You choose: Private or group practice?
The practice of dentistry is chosen based on an individual’s personality and goals. The dentistry practice in a group has the wide variety of conceptual configuration, different dentists and specialists. Whether you decide to practice in group or as an individual, there will be challenges, just that the types of challenges may differ. Dental practices consist of three basic types one is private solo practice, solo practice with facility sharing and group practice. The challenges faced by each practice has its own pros and cons depending on various factors.
A private practice is a healthcare professional service usually by a medical physician or dentist, setting up practice by a practitioner who is independent of external policy control.
Private practice in dentistry
- They can provide and render services as required by the demand.
- They have an option to increase or decrease the treatment modality fees.
- They can locate their private practice where they decide.
- Being own boss allows them flexibility to choose the number of hours they work.
- The overhead costs for staff, assistants, utilities and maintenance of equipment can’t be shared.
- In the event of being unable to practice, they may not have a fallback plan for another source of income.
Note in a selection of place
- Mindful decision because the place cannot be changed frequently.
- Awareness of the number of dentists practicing in the vicinity.
- Assessing the surrounding dental colleges in order to get support if required.
- Assessment of demographics in the locality and surrounding areas.
Note in a selection of location
- Choosing a busy area like a marketplace, heart of the city, streets which are on the main road may make it more popular and increase the chance of walkins.
- A location near railway station and bus stand may make the clinic more accessible.
- Areas of commercial trends especially office hours to support office goers.
- Residential areas are also an option to cater to the elderly, retired individuals, housewives and children.
- An important element to be considered which will resonate is to be safe for the doctors and patients.
Note in the selection of building
The clinic must preferably be on the ground floor, if it is in the higher floor, lifts, parking must be there for individuals to reach the clinic. There should also be security, good ventilation with proper electrical, sewage and drainage systems.
Ideas for setting up a dental clinic
First and foremost aspect is financial assistance, aware of the rate of interest and repayment terms and schedules, always buy dental products and equipment from best manufacturers. Always associate with good service network individuals, know the schemes, discounts, combo and promotional offers. Assess and know the guarantee and warranty for equipment and product.
Ideas for designing a dental clinic
Budget, manpower and space constraints, avoid dark colours with soft lighting environment which may soothe the body and mind. It is always better to take the support and service of the architect, interior designer and personal indemnity insurance with all statutory licenses and take initiative for the option of insurance coverage.
Management of dental clinic:
- In the initial stage beginning and managing both are important.
- Solo and group practice.
- On-call specialists and cleaner.
- Dental assistant, full-time receptionist.
Aspects and role of receptionist
The receptionist should be confident with pleasing personality and good looks. They must be trained to handle, manage patient appointments, maintain correct record keeping, scheduling the appointments. They must have the knowledge of computer skills like sending and receiving emails, collection of payments, maintain book of accounts, do payments to agencies on time and also stock maintenance.
Aspects and role of Dental assistant
The role of dental assistant is to keep all the instruments ready for dental work. They must have adequate knowledge of handling equipment and instruments. They must be aware of dispensing materials and assist minor procedures like alginate mixing, developing of X-rays. The dental assistant service enhances productivity, reduces the stress of dentist and maintain sterilization protocols.
The responsibility of opening up a clinic 30 minutes prior to the first appointment and detail explanation must be given about investigations and diagnosis. It is better to inform the patient about the treatment cost and mode of payments. Association of the best laboratory technician and noting to take care of the time proper management and disposal of waste.
Strategies for marketing:
Educate patrons about the importance and value of dental health by creating more awareness with educational leaflets and posters.
There are two types of marketing:
The initiative is taken to remain focused in the outward environment and activities are done in order to attract more patients such as free dental check-up campaign in schools and individuals working in private companies. Awareness about dental health is also done through lectures in social organisation, clubs, senior citizen groups and writing articles in magazines and newspapers. Free dental check-up programmes have been organised in a clinic and offered discount concessional treatments for specific target group.
The action taken for marketing is within the dental setup which affects the current patients like making and creating brochures/informative booklets, videotapes of advanced trend treatment modalities such as implants, procedures of smile designing, teeth whitening, full aesthetic ceramic crown, surgical procedures, advanced RCT treatment procedures.
The successful programme must result in improved oral health habits among individuals who undergo and henceforth create a way for attracting many new patients. The overall effort is to make patient aware of the procedures and also can be helpful for individuals or others whom he or she can refer. The dental health emphasis is given mainly to comprehensive treatment. The effective way of marketing is when an existing patient is fully satisfied with the quality of treatment procedures undergone and recommends that to his family members, friends and acquaintances about that dentist. It is always best to treat each and every patient with commitment and dedication, and also being a practitioner better to enhance the dentistry skills by updating the advancing trends of the field.
DISCLAIMER : “Views expressed above are the author’s own.”