Episode 578: Pediatric Practice Hacks!

pediatric pedo Sep 20, 2022

Kiera dives into her favorite tips for pediatric dental offices — and even general dentists — to streamline the workplace. She touches on …

  • How to schedule smart and maximize the middle of the day

  • Why and when to consider utilizing a hygienist

  • What the benefits are of clinical team members walking patients out

  • And more!

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone. Welcome to The Dental A Team Podcast, I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective because, let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have traveled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to The Dental A Team Podcast.


0:00:51.4 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera. And you guys, I hope today is just awesome, I'm car casting, so it's a beautiful day over here, it's just been fun. I feel like I car cast a lot, but hey, when you got four-hour drives between offices, why not car cast, right? I agree, I totally agree. So guys, I just wanted to have just kind of a fun podcast today. This is shouting out to all of our pediatric practices. Dental A Team actually consults not just general practices, but we do work with pediatric, oral surgery. We have a lot of OS practices, ortho as well. So we just have a ton of fun. Implant, surgery, you name it, those are our jams, and I really love them so much. And so today's podcast is going out to all those pediatric practices. Also, if you're seeing pediatric in your practice, hold tight, I think this could be great for you. But at the end of the day, systems are systems are systems, right? And so the things that you can implement, the things that you can do, this is where it's at. So, with the pediatric practices, some of the things that I've seen work ridiculously well in pediatric practices, I'm gonna share a couple hacks.

0:02:04.1 KD: And again, it goes to GP practices as well. So one of my top favorite things in a pediatric practice is when you really plan and prepare for when you're going to be seeing patients. So that means where we fill our schedules with dead time. So you can set certain parameters to see certain patients during your dead time, meaning that tend to do space in a pediatric practice tends to be when most kiddos aren't there, so let's plan our surgeries, our sedations early in the morning. And then let's plan to see all those kiddos like right around that 12 o'clock to 2 o'clock and after. And I like all hands on deck in pediatric practices. Something I found that works really, really well is some offices actually love to be running like a sealant column or an ortho column in the mornings when we're doing sedations in pedo practices.

0:02:55.5 KD: These tend to work out really well because then it's all hands on deck. Our dentist isn't trying to bounce from sedations, in to do the checks. And also, it's all hands on deck, which just makes it a lot easier, we can have a lot more patients being seen. And just something that I've found really, really, really works well, in order for this to be successful, all clinical team members need to be able to coronal polish, need to be able to take x-rays, and sometimes, depends on your practice, but sometimes, and this is a big sometimes, it can actually be super, super beneficial for you to have a hygienist in your practice. Like I said, sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to bring in that cost but for some dentists, they do enjoy having that hygienist in there so they can scale those older patients. That can be really helpful.

0:03:42.5 KD: So when I found pediatric, what I found that a lot of people do is they'll crank a bunch in the morning with those cleanings. They'll try and do cleanings and surgeries at the same time, or just even restorative. That tends to kinda get a little bit messy and something that I haven't loved, loved, loved for all practices. So with that, what I've found is sometimes you can actually have it be... It can actually be more beneficial in a pediatric practice for you to block the times of when you're actually seeing certain types of procedures. Same thing with ortho or with sealants, blocking those certain days really can help, especially if you're trying to add ortho into your practice, trying to get some of those things up and going. It sometimes makes sense to maybe we just do ortho checks on Tuesdays.

0:04:37.0 KD: Now guys, pediatric and specialty practices, I'm really, really big on you guys remembering that you're a specialty practice. And because you're a specialty practice, that means that you actually get to set the pace of when patients are coming to see you. So many specialty practices just feel like they are going to take patients wherever. Guys, you're a specialist, you are. And so really directing the schedule is one of the best things I can recommend for any specialty, including GP, but especially our specialty practices. So it's, "Hey, Dr. Mila loves to see our ortho on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I'm gonna schedule you on... I've got Tuesday at 10:00 AM or I've got Thursday at 2:00 PM. Which works best for you?" Directing and guiding that schedule guys, is one of the greatest things that any specialty or even GP practice can do.

0:05:33.6 KD: I can't tell you how many offices. I'm like, "Why? Why? Why would you not ever say that verbiage?" I would not open my whole schedule up. Same thing with certain demographics, certain patients, if you know that you're dead between 10 and 2, let's schedule those in. Now, we're not being discriminatory at all, but you can schedule certain procedures, certain appointments during that dead time, especially. And we just say, "Dr. Sarah loves to see her patients at this time, let's get you scheduled."


