When I was working in a dental office, I always thought how great it was that dentists in the area would get together monthly for study club meetings. The dentist would always come back from these meetings talking about the office she visited and something new that was happening in the dental field. So I thought, why not have a study club for dental office managers and administrative team members? What better way to discuss insurance policies, changes in the ADA CDT coding, and general employee and patient relations! With the support of your dentist, starting a study club in your area can also help your practice.
The dental field is made up of many different specialties and these specialists depend on referrals from other offices to build their dental practices up. Generally, study club meetings are held in the different dental offices of the members, rotating meetings so that everyone can see the different practices. When referring your patients, you will be able to tell the patients more about the practices you are referring them out to. Networking also provides you the opportunity to place faces with the voices you may speak to over the phone, allowing you a more personal relationship with other dental offices.
New Policies & Ideas
As much as you may know about the dental fields, there is always more to learn. Study clubs can help you learn about new dental policies with insurance companies, new dental equipment and supplies, and new financial policies you may never have thought of. You also have the opportunity to share your own ideas and policies in your dental practice. Knowing the policies of other offices will also help when you refer patients to a dental office because you can provide them with information prior to them calling the office, such as the types of insurances accepted and financial policies.
Running a Study Club Meeting
When having meetings, in addition to rotating offices, you may want to rotate who runs the meeting. A good way to do this is whoever office the meeting is at is, that is who is in charge of that particular meeting. Invite guest speakers to present at the meetings, such as a dental hygienist or dentist to speak about something new in the dental field from the clinical aspect. Utilize your office and the dental staff in your office and get them involved in your meetings. Because you will be using your dental practices, it is important to get permission from the dentist before planning a study club meeting.
Employee & Patient Relations
Sometimes we need to bounce ideas and issues off people who are not close to a situation. Issues with patients and employees are part of the job of an office manager, and sharing your experiences can help someone else in a similar situation or help you with an issue. Have a time during your meetings where the floor is open to share experiences and offer insights. This is also a good time to discuss training options and dental continuing education for the dental office.
Study clubs can be very beneficial and can be a great marketing tool. There are different ways to start a study club in your area, and depending on how many members you have, there are different ways to fund them. Some require yearly dues, while others take turns with providing materials and refreshments. Starting a study club is a great way for you to grow in your career and learn from others. Good luck!
© Warschaw Learning Institute, 2012