In England, for instance, depending on the circumstances, service providers are required to have a registered manager, according to the Care Quality Commission.

Still, an outside consultant may be the fresh set of eyes your business needs to identify pain points you may be overlooking. A practice management consultant has expertise in business, finances and leadership to help you meet your office needs, says Spear Education. This individual can work with your team to do the following:

  • Enhance scheduling and the patient experience
  • Define employee roles
  • Improve communication between team members
  • Develop systems for staff management and hiring
  • Streamline your paper charting and record keeping system or recommend software programs
  • Suggest measures that protect your office from embezzlement
  • Ensure you are complying with local and national regulations

Your practice management consultant will help you set achievable and actionable goals. It's important to understand what your practice's needs are and what type of practice consultant may be the best fit for your needs and practice. You also need to know up-front what the cost will be and what you can afford.

Examining Your Practice Management

One of the best reasons to hire a consultant is if you consider yourself an excellent dentist but a reluctant business negotiator. To decide if a dental practice management consultant could help you, consider these questions:

  1. Do I feel confident in the business side of running my dental office, and/or is there anything I want to learn about running a dental business?
  2. Do I want my practice to grow in profit, size or efficiency in the coming year?
  3. Do I want to achieve better work-life balance?
  4. Do I want to equip my practice and myself for growth, changes or transitions the future may hold?

These seem like broad, overwhelming goals, but a practice management consultant can break down big dreams into attainable objectives. Whether your practice is struggling or thriving, a practice management consultant has the training to help you and your whole team grow.

Building and Managing Your Ideal Practice

The hardest question you should ask yourself is the most important: Is the practice I am running today the practice I want to be running for the rest of my career? If you can imagine even one change, a dental practice management consultant can step in to help you achieve your vision. You have to be receptive to change and enter the relationship with the right attitude to get the most out of your consulting investment.

When you are caught up in the day-to-day hustle of running a dental practice and performing your role as a clinician, it can be hard to step back and honestly evaluate the big picture. A dental practice management consultant is there to help you.