0:06:08.4 KD: How many of you would just love to DIY and get the secrets of people who have been there, done that, on your own time? Because I know for me, I love to learn from the best of the best, the people who have been there, done that, and can give me the shortcuts. That's why we have created our Dental A Team Virtual Academy where it's on-demand courses for you at your fingertips, where you literally can learn the secrets from all of my experience, all of Tiffany's experience, Britney, Dana, our entire team's experience at your fingertips. So stop taking the hard route, guys. There's a shortcut sitting there waiting for you, and it's also CE. Head on over to thedentalateam.com and click on our Virtual Academy, be sure to use coupon code "podcast" and get started on that DIY and become the practice of your dreams.

0:06:53.4 KD: Another one of my absolute favorite hacks for pediatric practices is when you are working, look for things that you can add on to the schedule. So things such as sealant, same day. I think a lot of pediatric practices, if they can all practice doing sealants together, so you guys can get type it ons on Google. Those practices really can help out so much because what it then will do is it's really going to allow you guys to get confident having those sealants in the same day. I found a lot of pediatric is fast-paced and so whatever you can do to simplify, streamline, and practice really can make it move so much quicker, so much faster for you guys and have everybody aligned together. So practice it up, buy those type it ons on Amazon and try it out.

0:07:52.6 KD: So we've got a few different tips. Number one, let's schedule smart, let's maximize that middle of the day with appointments, let's have directive scheduling, and let's really think of when are we doing sedations and maybe not put any prophies. I know that might sound a little scary, but really maximizing our time and utilizing it, maybe even considering a hygienist. The last tip that I've got for you is, have your clinical team members walk-out patients. I watch in pediatric practices and I found that pediatric offices have so many things going on. Lots and lots and lots and lots of patients. They just keep coming, so having an easier way for check-in can cut down on that chaos and then on checkout, because most of those kids are in families, you can actually have the clinical team schedule them, make their appointments and print walk-outs for them since the bulk of pediatric dentistry, excluding the restorative, is the exact same.

0:08:46.7 KD: So I think all those tips you guys can try them, take them if you want help getting it dialed in specifically for your practice, you can surely email us [email protected]. Like I said, we work with tons and tons of pediatric and oral surgery practices, but really just giving you guys some of those tips and when you take it to general or OS, think about, let's chunk our specialty procedures. Let's also maximize when we have our assistant teams and our hygiene teams there, if need be, that way we really are maximizing all the different people that are working. Also, we can really think in just a more strategic way of check-in, checkout. I think ortho and pediatric are so similar, where if you can have easy check-in forms, online forms on kiosks and then also having the clinical team check them out, schedule their next appointment.

0:09:39.1 KD: This isn't sitting there asking "Mom, Alright, mom. When you wanna get back?" It's, "Hey cool, we've got Johnny, Sarah, and Timmy all scheduled on this day." I usually go six months plus a week, so we're never worried about those frequencies, and when you can get everybody dialed in on those same ones, it just makes checkout, check-in so much faster. You guys have heard me talk about insurance verification before, of when you can have the flow of clumping all the insurance plans together, that's one of the easiest ways to cut down on time, cut down on different things that people are working on and really get that insurance verification, super, super, super streamlined. You can outsource it, you can have one person who's just working on it for you, but all those little pieces will radically help you. I'm talking radically cut down on your stress, cut down on the time that's necessary, and we'll help you guys just have a more streamlined process.

0:10:36.8 KD: So try these out, if we can help you train your team on verbiage on how to present treatment plans, on how to schedule in the back, on how to cluster your schedule, on how to make it work really, really, really well for you guys. All of those things are things that I'm obsessed with, things that I love helping with, things that I love to be able to just grow offices, and our whole team loves to do it. Dana worked in pediatric, so all those different pieces are things that we're super knowledgeable about and just to make your lives easier. So hopefully, these hacks were fun, you guys can try them out, it was a quick overview of quite a few of them that I think a lot of you can really implement and execute on now. And if not, give us a call, [email protected], I would love, love, love to help you guys out.

0:11:20.5 KD: Help you really become masterful in your practice, finding those little hacks, I found most of the time, they're not hard, they're just simple hacks, and if they're done consistently and effectively, all of you guys are gonna be able to grow and evolve. So try it out. Let me know. And as always, thanks for listening and I'll catch you next time on The Dental A Team podcast.

0:11:42.1 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.




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