Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

ODA Introduces New Endorsed Services as Additional Member Benefit

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

ODA_Logo_horiz_RGB_ Endorsed Program

By: Conor McNulty, CAE, ODA Executive Director

In late 2014, the Oregon Dental Association (ODA) convened a task force to review  important benefits and offerings for ODA members. After getting feedback from members and approval from the Board of Trustees, ODA is happy to announce the following NEW  line-up of additional endorsed services for our members.

ODA and its endorsed service  program partners offer you the resources you need to help manage your dental practice…and your life.

Aspida –  Encrypted  e-mail service provider www.aspida.us/oregon

Offers all ODA members an exclusive discount on their HIPAA compliant email encryption services

  • First three months at $1/each
  • 20% lifetime discount on all Aspida mail plans (after the 3 month trial)

OHSU Sterilization Monitoring Services sms@ohsu.edu  l   503-494-4641

  • 24 hour turn-around for test results
  • Emailed test results directly to you,
  • Is the test is not sterile you will also get a phone call to ensure the most rapid retesting options.

WEO Media – website and dental marketing services    weodental.com/oda

Offers ODA members discounts on services:

  • Up to 25% on selected set-up fees
  • Up to 15% on selected service fees

Sofi – Student debt refinancing      sofi.com/OregonDental

ODA members get an additional .125% rate discount

  • Average savings for members is $39,000 for the life of a loan
  • Quick and user-friendly process for application and review

Dentists Benefit Corporation (DBC) – Disability insurance through Ameritas  

shelley.campbell@bdicins.com  l  503-952-5271

  • ODA members recieve a 15% discount on new individual disability insurance plans.

For a complete list of ODA Benefits of Membership visit:

http://www.oregondental.org/member-center/benefits-of-membership

It’s a Two-Way Street! Dental Practices and Patient Working Together For The Best Outcome

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

communication

By: Virginia Moore, Moore Practice Success

We’ve probably all been in the position of being a patient and been kept waiting past our appointed time. Frustrating, isn’t it? We’ve all had that experience of having to pay for something necessary when we’d really like to spend our money on something “fun”.  In both those situations, whether you are the provider of the service, or the recipient, you can work to make it as pleasant an experience as possible.

 Staying on Schedule

Dental Practice:

  • As a dental team, agree on appropriate amount of time to allocate to different procedures. This gives you the best approach to staying on time.
  • Start your day on time. After the morning meeting, make sure patients are seated in the dental chair at their appointed time, not 5-10 minutes later.
  • If you routinely have 3 or more emergency patients each day, consider blocking time in the schedule. If less than, in the morning huddle have the clinical team determine best time for emergencies to be seen.

Patient:

  • Honor your appointed time. Barring an emergency situation, keep your appointments. Your good oral health depends on it!
  • If you need to make an appointment change, give at least 48 hours notice. This allows the practice to accommodate another patient who has treatment needs.
  • Arriving early can give you the time to relax, check emails, and in many practices, have a refreshment. Relaxed is a great way to start your appointment!

Financial Agreements

Dental Practice:

  • Always discuss the financial aspect of treatment before providing treatment. No one likes a surprise, especially a financial surprise!
  • Consider partnering with a third-party finance company that can offer your patients a longer period of time to pay (and sometimes, for a very low/or no-interest rate).
  • Whenever possible, discuss financial matters in the most private setting. None of us like having to share our financial concerns with more people than necessary.

Patient:

  •  Be upfront. Let the financial person know what you can commit to when discussing finances. None of us want to commit to something we can’t fulfill.  Ask about payment plans, savings for payment in full before treatment, or how treatment may be phased.
  •  Nothing’s for free! In over 25 years of consulting I’ve never seen a dentist’s fees that aren’t in keeping with their overhead. Most dental practices have significant overhead when you consider they are essentially a self-contained hospital; expenses of personnel, supplies, equipment, facility, lab, etc.
  •  If you are fortunate enough to have dental insurance, remember that it is not designed to cover all your dental needs. In fact, most annual dental benefit amounts are provided to maintain an already healthy situation. In other words, if you have dental needs that have been delayed, you will most likely have expense beyond your dental benefits.  When you think about it, it will be some of the best money you ever invest.  Your teeth and mouth work 24/7!

