With the world rapidly changing under our feet, I meet many dentists and their teams who want to make the leap to “go digital” but either don’t know where to start, or are a little lost at what they need to do. If this is you – you are not alone.
In this article, I am not going to talk about the equipment you may want to invest in… I am going to talk about your team – the people that will actually make this successful.
Here are my top 3 things to think about when moving towards a digital way of working:
1. DOES YOUR TEAM KNOW WHY?
The biggest, single handed, number one reason that change fails to work as intended (or as quickly as hoped) is because the team don’t fully understand “why.” Have you sat down with your team to discuss why you want the practice to be fully or partially digital? So often I hear, “I’ve told them what I want – why aren’t they doing it?!” If you have said or thought this, then the only person you have to blame is yourself! Telling anyone anything once or twice is not enough. You should be talking about what you want to see, the new technology and how it works, the new processes that need to be put in place etc, as often and as frequently as you physically can. The more you talk about it with your team, the quicker change will happen.
The second thing about having your team understand the “why” is that they must understand your vision for how things will be different (which they will be) and what has made you want to change the way things are at the moment. These two points are very important as they give your team confidence in their own roles going forward and what part each of them will need to play to make the change happen. Remember – even though it may be your vision, the team needs to feel like it is their vision too – so do everything you can to explain, talk about and share with your team. Paint a vivid picture for them to imagine – and that all starts with the “why.”
2. WHAT TRAINING DO YOU NEED?
Training is often overlooked when it comes to moving to change. It costs money to get someone good. It costs money to close the business for the time needed to do the training. It might even cost money in travel or hotels or food for everyone. So, is it worth it?
If you are serious about having a digital practice, it is more about the mind-set and skill of the team than it is about the equipment you have got to play with. Think about it – would a novice golfer invest in all the clubs that a pro golfer would? Probably not – it would be a wasted investment. Equally, if you buy all the kit but don’t train your team, it will be a waste of money because it won’t be utilised to its full potential. I have been to countless practices that have some of the fanciest kit available – and yet no one knows how to use it properly! What a waste and what’s the point?
So – if you are serious about wanting to go digital here are a few areas of training you should look at providing for your team (and yourself):
· Technical and system training – get the best people you can find to come and train your team on how to use every piece of equipment you decide to buy. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for the equipment – get someone to come and show you all exactly how it works and where the “kinks” are (those things that they say should never go wrong – but usually do!). You need to create a culture of continual learning with your team, so make it fun. I have so many ways you can do this, so if you are stuck for ideas – just email me and I’ll be happy to share them with you!
· Communication training – whenever you invest in a new piece of equipment, you should teach your team how to speak about it with patients. You should be telling patients every time you invest into something that will help them, just don’t leave it up to the team to make that message up – create it together and practice saying it. Ask questions to catch each other out, so that you know what to say when you get asked even the hardest of questions – that shows professionalism and competence. Remember – no one likes it when you ask a question and the person serving you has to go away to find the answer. This should be a slick operation!
· Play time – whenever you have installed new equipment, you should set time aside for everyone in the team to practice – and I mean everyone. Don’t just get the other clinicians involved. Get everyone in the practice to try the new equipment and play with it – this will generate excitement and dispel any fears that people may have. It’s also a good idea to get someone from the company that you bought the kit from to come back in to supervise this as they will be able to answer questions that you may not fully know the answers to. Often nurses and reception staff ask the best questions as they see things from different perspectives than dentists do, so use them and play with the equipment together.
3. AM I READY?
If you are thinking about going digital in your practice, I strongly advise you find people that have already done it and learn from their mistakes. Buying the wrong equipment can be an expensive mistake to make – so don’t make it! Find others who are a little further down the road than you are and learn from them. There are so many people who are passionate about digital dentistry and are “walking the walk.” A couple of great people are Jameel Gardee at Glasgow Smile Clinic and Elaine Halley from Cherrybank Dental Spa. They are inspirational advocates for digital dentistry and love to share their knowledge. Again, if you want to speak to them or others who are fully utilising digital dentistry in their daily practice, please get in touch with me and I will be happy to introduce you to them.
Whatever you do – don’t go it alone. You are not alone – many people are in the same boat as you and the great news is, there is now a massive amount of help and resource available to make it as easy as possible for you and your team.
Mobile: 07557 763 785
Find me on LinkedIn – Adam Morgan
Adam Morgan is an award winning training specialist who teaches businesses and individuals how to grow and create greatness in their marketplace. His fresh approach and dynamic style make him highly popular with companies around the world.
Adam works specifically with practices throughout the UK and helps dental teams to raise the bar, be more successful and achieve their goals and vision. With over a decade of expertise working with many of the leading hotels and resorts, retailers, financial institutions of the world, he is a talented consultant able to deliver results, increase revenue and profitability