Running a successful dental practice requires more than being a good dentist. You have to be a manager as well.
But you don’t want to explain everything from scratch all the time. Rather, rely on standard operating procedures to create repeatable excellence.
This blog post outlines why standard operating procedures are crucial for a dental clinic!
What are standard operating procedures
Standard operating procedures (SOP) are documents that describe how repeating tasks in a company are performed.
They have a few key purposes:
- They create transparency.
- They define standards for performing tasks.
- They build a basis for process improvements.
- They serve as the knowledge base for onboarding and training.
Check out how to write great SOPs here.
But why are SOPs so important in dental clinics.
1. SOPs help maintain your infrastructure
Next to the dentists, the infrastructure in a dental practice determines its success and patient appeal.
SOPs help to define how medical and non-medical material is used. They allow you to describe how things are stored and when they need to be restocked. You can describe how your team reorders material in case you’re running low.
The importance of technology in dental medicine is ever-increasing. And with it grows the complexity. Be it chairs, tools or the latest software or imagery machines.
To make the best out of it, you need to let people know how to use them. SOPs can be a great basis for training or for ongoing knowledge transfer. They give you a basis to document newly learned best practices.
2. SOPs ensure consistency across functions, dentists or clinics
SOPs become super important as you grow.
Collaboration between disciplines
If you tackle more complex procedures in your clinic that require collaboration across disciplines, you have to define how you want that collaboration to work.
Who does what and when? In which format does one role deliver results to the next? Who is responsible for the overall flow. The more these things are defined, the better.
Consistent care across dentists
Even if you “only” have multiple dentists that do the same thing, SOPs can help. They enable the team to arrive at a shared way of doing things. Your clinic’s way of doing things.
The basis for this agreement will be a written version of how you do things: An SOP.
Consistent care across clinics
When you open up a new location and want to transfer the success of your first clinic, there’s no way around standardizing the way you work.
Map what makes your first clinic successful, and then use that as a blueprint for your additional locations.
3. SOPs are a great learning tool
Here are the use-cases for SOPs as a learning tool.
When you grow and bring on new dentists or other staff, you want to train them on how you do things. A comprehensive library of your procedures will be a great basis for this.
Dental medicine is a quickly advancing field. New procedures, materials and tools are being introduced constantly. To keep up with that pace, continuous learning is imperative.
SOPs provide the best basis for this and can be easily updated to reflect new developments.
4. To ensure a great client experience
The most important reason why you need SOPs is to ensure a great client experience. Not by accident, but by design.
It starts with the way your team answers the phone and how patients are greeted when entering the practice. Then, its how your team works through the actual treatment and after care – everything counts.
Only if you’re able to deliver all of these things consistently in a great way, will your practice thrive.
SOPs help you to develop, maintain and refine these standards. Combine them with a motivated and skilled team, and your practice is bound to succeed.