Working together is the key to the best outcome for all involved.

Here’s to the outcome of great dental health for all!

 

MooreMs. Moore has been bringing greater productivity and profitability to general dental and periodontal practices thru her consulting practice for the past 20 years. As a speaker, she has presented at the top dental meetings in the U.S. and has spoken at meetings in Canada, the Middle East and Asia. Ms. Moore is a contributor to ADA’s newest publication Expert Business Strategies, is a regular contributor to ADA’s Dental Practice Success, as well as authoring 2 books and co-authoring 8 books on practice management. Her passion is getting results that further the success of dental practices. Ms. Moore is a graduate of the ADA KEMP for dentists. She holds membership in the National Speaker’s Association and is a member and Past-President of Academy of Dental Management Consultants.

 

Why don’t all my fans see all my posts in their newsfeed?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Facebook phoneBy Edward J. Zuckerberg, D.D.S.

 

If you are like most Facebook business page owners, you are probably wondering why not all of your posts reach everyone who has subscribed to your page, especially if you were one of the first to build a Facebook page for your business back in 2008 when the feature first rolled out.  Back then, Facebook had just reached the 100 million user milestone and businesses were just starting to develop pages.  Contrast that with 1.3 billion individual users today and 30 million business pages.  30 million may not seem like a lot compared to the number of individual users, but when you consider that most businesses post more often than individual users and use tools available only to businesses to increase newsfeed penetration, the number is significant.  The net result is that competition for the limited space at the top of the newsfeed is ever increasing.  The newsfeed is the heart of Facebook’s product offering.  It’s the default screen that users see when they first log in to the site and it’s the place where users get the personalized information that keeps them glued to the site an average of 20 minutes a day, and for many, an hour or more each day.  It is in Facebook’s best interest to have the content here be of high value and interest to the user to sustain them on the site longer, generate more page views, clicks on ads and links and generally create more value for advertisers that allows them to charge higher ad rates.

So how do they make the experience the best it can be for their users?  The key is their algorithm to determine the popularity or value of each post to the users.  The formula favors posts that have generated a lot of engagement.  This is measurable whenever a post gets a like, comment or share, or a link in the post is clicked on.  The more measurable engagement, the higher the score a post gets and the higher the likelihood that the post will viewable in the newsfeed among fans in the case of a business post, or among friends in the case of a personal profile post.  In addition friend statuses are divided further into categories such as close friends and family which naturally score higher.  Also, any individuals and businesses which a user has engaged with in the past will be assumed to have a special interest to the user that will allow those posts to score higher as well.  Lastly, only businesses are allowed to pay to increase newsfeed penetration of their posts.  The two most popular methods are to directly boost a particular post which will allow a business to gain increased views of a post that they believe to be valuable to gain a large reach, or to create a sponsored post which can be used to reach the newsfeeds not only of existing fans, but also to prospective new clients who might be personal friends of existing fans or who might fall into some demographic that Facebook has allowed the business to use to target audiences for their messages.

The bottom line is that in order for your posts to reach as high a percentage as possible of your target audience, you need valuable content that your users will engage with and a budget to boost your messages to compete with the ever increasing numbers of businesses that are utilizing Social Media Marketing in an effort to reach their audiences.

 

ZuckerbergDr. Zuckerberg maintains two facebook pages: Facebook.com/painlesssocialmedia to support other Dental Offices and small businesses in their social media marketing efforts and facebook.com/painlessdrz for the patients of his Dental Practice.

How To Rank High on Google

Monday, October 7th, 2013

By Ian McNickle, MBA

Ipad

Have you ever wondered why some websites rank higher than others? It’s a really common question. The world of online marketing can be very confusing and hard to understand. The goal of this commentary is to explain how it works, and what you can do to improve your website ranking.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Google and other search engines rely on very complicated and frequently changing algorithms to sift through millions of websites to determine which websites should rank higher than others for given search terms. Amazingly this happens in a fraction of a second.

