Episode 177 – Excellence and the Dental Practice
“I think we all want perfection, but what we should really be aiming for is excellence.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird
I want to do the best restorations I can do. I want to take care of patients in an uncommon way. I want to run my practice with excellence as the guide. I want to go above and beyond the call of duty. I think these sentiments are all something you can agree with. Most of us dentists strive to be excellent, to be “perfect”.
Initially, it can be easy to operate with excellence as your guide. When you first open your practice, you’re extremely in tune with the equipment and systems. But it takes a while for most doctors to get in tune with taking care of patients with excellence.
Many of us see dentistry as a business. The systems have to work, the practice needs to be profitable, you need to offer the treatment your patients want and that’s important, but at some point you have to get better at taking great care of patients. What we really need is a worldview. A world view that our business, our practice, and our relationships should be guided by excellence.
The problem for many of us, and I had this problem myself too, is we start to increase our productivity and we tend to rest on our laurels. We’re making decent money and everything is going well but we lose track of excellence and delivering that exceptional experience to patients and then that happens, our love for what we do wanes, and our teams and patients start to notice.
So today, I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned about running my business with excellence as my guide, including:
- What it means to have a mindset of excellence
- Discovering your “why” and why that’s so important
- How to review your commitment to excellence
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.
Dr. Bruce Baird 0:47
And I promise you, the sooner you can get into that mode of measuring things based on excellence, talking to your team based on excellence, talking to your patients, all of a sudden you start to see that productivity continuing to go up.
Hello everyone. This is Dr. Bruce B. Baird and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast in this podcast I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way, it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you so you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows, more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist podcast.
My name is Dr. Bruce Baird, of the Productive Dentist Podcast. Today, I want to talk about something that we’ve talked about it in the past, but I think now’s a great time to visit this word called excellence. You know, I think we all want perfection. You know, we all want things to be perfect but when we think of things, what we want is every area of our business, every area of our business to be guided by excellence. We want to do you know, I want to do the best provisional restorations that we can possibly do. I want to do the best final restorations we can possibly do. I want to take care of the patient in an uncommon way, uncommon, using excellence as the guy. We want to go above and beyond the call of duty, if you will, because it’s, it’s really a problem and I think practices go through this over their life, life expectancy. Initially, when you first open your practice, you’re extremely in tune with the systems, the equipment, and everything else. It starts to take time to understand the patient and excellence and taking care of the patient because you’re so worried about the equipment working properly and getting the right team. We talked about getting the right team on a previous podcast. So let’s make the assumption that you did hire that team. So you’ve got people who are on your team that are working, they’re all pulling the rope in the same direction. Okay, if I step back, and again, reflect what was the big difference in our practice, then then I see another practice. I think some practices look at the practice of dentistry as a business. Okay, yeah, we teach business skills, we teach you how to do your, you know, how to how to how to do your QuickBooks, how to do all of that stuff. Yes, that’s important but having, having this, this view, or I’m going to call it a worldview, that we want our business, our practice our relationships, to all start with excellence. I want, I don’t want it to be perfect. If that’s, that’s not realistic, but I want it to be excellent. I talked about in previous previous programs that I you know, wanted to have a model practice well, that was driven based on excellence. That was you know, and if you go through this lifestyle of the prac not lifestyle, but the sequence of events that happen in dental practice, you get extremely good early on, you’re, you’re marketing to patients, you’re doing this stuff, you’re getting people to come in the office. Now you’re going down the road five, eight years, and at some point you began to take great care of the patient better care of the patient than you were before. I remember when we first opened our office we were seeing 300 new patients a month. I, this is crazy, but we do I’d have a nuclear power plant that was right down the road. So I felt like, you know, we had all these new patients and I wanted everybody to have an over-the-top experience. Unfortunately, when you have that many new patients, nobody gets an over the top experience. What does that do to you, man, I had to learn to handle my emotions, it was really, really tough because there were problems. There were problems across the board. There were systems that hadn’t been thought out, there were all these things but then in your practice, you get to that point to where you start to go up, and you’re increasing your productivity. And then you get to be in your 30s, you start having, you know, you’ve got kids, 40s, you got kids, they got baseball, they got stopped by they got whatever their soccer, I mean, they have it all basketball, little dribblers everything and what ends up happening is you tend to rest back on your laurels, you’re making great money, but you lose sight of this excellence, you lose sight of the excellent experience that your patients are going to have and I promise you, the sooner you can get into that mode of measuring things based on excellence, talking to your team based on excellence, talking to your patients, all of a sudden, you start to see that productivity continuing to go up. How important is it to be guided by this thought process of excellence, I think it’s everything. I again, I had a partner early on, wasn’t really interested in excellence, just wanted to get the job done, and go home and be with family. There are dentists out there that, that’s really what they’re doing. They haven’t been to any other CE, they haven’t gone to any programs, they haven’t, you know, they’re doing the same thing they did in dental school, or shortly thereafter, and they