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Anything I Can Do, WE Can Do Better

September 11, 2018

If you have children or if you were a child, you have heard and probably used the phrase “I can do it myself!” As young children, we are taught to get things for ourselves and to do things for ourselves with the idea we will be responsible for ourselves someday. Then youth activities and youth groups begin, and we must learn to be part of a team. We must learn to work together and share responsibilities. By being a part of that team, we help others grow, learn, and maximize on individual talents to accomplish one main set of goals.

When we are young our keywords are I and me. Have you ever noticed how many times a day you say I? For the next few days, keep a tally on your words. What is your ratio of I to We? Now, make a concentrated effort to change your words, because once you join a team the I becomes We. The simplest change, the effect we are looking for, can come by using words based around Us. By taking the I out of your sentences, you start to take the I out of your mindset. This is where the magic begins to happen. Suddenly you are not thinking of you, you automatically start to consider yourself as the We. It starts as a conscientious decision to change, and before you know it, you have become a part of the We.

Let’s look at two powerful words, team and work. Individually these words have great definitions. One of Wikipedia’s descriptions for a team; “A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.” The dictionary defines work as “something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking.” Now put these two together. All coaches will have almost the same definition of teamwork. What is different is the vision for how the goal is reached and what success looks like. Everyone must work as an individual within the team, the common factor is the end game, and how We accomplish it. Who is your team and what is your end goal? Do you have a common goal, or are you more of an individual working within a team?

Every team has individual components; but the whole, the effect you can make happen, comes from the team effort, the We. We is such a nicer word. People feel better when you use we, they feel included and like they are a part of something, part of a team. And isn’t that what most of us want, to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves? Schedule a team meeting today and review your end goal, what you as a team consider a success. During your meeting, make sure you have the tools you need to compete and to succeed. And remember to watch your words.

Now, you are no longer the I taking on the world alone. You are a part of the We making true changes every day. It starts with one simple word, but you will soon discover, “Anything I can do, We can do better!”

Partners, The Importance of an IT Strategy

January 28, 2016

Filed under: Communication,Marketing,Systems,Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — Laci Phillips @ 12:50 am

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Partners, The importance of an IT Strategy

As the New Year kicks off, every functional area of our business needs to the plan for the upcoming year. We outline strategies and set goals for our teams.  IT is no exception to this process and should also be a part of these conversations.

We have come a long way in the dental industry and IT has taken on an increasingly integral role in the way all aspects of our dental offices operate.  Gone are the days when we relied on a friend, the technical genius in the family or even ourselves to handle all the IT needs of the practice.  I grew up in dental in those “good ole” days and I loved getting to know the technology and getting my hands dirty trying to troubleshoot the latest challenge.  Those days are long behind me and today I rely on the expert companies out there to be our partner in these areas our business and the businesses of our clients.

We are blessed in dental to have amazing options for IT partners throughout the country.  These companies dedicate their selves and their teams to being the experts in the technology we need to run our businesses.   They understand dental, they understand the technology and they understand the future needs before we do.  Most importantly they are experts on securing the sensitive data on our systems and they help us stay ahead of the curve in security practices.

For me all these qualities talked about are important but perhaps there is one quality that isn’t often discussed.  The companies we have chosen to recommend have a quality that is imperative to us.  They are of course experts and passionate about IT but they are just as passionate about the customer experience and service aspect of their partnership with us and our practices.

I still read and try and keep up on the latest technologies but I rely on these teams to guide us through our IT strategy at Practice Dynamics.  We chose one of the companies that serve the Dental Community to handle our IT needs as well.  They know what’s best for us and they take care of the details which then free us up to focus on what we do best.

I recently returned from a client and went to turn on my laptop the next day to write up my report but the laptop wanted “none of that”.  It showed me what we used to call “the blue screen of death” back in day.  What was different this time was there was no panic, no sense of dread and no tears.   I knew I was in good hands and my data was safe.  Getting me back up and running was seamless and hassle free.  This team is a true partner and integral piece of our success, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In closing, a few things to think about with the IT partner you have chosen or not yet selected.