Since Google is by far the largest search engine with about 65% of all search volume we’ll focus on them for our understanding. Google’s search algorithm has over 200 variables that it looks at to determine where a website should rank. Fortunately many of these variables are somewhat understood, although the algorithm changes often.

Search engines read a website like we read a book. As it reads your website the algorithm is looking for dozens of specific items in the code and content to help it understand what the website is about, what each webpage is about, and how important the website is compared to other websites.

In addition, search engines look at incoming links to help determine how important your website is. An incoming link is a link from another website that links back to your website. For example, if the ADA had a link on their website that linked back to your website that would be considered an incoming link for your website.

What Can You Do?

With the experience of optimizing hundreds of dental websites we have learned what works, and what doesn’t. The following items should help your website improve its search engine ranking. It is worth noting that densely populated areas like Seattle and Portland are very competitive, but these strategies should improve any website’s ranking for search terms.

  1. Unique Content – If your website was purchased through a high-volume website company then most likely it is template based, and has duplicate content. The problem with duplicate content is that search engines penalize websites with content that is the same as other websites. If you rewrite all your content to make it unique your rankings will improve.
  2.  Individual Pages – Most dental websites have an overview page with dental services such as a Cosmetic Dentistry page with a list of those services. This is ok for website readers, but bad for search engines. When Google looks at a webpage it attempts to determine what the topic of that page is about. If a page lists two or more topics then they basically cancel each other out, and the page ranks poorly for all terms. Make sure your website has individual pages with unique content for each dental service topic and your website rankings will improve.
  3. Site Map – A site map tells the search engines where all your webpages are located. About half of all dental websites do not have a site map which definitely degrades the website’s ability to rank well. If your website does not have a site map, then have your webmaster add one immediately.
  4. Incoming Links – One of the most difficult things to do is build incoming links to a website. When it comes to incoming links the more the better. Links from other dental websites are better than non-dental links. Links from high traffic websites are better than low traffic websites. Most dental websites have fewer than 10 incoming links, but ideally you should have at least 50 to 100 (or more depending on your competition). Take some time each month to ask other websites to link back to your website.
  5. Code Issues – Search engines look at website code to understand everything about your website. If your code is not properly optimized (title tag, meta keyword tags, meta description tag, alt tags, header tags, etc), then your website has little chance of ranking well. A web developer well versed in code optimization is critical when constructing a dental website.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ian McNickle is a Partner at WEO Media where he leads their sales, marketing and business development activities. Ian has developed significant expertise in online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media, and online reputation management. Ian speaks nationally to dental societies, study clubs, and conducts numerous seminars and webinars on these topics. Ian brings over 17 years combined experience in technology, sales & marketing, business development and operations. Ian has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and an MBA from the University of Washington.

If you have questions or would like a free analysis of your website, please contact Ian McNickle at WEO Media. Email: ian@weomedia.com  |  Phone: (503) 708-6327  |  www.weodental.com

 

Stress Relief: I’m Outta my Mind, So Feel Free to Leave a Message

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

By Kelli S. Vrla 

Bankrupt

Never fails: after I tell a passenger seated next to me I teach stress-relief seminars, my luggage is lost when we land. She smiles at me and asks, “What are you gonna do now, Stress Lady?” I do what I always do: smile and breathe deeply- several times.

Some folks are convinced that stress is still good for you. Here are a few reasons I’ve heard on why you should stay stressed

  • It helps you seem important.
  • It helps you keep your personal space and avoid intimacy.
  • It help you avoid responsibilities.
  • It gives you an adrenalin rush.
  • It helps you avoid success.
  • It help you keep that authoritarian style you love so much.

If you buy into this theory, here are a few ways to stay stressed:

  • Eat anything you want.
  • Gain weight.
  • Take lots of stimulants.
  • Personalize all criticisms.
  • Toss your sense of humor.
  • Become a workaholic.
  • Toss food time management skills.
  • Procrastinate.
  • Ask stupid questions…repeatedly.
  • Worry about things you can’t control.

Granted, some stress is good – if it kicks you into high gear. Yet, if you want more stress-free days, you have to create a new set of habits. Not all your days will be perfect, yet it’s a good start to a more balanced life with better health.