don’t really change. They’re not driven by excellence. Well, you know, I don’t really have, there’s not a lot I can do to help those folks. I don’t want to just increase their productivity. I don’t want to just say, “Okay, Bob, you know, you’re a dentist that looks at dentistry this way, it’s just a job, it’s just a business.” You know, what I can’t really help you. I can’t, you know, I can teach you how to, you know, maybe schedule a little bit better but it all comes down to this deal where it’s all about you and it’s not really about the patient and, you know, Productive Dentist Academy, we help all kinds of people but those are the most difficult are the ones who really don’t have the why that they’re doing it. The why I’m doing it is to make money and spend more time with my family. Okay, well, that’s good. My wife is to do that but my why is to take excellent care of my patients, I want to take I want it to be above and beyond the call of duty, I want it to be something where people go, “Man, when you go to Granberry, they don’t send those people I mean, they, they’re on top of it. They’re great people, they like each other, you can just tell they like each other.” Why? Because they’re not fighting. You know, that’s in my mind not fighting, but they help each other and they’re they’ve got this attitude of gratitude and so, excellence is the thing that to me, if you lose sight of that, if you lose sight of what you’re delivering to your team. If what, if you lose sight of how you’re delivering to your patients and their experience, these are the things that drive practices, not in the ground but it does not allow that practice to flourish like it should. It doesn’t allow you to take care of more patients that you know you could do and it just, it really stalls the entire, in my opinion, the entire reason why I got into dentistry, it kind of puts a stall on it. The more people I see, the more I can help. Now if I can put systems in place that allow me to see more people and I don’t mean running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I mean, put systems in place, scheduling in place that allow excellence, marketing, to specific procedures that I love to do, that I can provide excellence in this goes across the board, you know from hiring people, to you know, the labs you use. I always put up a deal who here thinks that you you work with the best lab in the world and you know, I’ll have two or three people raise your hand I go guys, everybody has to raise your hand. If you’re not working with who you believe to be the best lab in the country and there’s a lot of best labs don’t get me wrong. I use root lab in Kansas City and I love those guys. I grew up with them. And I know for me they’re the best. That leads to my to my feelings of excellence. It leads to my feet feeling of, you know, we’re doing the best work we’re doing, you know, we’re just, we’re putting out a product for patients that I could put out for my, for my daughter’s, for my buddies on the golf course, for anybody that can come into our practice. Why? Because we believe in excellence. We’re not going to just stick a temp on there and have it rough. Does it happen? Yes, but we train we get away from that we’re treating, we’re training excellence, not perfection and so that we’ve talked about training, we’ve talked about all those things in past, in past podcast, but I want this to be something for the new year and this may be coming out after the first of the year but think about this new year, as your new commitment to excellence. I’m going to I want to look at the practice, I’m going to look, I’m going to be introspective, I’m going to look at myself, and how I feel about it. I’m going to talk to my team, I’m going to find out how they feel about it. I’m going to review the systems in place. That’s what we do at productive dentists. We help you review your systems and tweak them. Why there’s not that many systems at a dental office, by the way, you would think it’s horrible but it’s it’s, there’s not that many system. If you get down these systems well, with a thought of excellence, trust me, you’re gonna start to enjoy your practice. Maybe you’re in that Plateau State, maybe you’re in that early phase, maybe you’re in the late phase where you’re just thinking I want to get out of dentistry and I’m ready to retire. It doesn’t matter. Every patient that walks in your door deserves that that feeling that they’re getting excellent dentistry.
Now, what I will tell you is excellence does not really equal quality dentistry and I say that, with all due respect, you can be excellent, excellent, excellent but if you’re not doing great dentistry, that makes it really hard because what happens is, you’re actually seeing lots of patients because of the energy of your practice the energy of your business. If you feel like there’s some, some areas in your clinical practice that you need work on, there are great places to go learn and I’ve helped Doc’s for years go through John Kois. Go, go see John, go see Arun Guard for implants. Now go see. Paul Petrungaro. Go see these guys, go take courses, if you feel like you have a limit, because it always kind of pisses me off when I see an office down the street where I know the quality is not good but they’ve learned the human part. So patients, their parking lot is full, and I’m going Dang, I wish that guy would do better dentistry and so maybe you’re one of those people, maybe you’re not, I hope you’re not because if you are, it’s okay. We I had an associate years ago, that was just not a very good clinical dentist but I challenged him and I challenged him to go to certain courses. And guess what, he became an excellent clinical dentist and I know all of us want to be that, but that’s where introspection comes in and that’s where looking at ourselves, that’s all of the things that that we look at and so doesn’t matter where you’re at in your practice, the growth mode, whether you’re in startup mode, whether you’re in plateau mode, whether you’re in transition mode, it really makes no difference because each patient deserves I believe deserves that. That feeling that they’re getting excellence, and that we’re delivering excellence in what we do. So let’s look at this year. Look back on what we’ve done this year. You know, look at, I’m looking at myself right now, looking at this new year, what things am I talking about on the podcast? What things am I doing at Productive Dentist Academy that can lead to better results? What things can I do in in comprehensive finance another company I have what things can I do to help that become mainstream when you’re helping patients? Remember, we don’t have we don’t have too many dentists, we just have a lack of good financial arrangements because most dentists aren’t doing the work that they have walks in the door. So anyway, thank you guys for listening. This was you know, this was excellent.
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