Wednesday, 13 June 2018

It is time to make your goals STRONG

It is time to make your goals STRONG!

Most people have heard about having SMART goals and targets, and I think it is time for you to make your goals STRONG.

Many time, I have worked with clients who have set goals and targets and they have even made them SMART and still they haven’t achieved them. They become disheartened and disillusioned, sound familiar?
There is another better way, which is why I have developed the STRONG goals framework

What is something that you would like to achieve?

Ideas could be;

ü  Run a marathon or other sporting challenge
ü  With an award for best young dentist or another prize-winning category
ü  Become a Patient Care Coordinator
ü  Run a clinic for people who don’t have access to routine dental care
ü  Overcome a physical, mental or emotional health situation
ü  Move to a new house or job
ü  Buy or set up your own practice
ü  Double your salary by providing high quality genuinely needed and indicated dentistry
ü  Loose weight
ü  Give up smoking
ü  Start to exercise regularly
ü  Whatever you choose.

Whatever you want the key is to make your goal STRONG and here is an introduction to how to do this.

S = Starting position

Be honest about where you are now. Don’t make the situation better than it is, worse than it is be truthful about your current situation. If you want to run a marathon and don’t own any trainers and can’t run more than 3 steps that is your starting position. If you want to run your own practice and don’t know anything thing about the 12 facet of running a successful practice, acknowledge it. If you want to be a PCO and your boss does not know what one is, and you have not had any training, name it.

What are the positive by-products of your current situation, and which of them do you want to retain?

No deletions, distortions or generalisations about the truth.

T= Target

What is that you want to achieve?

This is the area that I find most people spend insufficient time thinking about and getting clear and specific. Their goals are vague, and their outcomes are even vaguer. If you are determined to achieve your goals, there are some things you must consider and clarify;

ü  Why do you want to achieve this goal?
ü  How is achieving your goal going to serve you and others?
ü  What do you want, not what don’t you want?
ü  How will you know you have achieved your target, what will you and others, see, hear, think and feel?
ü  How long do you want to achieve this goal for?
ü  When do you want it, when don’t you want it?
ü  Who do you want it with, who don’t you want it with?
ü  What will be possible the unintended consequences of achieving your goal?
ü  How does this goal align with your beliefs, values and identity?
ü  How does your goal relate to your human needs, meta programmes and representational systems?

R- Resources

What do you already have and what do you need to support you in achieving your goal?

Things to consider

ü  Resourcefulness
ü  Time and diary organisation
ü  Money
ü  Motivation
ü  Role models
ü  Coaches
ü  Trainers
ü  Mentors
ü  Cheerleaders and motivators
ü  Accountability buddies
ü  Materials, kit and tools
ü  Motivational drive
ü  Reflection and rest
ü  Clear and specific action plan

The most common reasons why Patient Care Coordinators (PCO) don’t succeed are because they are not given an appointment book, a space in the practice or any training. They are given a job title and expected to get on with it. Sound familiar?

Practices fail because enthusiastic dentists believe that having clinical skills is sufficient and they don’t need to invest in learning business, leadership, and management skills.

People don’t maintain a desired weight  because they don’t have both towards and away from strategies.

What do you need to guarantee success?

O = Obstacles

Who and what don’t you need around you if you are going to achieve your dream?

Common obstacles are family and friends who will become energy vampires, because they want you to stay as you are. If you know anyone who has given up drink, drugs or other addictions you will know that success in these areas requires a radical change of friends and companions

Identifying potential obstacles to get over, under, through and beyond will help you identify resources that will serve you in your success.

Remember what does not serve you sabotages you. Again, time to reflect and be honest.

N = Next steps

Create your action plan, break it down in to small achievable steps, because any goal can be achieved if it is broken down into small enough steps
Write your plan down because “The discipline of writing something down is the first step to making it happen.”

Get an accountability buddy and a coach. Who was the last person you saw obtain a gold medal, championship shield or trophy of any kind who didn’t have a coach? A coach is key to your success and in the words of Usain Bolt “My coach is pushing me harder than ever to make sure I stay at a good level.”  Recruit one today and work with them hard and frequently.

G = Going

What do you need to do to keep going?  What will you want and need to support you when the journey to achieving your goal is getting to hard or too easy?