Here are a few stress-busting habits to try:

  1. Expect the unexpected and be ready to roll with it. Most of us are married to a certain outcome: how a person will act of react, whether our plane arrives on time, or when we will receive that report we requested. If we are ready for any outcome, we can quickly roll to Plan B in the event that our original wish list did not come true, So, instead of being married to an outcome, think of it as a “prenuptial agreement” with flexibility.
  2. Mentally rehearse a Plan B. Adopt an adaptable mindset. Make adaptability a part of your daily routine. Think of yourself as a Ninja Warrior in a video game with obstacle whizzing at you. To win the game, you have to quickly fend off and move onto the next level, always moving forward, getting ever closer to finishing the transaction at hand. Entertain different scenarios, much like an airline pilot would in the event you lose an engine. Visualize what you would do if the day completely fell apart. You will be more ready to take on scenarios you have previously thought about, rather than avoiding them altogether.
  3. Neutralize any situation with these magic words: “That’s interesting.” This evokes a mindset of curiosity, not of position. Instead of polarizing your thoughts into good or bad, it allows the neutral frame of reference. When times are tough, you need to get out of your emotional, knee-jerk response mode and immediately go into a problem solving flow. Your body will follow the mindset you initiate.
  4. Accept the rhythms of your business. All days cannot be perfect, nor cal all days be the absolute worst. To quote one of my favorite bumper stickers, “Some days you’re the windshield; some does you’re the bug.: Relish the good times and treat the challenging times as moments for growth. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing- and may be coasting. Don’t let your mind get stagnate.
  5. Hang out with adaptable, less-stressed folks. Know people who seem well adjusted and non-plussed by life’s curve balls. Watch them and see how they handle little surprises. If you were to write a short report on their observable actions, what verbs would you use? This is a  key to understanding good modeling survival behavior.
  6. Practice Stress-Busting Phrases. If you face a potentially stressful situation, try on of these forward thinking phrases:
    1. What’s Plan B?
    2. 100 years from now, all new people.
    3. At least we don’t work for Enron (or Martha Stewart, Inc…fill in your fave)
    4. Things could be even worse!

What will you do differently this year to make a difference in your professional and personal growth?

Some stress is good. Harness your good stress and work on getting rid of the bad stress. You’ll soon be on the road to stress relief, and no one will have a clue why you’re smiling the next time you’ve lost your luggage.

 

VrlaKelly Vrla is a Rockies-based Leadership Consultant and Keynote Speaker and a Road Warrior for Humor in the Workplace. Her festive deliveries help you people have more fun and get more done. She can be reached for keynotes and workshops at www.kelliv.com or email kell@kelliv.com 214-987-HAHA(4242). Stay light and practice, practice, practice!

 

Avoiding Organized Dentistry to Save Money on Dues—Think again!

Monday, August 5th, 2013

By: Vanessa Browne, DDS

ODA logo (color)

With the continued rise of educational debt, many dental students are graduating with difficult financial decisions to make. The job market is saturated, many are getting married and starting families, high monthly loan payments are around the corner, and many also are craving delayed gratification for eight or more years of very hard work. It is natural, then, for some to make the decision to delay all unnecessary costs. For some recent graduates, the choice has been to forgo membership in the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and their local dental society as a means to save money as they are establishing themselves in the dental community. However, I believe this is the worst choice that a new dentist can make. The benefits of being a member of our dental societies far outweigh the cost.

Dental societies function as a tripartite membership. This means when you become a member, you hold membership at three levels: the national level (American Dental Society), the state level (Oregon Dental Association), and the local level (Oregon has 17 local dental societies). More than 71% of Oregon’s dentists belong to the ODA. While this is an impressive number, the opposite number is staggering. 29% of dentists in Oregon are practicing without the support, network, protection, community, and education that being a dental society member provides. I believe that joining your dental society is a commitment to continued growth as a professional.  Here are just a few ways that organized dentistry can help you:

Peer Relationships

Upon graduation, many new dentists begin working and sometimes lose connections with classmates and the dental community. This is understandable as starting a practice, joining a practice, or becoming an associate is a time-consuming process. However, this is a missed opportunity to seek advice from mentors, learn practice management and clinical techniques from peers, empathize or share experiences among colleagues, and network for leadership, professional, or career opportunities. There are over 2,100 dentist members in the ODA, and 9 staff at ODA working to help provide information, answer questions, and support the profession.

