Everything Starts With The Discovery Meeting

A Discovery Meeting is a complementary needs assessment meeting. This initial meeting will determine how AIMM can help you take the first bold step to building your new future. This meeting is an opportunity to discuss the operational aspects of your business, so that we may create a customized management program that will best serve your needs.

Step 1: Practice and Business Survey and Evaluation

We have created a complete system to analyze the operation of your business: staff activities, marketing, operating procedures, communication and customer service.

Step 2: Manage for SuccessTM

An intensive program will be designed for you that will provide financial and office operational systems to increase the profitability of your business. Systems are built on the foundation of comprehensive financial and statistical monitoring, sound staff training, and coaching.

Step 3: On-Trac for Success

This program is a follow up program that was created to maintain the integrity of the systems, policies and procedures implemented during the first year together and to continue training the doctors and staff in fundamental and advanced distinctions of running a successful business.

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The best staff is created, not found. Those practices having team cohesiveness, and the willingness to go the extra mile, usually have owners who take an active role in mentoring and providing the staff with the training and support. These owners are always encouraging their team to be their very best. The expense of training a first class team soon pays for itself. Wondering how to get there? Here’s a short list of how to begin:


  • Written Job Descriptions: Introduced at the initial interview. This is often overlooked and can cause immediate breakdown at the level of Doctor’s expectations not being met!
  • Orientation: An informal, yet structured, on the job program whereby one team member becomes mentor to the new member.
  • Written Task List: Every one wants to do what is expected of them. A written task list is a very controlled way to provide clear guidance to what is required on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  • 90-Day Performance Evaluation: You owe this to the new hire as much as you do to yourself. It is here that the two of you decide what is working, what is not working and you both can either re-commit to developing the relationship further, or terminating it. Remember, if the relationship is terminated, that you as the owner/manager must do so in a way that it leaves that person’s dignity intact. Always keep in mind that there was something initially that you really liked about this person. Now is the time to acknowledge the person for that, as you move the relationship forward or end it


Essential Appointment Book Guidelines
  1. Book today and tomorrow first. When today’s schedule is filled and meets your production goal, schedule tomorrow.
  2. Schedule all productive appointments in the first five hours of your day. Our goal is to meet our daily production goal before lunch.
  3. Schedule all non-productive appointments during the afternoon. (Minor restorations, polishing fillings, denture checks, etc.)
  4. Only the receptionist makes an appointment. Exceptions must be double-checked with the receptionist.  She/he alone has the responsibility and the authority to schedule a productive day.
  5. The doctor and the assistants should follow the schedule. No treatment substitutions unless the receptionist is notified.
  6. For the appointment secretary: Never ask a patient when he/she wants to come in for treatment. Be prepared to  suggest available times that will allow you to schedule a productive day. Use  alternative choice questions, i.e. “Which would be most convenient for you, Mrs. Smith, Thursday at 3:00 or next Monday at 2:00?”
  7. When filling cancellations or changing appointments, try to present it as an advantage to the patient, i.e. “Your crown came back from the lab sooner than we expected…”
  8. Schedule new patient exams as soon as possible.
  9. Project your production each day before the day begins.
  10. Utilize the doctor’s time efficiently. Sometimes that means reminding him/her that “The doctor is the only one who can perform that treatment”.
  11. If a patient calls and cancels an appointment, never say “that’s okay?”
  12. Do treatment in as few appointments as possible, over the shortest time span possible.
  13. Do you hold time for emergencies?  Do you do palliative treatment only?
  14. Solve emergency problems before discussing overall goals.
  15. Use a telephone/initial interview slip for new patient call and emergency calls.
Filling “Day of” Broken Appointments
  1. One of the biggest frustrations the doctor and staff face is that last minute cancellation. Here’s a great way to fill that void and continue to be productive: After first checking with the secretary, check the patient in the chair. It is possible you can complete more treatment than you had planned for this appointment?  (Of course, ideally you have already scheduled the patient’s treatment in as few appointments as possible over the shortest time period.)
  2. Do more treatment than you originally planned on another patient who is scheduled for that day. A recall patient is a perfect candidate.
  3. Use lab cases. Keep a register of all lab cases and know when the lab work has been returned.
  4. Keep a list of “available” patients, i.e. retirees, homemakers, patients who live or work close to your office. Some people prefer to respond to short notice rather than scheduling an appointment in advance.

The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open between clinical and administrative staff.  You can work together if everyone knows what you are trying to accomplish!

Duties of the Appointment Secretary
  1. Totally in charge of scheduling the entire staff/office.
  2. Responsible for daily production.
  3. Become the scheduling expert and determine what happens for the day. Responsible for making the office flow smoothly,
  4. Must plan to reach annual production goals through daily goals accomplished.
  5. Determine work and vacation schedule for the Doctor and the Staff.
  6. Reschedule patients if possible to see that production goals are met.
  7. No down time is left in schedule
  8. Concentrate on today and tomorrow only.
  9. Keep appointment book neat and orderly,
  10. Make the staff aware if office is running behind the schedule.
  11. Back up the financial staff person.



Your website exists. It looks great. BUT NOT MUCH IS HAPPENING ! You may ask yourself, what can I do to have more people visit my site, and how can this site create a greater impact on the marketing of my practice?

It is good that you are noticing that there must be something else that can be done.  After all, the airlines are having breakthrough sales via internet purchases, as well as many other businesses today.  Dentistry too, is as much a part  of  E-Commerce. The question is, How?  Here are some useful tips to move you into action!

    1. The first step is to have a web-site consultant meet and work with you. This expert will give you ideas and help design a more interactive site that will give you the “bells and whistles” needed for practice growth. So this first step is about creating an interactive site for existing patients. Your practice has a sizeable percentage of individuals who are already utilizing the internet daily for their purchases and transactions.   We will focus on bringing new patients to the site in a follow up article. So the emphasis now is to create the best and most user friendly site for your existing clientele. Then, as you have grown your practice in the past, word of mouth will spread about the fun and ease of being part of an E-Practice such as yours!Change is always met with some amount of resistance.  However,  converting patients to the use of your web-site will be easy when you follow the next couple of steps.
    2. Complete the re-design of your existing web-site to include all the “bells and whistles” needed to (These are but just a few of the myriad of possibilities that can be done!):
      • Accept Payments
      • Make Appointments
      • Access your Newsletter
      • Inquire as to their Insurance status and other patient info
      • Create and post “internal marketing” ideas!
    3. Send a mailing to your entire  patient database. Invite them to  become an E-Patient in your practice.  This mailing piece should be well designed, exciting and informative. It should have an incentive built in to it to encourage first time use of the site as well.3.Keep your website current. Make it fun to use.  Retain a “web-master” maintain and continually redesign, and create new ideas for this, your new marketing focal point. Your cost for this service will be outweighed many times by the returns of the time, efficiency and revenues to you and your practice.

So you can begin to see that your Web-site can come alive, creating time saving efficiency for you and your staff and encourage greater interaction between your practice and new and existing patients. E-commerce is yet another way to build your practice and will ensure that greater efficiency, profitability and fun is waiting and yours.  Start your engines!

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