What will you use to start and maintain your progress over the forthcoming, days, months and years?

What can you and can’t you influence?

Who can help, support and encourage you when things are tough, and you are feeling vulnerable or want to give up?

How will you measure, acknowledge and celebrate you progress?

What are your mile-stones?

Are you ready to start to make you goals STRONG and achieve them?

If this article has raised any questions or you recognise you would like some coaching support or guidance contact us today, on 07989 757 884 or

Friday, 8 June 2018

Would your clinical notes stand up under scrutiny?

I have recently been approached by a number of dentists who have experienced patient complaints or feedback from their defense organization that has caused the dentist concerned to question the quality if their notes. Another dentist has also been asking questions about how to implement a record keeping audit.

I am sure that if any of use were to go back and audit our notes we would find that they could be improved. In this world of increased litigation, I am sure that you want to make sure that your notes give you as much protection as possible.
I have recently developed a full -day training that I run in-house with dental practices so that all members of the team understand what is required and their responsibility.

For those of you who follow my work will know that I use mnemonics to help you remember the frameworks, making it easier to implement.

The mnemonic for record keeping is CLEAR NOTES.
From this I would like to share with you a small part of the final S which reminds you to structure your notes.

Again, we have another mnemonic HEAD DROID

H = History. What is the history of your patients’ complaint, pain dental history, etc
E = Examination. When you do an extra oral and intra oral examination, what did you find that was normal and abnormal?
A = Aids to diagnosis. What further tests and special investigations did you do and what were the results?
D = Diagnosis.  What is your differential, provision or definitive diagnosis?

D = Discussion. What did you discuss with your patient, what questions did they ask, what was their understanding of the conversation,
R= Robust consent. Have you obtained consent following a robust process, more than just a signature?
O = Organise your treatment plan. Organise and document your treatment plan into number, order of appointments, including appointment length and intervals between appointments etc.
I = Implement. Implement your treatment plan so anyone wo looks at your notes knows precisely what was done, why any post-operative instructions and what is the next stage.
D = Double check. Make sure you have a system to make sure all actions such as referrals and other action points have been completed and nothing can fall through the cracks.

If you would like more information about how you and your team can use the CLEAR NOTES and HEAD DROID framework to ensure your notes are clear and safe, contact me on 07989757884 or email

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

How to use your patient care coordinator (PCC) to get rid of unwanted patients.

Have you ever had a heart-sink patient join your practice? 

You know that patient, who when you see their name on your list your heart and mood sinks, you don’t bring the best out in them and they bring out the worst side of you. Appointments often become stressful and treatment never seems to run smoothly.

For many practices patients are heart sink patients because their values, ethos and expectations about you your practice and team are out of kilter with your values and ethos. For example, you may be passionate about developing long term relationships with patients working together saving teeth and creating health beautiful mouths, and you have a heart sink patient who only turns up once in a blue-moon and wants extractions on demand.

Your practice may be focused on minimally invasive dentistry with a strong emphasis on education and prevention and yet you have a patient who has made it clear that they have no interest in brushing their teeth twice daily, let alone flossing and they are determined to continue to eat a sugar rich diet and they ‘just’ want you to fix their teeth. They do not believe that the health of their teeth and gums is their responsibility.

You may have a patient who has a high caries and perio incidence and wants ear to ear veneers within the month and does not want to listen to any advice on disease stabilization.
Alternatively, the patient may have a cavalier attitude to time keeping, attending appointments, paying bills on time, and treating your team and colleagues with respect and dignity

You get the picture.

When practices and patient have divergent attitudes and philosophies to dental care and treatment, it can lead to strained relationships, complaints or solicitor’s letters.

Your Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) has a vital role to play in preventing these stressful situations.

Routinely offering all new patients a complimentary appointment with a PCC prior to an examination with the dentist, allows your PCC to discover and discuss your patient’s health belief model and their anticipated outcomes for treatment long and short term. Your PCC will also be able to share the values, ethos and philosophy of your practice and what that means in terms of patient care and treatment.

If there is a wide divide in expectations, your PCC can suggest to the patient that your practice is probably not going to best serve their needs and expectations and suggest another practice that is more appropriate for them.