Advocacy

 A portion of the dues paid to the dental societies goes to supporting and protecting the profession. This includes lobbying for specific dental issues. A few of the recent issues facing dentistry include eliminating national license testing with a push toward portfolio licensure for dentists, educating legislators about the negative effect the new medical device tax will have on the cost of oral health care, impeding insurance companies from dictating rates for treatment that insurance does not cover, and providing alternative solutions to the proposed mid-level provider model.

Serving the Community

Being a part of the dental society gives dentists many opportunities to give back to the community. Not only does organized dentistry help educate the public about oral health and the importance of seeking dental care, but it also serves to advocate for changes such as water fluoridation, increased funding for research, dental care for underserved populations and public health initiatives, and increased insurance coverage for dental services. Beyond this, there are opportunities for dental professionals to volunteer in the community through events like Mission of Mercy (November 24-27, 2013) and Give Kids a Smile (February).

Education

Every dental society hosts at least one conference a year with a collection of continuing education courses and a vendor showcase with member discounts. Also available throughout the rest of the year are additional continuing education courses, leadership training, and numerous publications. The Oregon Dental Association publishes its newsletter “Membership Matters” and this blog “The Tooth of the Matter.” The American Dental Association has its own journal “Journal of the American Dental Association” and newsletter “ADA News”. Beyond education for members, these dental societies also provide numerous public health resources and patient education tools that can be used in your office.

Career Protection

Dental societies offer three specific resources for career protection: Insurance for your personal and practice needs, peer review, and a well-being committee. The ADA sponsors life and disability insurance plans at a reduced rate for members. Other dental societies also endorse malpractice insurance companies and other necessary insurance providers. Peer Review is a process by which patients and third party payers can voice concerns or disputes that are resolved by a collection of your colleagues. This allows the dentist and patient to have dental care evaluated in a non-combative environment at a local level. These issues are often resolved at this level and do not have a need to progress to a lawsuit. The Well Being Committee offers dentists who struggle with alcohol and controlled substances an opportunity to get back on track without losing his or her license.

Practice Support:

The ADA and ODA have endorsed programs of products or services and often offer discounts to members. All of the dental societies also have several opportunities to seek employment or place classified ads. These are sometimes the first place individuals will look. Both the ADA and ODA help with patient referrals by listing your practice information on their websites and when patients seek dental care in a certain area, the staff will refer to its members. Additionally, the ADA has a professional product review that provides unbiased dental product information that is scientifically sound, clinically relevant, and user friendly. The ADA also has a center for Evidenced Based dentistry that provides research and gives you access to systematic reviews. Using both of these resources, organized dentistry allows dental professionals to make informed decisions about their practice.

 

So How Much Will This Cost You?

The dental societies realize that new dentists are graduating with enormous debt loans.  To decrease the burden of membership dues, the American Dental Association and most dental societies structure their dues on a graduated scale over 5 years. Usually, membership in the first year in practice is free. This means that even if you don’t know where you are going to practice, it is beneficial to join to have access to this wealth of resources. At the national level, dues are 25% of full national dues your 2nd year in practice, 50% your 3rd year in practice, 75% your fourth year in practice, and 100% your fifth year in practice. State and local dental societies have a similar system. There are also member get a member discounts to encourage dentists to invite their colleagues to join. Depending on your location, full dues for tripartite membership by your fifth year vary from $900 to $1,800. Students who pursue graduate training also have a reduced rate of $30 for national dues and begin the reduced dues five-year program when their graduate education is complete.

Convinced Yet?

Being a member of organized dentistry can lead to career opportunities, referral connections, educational opportunities, practice management support, risk management answers, reduced rates on endorsed products, unbiased and scientific information on clinical products, support at the legislative level, license protection with peer review, social opportunities, and more. The small cost of membership is worth a lifetime of benefits.

