Coping with Now Instead of the Future with Dr. Martin Mendelson (DHS25)
Y you take the opportunity now to sharpen our communication skills. Why wouldn't we take the opportunity to think about okay? What kind of financial arrangements are we GONNA offer? That may be different and temporary than what we've done in the past. Ken We if we have our team if this is an option depending on where you are for layoff. Pp All that stuff What are we doing with our team to engage our team so that we have consistent messaging so that when the patient comes into the practice they feel listened to and taken care of? What are we doing everyday is my question to people are ten goods Russian too. Yeah so it's it's not only good for the practice. It's good for your brain That helps to reduce getting spoiled up with these fantasy thoughts. That are happy ordering I will admit right now that I haven't been super communicative with my team. Partly because I mean I see some of them I I. I see emergency patients a couple times a week most weeks now so I'm seeing them and I I feel like we're we're talking but there's some that you know hygiene obviously not rolling so in I. I haven't been super great about that. In part of it is because I'm embarrassed and ashamed because I can't like I don't have a lot of answers you know like like like I don't have I actually have a plan but I don't have on some level it just like I was. I'm used to being the guy who can answer the questions short. I don't have all the answers in some kind of like hesitant to do that. That said I think formulating a plan. It doesn't that'd be perfect either in. There's a I mean there are resources all over the place on just Leading your team know what you're doing but also letting your team know how to let patients know that everything is safe. I will say there's a lot of meteorite right now out there that to making The idea of going to the dentist seem particularly dangerous right now. I don't I don't know that I'm I'm not. I'm not sure that's an helping matters. That's for sure one way or the other and I mean I'm not sure that the science is all solid on all of that but the reality is what you said was spending a little time to. You need to be ready to be able to answer questions and put people's minds at ease absolutely because we're we're going to be you know most of us will be out for at least six weeks. Maybe more with a Latte of A lot of media created fear that we're going to have to deal with in our team and in our patients and you're right I mean we should. We shouldn't go back without having thought that through pretty well. That's and you know there's so many resources out there you know if I may just briefly speak to what we're doing through our clients it's fear so we launched what's called the practice recovery initiative and so it's actually accessible for everybody who has a relationship with us and so the practice recovery initiative walks everybody through a self service option Some of our different membership tiers have a one on one consultation or order or services but basically it's a step wise process it starts with okay. What's your break even? What's your recovery budget to gain clarity so that you can make appropriate decisions. Then it goes onto a team. Census who do we have? What are they doing? How can we deploy them goes on to leadership and then it goes on to implementation and the implementation speaks to what you were just talking about. It's in basically four parts. It's you know the patient communication it's dealing with receivables it's recovery scheduling in its patient financing and so what we're ending giving you is a step wise way to walk through this intention so that everybody's on the same page. The doctor has clarity as to where he or. She stands financially what they can afford to do. How much does it actually cost? Run this dental practice as a pure break even and then get all the team aligned with verbiage and communication skills so that everybody's on the same page patients feel supported and we can more quickly as I've come to say dig ourselves out of the hole that this That this virus creed and so. It's not going to happen because we want it to. I mean it'll go away because we wanted to thank goodness but getting our practice is back to where they were will happen and it will happen more quickly with intention. That's for sure. That's that's really good. That's I mean there is a. It's funny because a lot of people have talked about using this as a chance to. I mean I sort of take a look at what you were doing. Because you're you're saying you're essentially talking about the break even which is like cutting out all the fat kind of thing right. You're you're you're basically just trying to get it. Get it so you're not bleeding money at this point because there's a lot of us that that when we're doing well we're crushing it. A lot of stuff that got overlooked. That was maybe a little a little a little chunky low battery that we run pretty lean right now and that is so. Now's a kind of a chance to look at that. I liked. I liked the break even concept. I hadn't really been thinking of it that way. I kinda liked it. It's it's very simplistic in its design. But it's very elegant as well because it gives you an absolute picture of what you're working capital is based upon which loans or programs that you have applied and been accepted or given the money from What kind of money do you have in the bank? What are you looking for a are for the zero to sixty time frame whether it's Patients were you spending your