Providing this service, the patient has not wasted any money, they will have had an exceptional level of service and moving forward there will be space in your appointment book for those patients who have the same philosophy to dentistry as you and want to be part of your practice.

For more information about introducing a Patient Care Coordinator to your practice call us today on 07989 757 884

Friday, 25 May 2018

Free dental examinations will destroy your practice – why you should never offer them

Free dental examinations will destroy your practice – why you should never offer them

Many dental practices are looking for more patients and increasingly I am seeing more practices are luring patients in by offering free dental examinations and check-ups. You must never do this, and this is why.

The purpose of a freebie is to bring patients in so that they can see how beautiful your practice is and experience the high quality of care that they will receive, so the patients return and join your practice long term. Your patients will forget what you say, they will forget what you do, and they will never forget how you make them feel. What happens, in reality, with a free examination is, to avoid losing too much money, the session is much shorter than normal is often rushed and rather that the patient having an awesome experience and returning, the experience can be very poor and the patient leaves never to be seen again with a less than favourable and inaccurate impression of your practice and how well you treat and care for your patients.

When I have analyzed client data, I have noticed, that giveaways and special offers attract the price conscious people seeking a deal and they seldom stay and become regular patients. These patients are special offer butterflies and flit between practices based on special offers. The rewards to your patient’s dental health and beauty occur when they become regular patients with whom you have a lifetime relationship.  The data also show that your income and profitability significantly grow as your practices has greater numbers of returning patients.

What should you do instead?

The key to attracting and retaining patients is to engage a patient care coordinator (PCC) with the attitude of outstanding levels of customer service, excellent communication skills, and appropriate training in a suite of field of expertise.

A PCC trained and competent in Patient Centred Sales– BEST CHOICES is the most appropriate member of the team to be offering complementary consultations.

Two months ago, I was speaking with a dentist whose hourly rate is £400 / hour and who is regularly giving away free 20-minute exams when his thorough new patient examination is normally 45-minutes. He called me because he was frustrated that the patients are not returning, he is losing money and does not want to put the fees up to his regular patients to cover the losses.
One of the successful strategies we discussed was to train two of his nurses and develop the role of a patient care coordinator.

 The free examinations on his hourly rate were costing him £133.33, his thorough new patient examination was charged at £150, so he was still making a loss

He had two nurses in the practice one was paid £15/hour and the other £13.00 / hour and had been with him for 12 years and 8 years respectively and both know how he works. have an extensive knowledge of treatments available and are natural communicators who effortlessly put the patients at ease, engage them in conversation. What the nurses lacked was, confidence, belief they could become a PCC and a structure to their patient conversations.
I suggested the dentist that he brought his whole team and and both his nurses attend my Patient Centred Sales – BEST CHOICES workshop and introduce free consultations for patients with a Patient Care Coordinator. The dentist was a little hesitant and opted to only bring himself and one nurse to the two-day workshop. At the end of the two days the dentist and his nurse had confidence, enthusiasm, great plans for the introduction of a PCC and many new skills and approaches which included a framework to patient consultations that effortlessly elicited the patients wants needs and preferences and a structure to CRAFT and present options of treatment available.

The dentist and his nurse decided to immediately implement the role of a Patient Care Coordinator, offering free consultations to all new and prospective patients. The patients loved that they were being offered the time and space to discuss all their dental issues, and have questions answered. They were aware that the nurse could not make any diagnosis or design treatment plans and she could discuss options that are available.

The results quickly showed that patients were happier, new patient and prospect retention dramatically increased, new patient examinations are correctly charged for no longer a loss leader, the value of treatment plans went up significantly as did treatment plan acceptance rates. The financial rot has stopped, and profitability is soaring. Job satisfaction of the PCC was at an all time high and the overall morale of the practice improved. The dentist admitted that he had realized by the first break on the first day that he had made an error in judgement and he should have brought his entire team to the event. Since then I have been invited to the practice and delivered it in-house with all the entire team with miraculous results for the patients, practice and team, not to mention income and profitability.  

Want to know more about this workshop which has a money back guarantee, call us on 01296 770462 or e mail

Monday, 14 May 2018

Why you should never work with a treatment coordinator (TCO)

Why you should never work with a treatment coordinator (TCO)

Treatment coordinators are becoming increasingly popular in UK dental practices and more courses are springing up to train your staff, you should never have a treatment coordinator (TCO) in your practice and here is why.