  • Do you have a partner IT Company to handle your daily needs?
  • Do you have an annual meeting with this company to plan for the future goals of your business?
  • Do you have a line item in your budget for IT and service needs?
  • Does your IT Company have the tools in place to anticipate a problem before you even know it’s there?
  • Does the company’s customer experience match or exceed your beliefs as a service provider?
  • Do you sleep well at night knowing you’re in good hands?
  • When a problem occurs (and they do on occasion) are you filled with dread or do you know a solution is just a phone call ahead?

Call us if you need a recommendation for a good IT company in your area.  We have many we trust and we are happy to help.

Happy Computing!

Bonnie

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Building Relationships with our Partners

November 18, 2015

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Building relationships in today’s world is more important than ever. We build relationships with our patients, with our referring doctors and with our team members. It is also important for us to remember the relationship we have with our partners, such as our dental supply companies, our IT companies, 3rd party software companies and our labs just to name a few. Each one of them is an integral part of your business. I would venture to say, we cannot do business without them.

At Practice Dynamics we have several partners as well. These companies help us look smarter and we love them for that! We work with companies that can assist you with electronic services, which means getting paid quicker. We work with companies that enable you to communicate with your patients with innovative tools, data mining information from your practice management software and asking for payment at the time of service with payment options that make it easier for your patients to say yes to needed treatment. We work with the best IT companies in this country to ensure your technology is up to date and it works each and every day. We work with HR companies to make sure you are covered and compliant. These are just a few of the tools in our toolbox. We need all these relationships to help in our business but also to help you achieve your goals. We appreciate each partner and know we would be lost without them.

Our industry is so much more than Dentistry. It takes a village to accomplish all that we do each day. As we go into the holiday season. Remember the teams that make your life easier, that offer more than standard services or products. We challenge each of you to walk through your day aware of what you can and cannot do alone. We all need to be thankful, but more importantly we all need to continue to build and grow the relationships we depend on daily. Make this month of being thankful a habit for 2016 and make 30 days a lifetime of building.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire team!

Laci

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New Technology in Credit Card Processing

July 15, 2015

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , — Laci Phillips @ 5:17 pm

PDLogoEvery day we hear about changes in technology.  With all the changes it is imperative, we are also checking our systems and how new technology can affect our offices. For example, credit cards with the new microchips have created a need to have a chip reading credit card terminal by Oct 1, 2015. Before you just swap out that old machine at the front desk take a moment to review your current processing center contract and fees that go along with it. By doing a little research and negotiating you can save an average of $500 a month!!

Your first step is to look into your current contract. You could possibly have a long or short term contract already in place. If you are contracted no worries there are companies willing to pay for you to break the contract to gain your business.

Secondly, do some web surfing and find some competitive rates. We found a local bank gave us the best pricing method and rates with a super transparent contract that we could not resist.

Once you find the best pricing method and rates get a price comparison using your latest statement. Along with the price comparison ask for a contract to review in order to have a comprehensive look at your final fees. The contract is where they hide all the fees and hope you are confused enough to realize it.

 

Empower Yourself, Get to Know These Common Contract Terms

3-Tier Pricing

  • The 3-Tier Pricing is the most popular pricing method and the simplest system for most merchants to understand. The bank will have 3 categories that will have designated fees.

First Tier – Qualified Rate (lowest rate)

  • The qualified rate is created based on the way a merchant will be accepting a majority of their credit cards (on-line, swiping, or key entry).

Second Tier – Mid-qualified Rate

  • You will be charged this rate whenever accepting a credit card that does not qualify for the lowest rate (the qualified rate). Examples: keyed, rewards & business card

Third Tier – Non-qualified Rate (highest rate)

  • In most cases all transactions that are not qualified or mid-qualified will fall to this rate.
  • Examples: keyed in credit card, business or special card and not all info keyed in, you have not settled batch within 48hrs

6-Tier Pricing

  • Debit cards processed without a pin number.

