Are you a smart money saver or an extreme cheapskate who makes money-saving mistakes that can actually sabotage your plans to save?
Saving money isn’t about socking away as much as you can, but making wise choices in your dental practice to reduce operation costs. Unfortunately, many dentists make the following money-saving mistakes that could mar their ability to manage their everyday finances and set aside for their long- term professional goals.
Buying practice management software but not paying for the training. Yes, office training may cost as much as the software itself. But, if you’ll only use the manual, you may not be able to use the full capabilities of the software you purchased. Get at least the basic training and if possible, hire a trainer and retrain your staff every year. This way, you can reduce costs attributable to inefficiency and increase your returns.
Not paying for your staff’s continuing education. The dental industry is a competitive and ever-changing market that requires continuing education to improve your practice. If your employees are members of organizations like American Dental Assistants Association they will learn how to increase their productivity and efficiency to increase your income. Dental assistants who pay for membership dues often receive free online training modules and a magazine.
Asking a family member with knowledge in generic tech to do the repair. Hiring someone who is well-versed in the dental software will have better results compared to a generic tech relative. You need someone to do the software updates and check hidden issues that may cause costly problems in the long run.
Buying new dental equipment without going through the training. Get the best out of your investment by taking part in the training for both the hardware and the software. Software training is necessary to maximize efficiency. You also need hardware training to augment income and productivity. If you don’t know how to use the dental equipment properly, you may end up losing more than what you intended to save.
Re-using one-time use products. Just imagine what will happen if your patients find out that you are re-using single-use products like gauze or cotton swabs! There’s a reason why some products are designed for single use. It’s either they’re not durable enough to be sterilized or reused or they will be contaminated the first time. If you really want to save on products, you can pass the cost of using brand new stuff to your patients.
Using less expensive metals for restorations but billing them as precious metals. Some patients may be allergic to non-precious materials, so doing so is a bad and dangerous business practice. Billing insurance companies for precious metals when it’s not, is also an insurance fraud.
Not taking good care of your handpieces. Your handpiece, whether it is air-driven or electric, represents you. An automated handpiece maintenance system can easily and effectively perform the upkeep or else you may run out of them during emergency.
Other worst saving strategies include:
Buying products on secondary marketplace like eBay because they often have no manufacturers guarantee.
Using free email services to send confidential information. It is illegal to send confidential information which is not secure or encrypted.
Bringing your spouse to work. A spouse working in your office may not be as dependable as the rest of the staff especially if you have kids to attend to. It may work for some, but there times when your staff may resent favoritism especially if your spouse is not a team player. So if you’re really serious in saving money by asking your spouse to do the job, set the proper boundaries between your professional and personal relationship at work.
There’s nothing wrong with cutting down on costs but make sure that it does not compromise the quality of service you provide. Think of the rewards of making simple adjustments in your savings plan to keep more money as you earn more in the end.