money. Deferred things What's sitting on your credit cards? What he will your lab all those kind of things that then gives you the ability through clarity to actually make wise decisions you doing. How's the one thing you don't want to do is be penny wise pound foolish. You know from my perspective. One of the things I did. That was Hate the word mistake but I'll use it. I can talk about that later if you like but When I became disabled I made a decision to inactivate my dental license for a couple of hundred bucks. I should never have done that because then you know. I didn't know what the future was. Sure ally was reacting with fear making decisions without clarity and I- inactivated my license. Because at the time frankly I hand I could. I couldn't even use a pair of chopsticks or wipe down a kitchen counter. Let alone practice dentistry Well had I kept did not realizing that I was going to move to three different states. Today I could potentially treat patients with bill fixed hybrid prostheses and in coordination with my surgical interdisciplinary partners and provide such an amazing service to patients who are in in many cases dental cripples that are identical partly. But I made the choice for a couple hundred bucks that has come to haunt me. Because now there's no such thing as reciprocity because I haven't practiced in X. number of years so interesting interest at the break even gives you such clarity to make the right wise decisions. Then we all need right now Does really it's a great example to great example. 'cause 'cause there's GonNa be some stuff that people have to look at with regard to a lot of that stuff there's GonNa be some choices. There's GonNa be some choices that no one even wants to bother making like like the idea that that I mean who knows what you're literally your practice model might have changed a little bit at least a little while. I don't know like I don't know for instance if you had a high volume practice. I don't know if a high volume practice can work in this situation like glittery under the way that regulate I mean. I know in Michigan there really. I don't even know when we're going to get back here but but it sounds to me like there's in Ohio. There's a lot of regulation saying that. There's only a few few people in the offset of time was dagger point for us. Is it saw tons of people. And that's that's probably you probably not going to be able to do that. Which also means okay. So how much team can you bring up? There's a lot of things that a that an absolute break even could give you. The regulations are not out there yet. So I'm not trying to get you out in the future but but I might have to take a look at your business model on some level to know it's going to function the way that it did and it might not be like that forever but at least to start there may be some limitations that you have to look at. I mean honestly I know people who are going to do hygiene on their own because they're not because literally they don't know exactly how hygienists can fit into the model anymore. I mean it's there's a lot of stuff going on here it's it's it's scary but it's also. I think it stuff we can deal with. Just have to kind of look at it with an honest I you know that's that's absolutely true in it dovetails into kind of the world. I've been living in the last couple of years because the last couple of years four to five in particular have been living in the specialty world with oral surgeons and ended on US and some we call the masters program at sphere. The point is this. We focus a lot on as you might imagine comprehensiveness of care and interdisciplinary dentistry. Okay fine one of the things that we guide them to really get better at is case acceptance as well as something called average case value so average case values just the total value of the treatment. Plan that's warranted presented and accepted so this is more important now than it's ever been before and if you think about a GP practice and let's say they were seeing you know ten patients a day for an average case of a thousand dollars a patient. Now we can't see as many people so you could do the same thing seeing five patients at two thousand dollars as an average case valley. Yeah now the numbers aren't always that simple. They're not always that straightforward but the point here is now is the time to understand why comprehensive dentistry patient communication treatment planning case acceptance so critical. I mean this is why spirit exists if you think about Your Pencil. It's a bit ironic. Because now there are so many of our clients that are calling up. That are jumping into elements of the online platform and other areas that they never really jumped in before because as you said earlier in normal times we kinda just do what we do. We don't think about Jones's much because things were good now. We got to think about things differently. And there are ways to help mitigate this reduction in patients that we're going to be forced to see real reasons important reasons But there are things that we can do particularly in concert with interdisciplinary partners moving forward. That's interesting that's interesting so for the person who is looking at you know. They're probably on the cusp of. Maybe they're not ready to open up but they're ready to ready to formulate a plan. They're ready to. They're ready to kind of get. What what would you tell them? What's what's what are words of wisdom for people who are starting to put their plan together after after the the shock of just having to go through this. Yeah.