Interchange Plus Pricing

  • This type of pricing creates a discounted rate by adding interchangable rates plus a percentage and authorization fees. This is a common pricing model for very low and very high average tickets.

Bill Back/ERR (Enhanced Recover Reduced)

  • A bill back/ERR is a variation on interchange plus pricing. It has some variations but the basic concept is that the merchant pays one set rate for qualified cards then is billed back for mid or non qualified cards. It requires a great deal of time to research the actual cost per transaction with the bill back system.

 

Additional Fees You Need To Be Aware Of & Compare:

Start-up fee: Not all companies charge this fee but can be $200 and higher.

Monthly minimum service charge The bare minimum charge if you are not processing    transactions.

Statement fee: $0-what they can get away with

Discount rate: Pay close attention to the amount of this fee. It’s an average percentage of each credit card transaction, which is usually around 2.5 percent. These fees are lower for swiped transactions and higher if you key in the card number by phone or through a website. It also varies depending on whether your customers use a debit or credit card to pay for their purchases. Credit cards with rewards also have a higher fee passed onto you. This fee will have the most impact on your saving!

Transaction fees: Average of 30 cents per transaction

Address verification fee: Credit card processing companies sometimes need to verify a purchaser’s address, especially in situations involving a questionable card. This fee can cost anywhere from a nickel to a dime per transaction

Terminal: This fee varies drastically from free to well over $1,000.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new technology. And who would have thought, that a microchip in a credit card could give us such a tedious job. We love technology and will keep you updated on new changes, so be on the watch for more!

Dynamic tip: There is a lot to compare and consider. Take your time and negotiate!! We ended up using a local bank that the office used for banking. They were given a free terminal, Interchange Plus pricing and virtually no fees and a transparent NON binding contract.

Action

The Electronic Office

July 1, 2015

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — Laci Phillips @ 7:48 pm

PDLogoTechnology is just about the coolest thing ever! Think about it, we have gone from writing on a wall with a chisel to having messages sent and received instantly. We have gone from one man walking on the moon, to private citizens traveling by space craft. We have gone from taking a small x-ray, going to a small dark room, developing it and showing it on a small lit panel to clicking a button and having a digital image on any size screen instantaneous for the doctor and the patient to view. We went from paper charts, paper forms, paper Perio charts, paper treatment plans, the red and blue pencil and a filing nightmare to a completely electronic chart, x-rays, photo’s, iPads, tablets and electronic patient forms…a completely electronic office.

The buzz talk of the electronic dental office started across the country in 2004. Eleven years later we find less than 1/3 of the dental practices in the US are truly electronic. Which bracket do you fall into? Here are a few questions to help you answer:

  • Do you still handle a paper chart?
  • Do you write your clinical notes in the chart?
  • Do you send paper insurance claims?
  • Do you hand the patient paper to fill out or to sign?
  • Do you scan patient forms into your software?

If you answered yes to any of those questions you still have a few steps to implement before you have a truly electronic office.

Let’s examine a new patient experience and how we use paper now.

Chartles Graph

Now walk through each of those steps and think about how you achieve an electronic office. It is easiest to accomplish this task if you break the office in two divisions; Chartless and Paperless. Chartless is a clinical term, it describes how we use the paper chart in the clinical area and how we can now use the  amazing practice management programs with electronic schedules, accounts, charts, photos and x-rays to help us achieve that goal. Paperless is an administrative term. It describes the last 3 to 5 pieces of paper we hand the patient. Instead of scanning that paperwork back into our software we now have iPads and tablets that work with administrative software to will allow the patient to fill all their forms out electronically while their information is integrated back into your practice management program. It is the complete patient cycle, electronically.

It all sounds pretty amazing and with the right system in place, it can be easier than you think. The technology is there, right there at your fingertips. When we think about all of this, we get very excited because the technology just the coolest thing ever!