How Do I Get Involved?

The best way to get involved in your dental society is to visit the websites and read the newsletters for upcoming events. It is best to start with your local dental society. Look for New Dentist events, Continuing Education courses, opportunities to be a mentor/mentee, or upcoming conferences such as the Oregon Dental Conference or the American Dental Association New Dentist Conference. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer with events like the ODA Mission of Mercy (November 24-27, 2013) and Give Kids a Smile (held annually in February).

Check out the following website for more information:

http://www.ada.org/

http://www.oregondental.org

 

IMG_6409Vanessa Browne, D.D.S, is a 2012 Loma Linda University Dental Graduate who is currently in her orthodontic residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, OR. She is a member of the California Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists. As a dental student, Vanessa held numerous roles as a leader in organized dentistry including the chair of the California Dental Association student delegation. She is passionate about encouraging dental students and new dentists to join organized dentistry. You can contact her at vnbrowne@gmail.com

It’s Really Just a Conversation! 5 Easy Steps to Help Your Team Resolve Conflict!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Head in the sand

By Judy Kay Mausolf

Unless you live in some remote jungle or under a rock and only work with plants you will probably interact with lots of other people during your lifetime.  The people I am talking about are not the strangers you make brief eye contact with for a second or pass in a hallway.  I am referring to the people you consistently interact with on a daily basis.  Your success depends greatly on these relationships!  Life would also be much more enjoyable if conflict did not exist between you and them.  But that isn’t real life!

The problem is that many of us go thru life trying to avoid dealing with conflict out of fear!  We hope it will just go away!  But the more we try to avoid it the more it builds until eventually it escalates to a point to where there is serious damage to the relationship.

Our fear of conflict is the problem, and it seems bigger the more we dwell on it.   Here is the funny thing… fear is really only a negative prediction about the future and not reality.  Whether or not we take action is governed by a simple ratio: our perception of danger versus our confidence in our ability to handle the conflict.

If we believe we can resolve the conflict, the amount of fear we feel is minimized and we will take action.  This is why it is so important to teach our teams the mindsets and skill sets they need to give them confidence that they can handle conflict.

The first step is to start with our mindset about conflict!  If we tear it apart; conflict is really just conversation where there is a disagreement because of a difference of opinion or expectation!  So what is so scary about talking about a difference of opinion or expectation?  We can eliminate the negative emotional energy from the conversation by coming from a place of care and concern instead of judgment and criticism.

Next step is the skill sets!  The following 5 step process will give our team the skill sets they need to successfully resolve conflict.  It will change the focus of the conflict conversation from who did what wrong to what we can do in the future!

Here are 5 easy steps to help your team resolve conflict!

  • Set up time to meet with the person you have a concern or conflict (they may not have time right at the moment) and don’t tell anyone else!
  • Be open and listen; don’t come to the table with the solution, you don’t know the why behind their reasons.
  • Don’t personalize; instead of saying you did this, say I am not sure what you meant by…or can we talk about what happened today?  Talk about the situation and not the person.
  • Focus on the solution, what can be done to prevent in the future versus who did what wrong.  It will not be perfect for anyone, but can be good for everyone.
  • If you can’t resolve; all team members involved meet together with whoever handles conflict resolution and agree on a solution.

It is so important to teach our teams the mindsets and skill sets they need to give them confidence that they can handle conflict.

Ta-dah!  Conflict resolved now onto more enjoyable relationships!

Mslf_006 - Copy

Judy Kay Mausolf owner and president of Practice Solutions Inc, is a dental practice management coach, speaker and author.  She coaches dentists and managers who want to grow their practice by becoming better leaders, getting their teams to work together better, communicating more effectively and creating a practice environment they enjoy coming to! She is President of National Speakers Association Minnesota Chapter, member of the National Speakers Association, Academy of Dental Management Consultants, Speaking Consulting Network.  She is author of Rise & Shine; An Evolutionary Journey to Get Out of Your Way and On Your Way to Success, and a contributing author for many dental magazines.  She also publishes a monthly newsletter entitled “Show Your Shine”.