The media and many patients already consider dentists to be rich and greedy. (I know that you are not. and we do know that there are a few bad apples that spoil the reputation of the fair, generous, compassionate, caring, hard-working and appropriately priced majority.) The use of the term treatment coordinator focuses on treatment and unconsciously, affirms to your patients that is what you are primarily interested in selling treatments. Your patients hate and resent being sold to. Rather than enhancing your reputation a TCO role has the potential to destroy it.

TCO’s who focus on the conversion of treatment plans may generate high levels of income in the short term and all commercial research shows that to increase your gross income and substantially increase your profitability you should rather concentrate long-term repeat business.

Your practice needs patient care coordinators. (PCC)

Patient care coordinator is a far more comprehensive role that will add much more value to your practice than a TCO. A PCC will substantially increase your reputation, referrals, patient satisfaction, reduce complaints and as a result your treatment plan conversion rate will significantly increase, and your profitability will soar.

A PCC role is focused on what your patients want; to be cared for. The evidence from the indemnity providers tells us time and time again, that patients seldom complain because of the standard of clinical dentistry that was provided and they do complain because they dis not feel cared for, listened to or that there wants, needs or preferences were being met.

Your patients will forget what you say
Your patients will forget what you do
Your patients will always remember how you made them feel

A team of appropriately train PCC’s will make your patients feel, valued, special, part of your practice in a way that you cannot do alone and a TCO can’t do because they are focused on treatment plan conversions and sales.

Your practice needs Patient Care Coordinators.

If you would like more information about how to introduce PCC’s into your practice call us today on 07989 757 884 or e mail 

Friday, 11 May 2018

What is a patient care coordinator (PCC)?

What is a patient care coordinator (PCC)?

In the 21st century practice patient care co-ordinators are key team members and their inclusion into your team will result in

ü  Happier more satisfied Patients
ü  Patients accessing the treatment they want and need
ü  Fewer complaints
ü  Greater confidence and less fear for clinicians
ü  Increased treatment plan conversions
ü  Higher value treatment plans
ü  Increase practice profitability
ü  Ability to get of the UDA treadmill
ü  More complex and satisfying treatment options
ü  Increased patient dental health, function and beauty
ü  Improved team work and morale
ü  Increase retention of team members
ü  Greater enjoyment at work Less stress

Dr Jane lelean was one of the dentists to introduce the role of a Patient care co-ordinator into her practice and over the intervening 25 years she has been developing the role and helping other forward-thinking teams, like yours, incorporate PCC’s too.
A successful PCC need to have an attitude of putting the patient first, going the extra mile and being prepared to do what it takes to get the best outcome. Excellent communication skills are key.
There are several areas your PCC will require training in as indicated below.

One of the most important skills is that your PCC has a patient centred approach to sales to enable your patients to make the BEST CHOICES.

If you would like more information about the benefits to your practice of a PCC or are ready to start the process by receiving Patient Centred Sales- BEST CHOICES training please either
 call 07989757 884, 
 e mail

Our next event is running near Oxford June 21st and 22nd 
And more information, including details of early bird ticket prices can be found here

Friday, 27 April 2018

Have you ever wondered how you could do more private treatments?

 Its time for your patients to S.H.O.P.

Have you ever wondered how you could do more private treatments, get of the UDA rat race  and increase the value of your treatment plans and get a higher case acceptance rate?

If so you are like majority of UK Dentists, who are struggling to help patients make appropriate decisions that will improve their dental health and give them access to treatment that lasts for many many years.

High quality dentistry is cost effective, it has a significant investment and when you consider how long it lasts it provides your patients excellent value for money. £2500 implant that lasts 25 years is only an investment of £100 / year or £0.27 a day. What price a smile?

Communication skills and specifically talking to patients about treatment plans is taught very badly and many dentists tell me that when they follow conventional thinking they talk the patients out of doing any treatment and the patient does not benefit from the care and treatment that is available.

To enable your patients to access the most appropriate care and treatment for them, you must help them to S.H.O.P.

S.H.O.P. is a series of specific questions that elicit from your patients

  •          Their Starting position.                   Perceptions of the health, function and beauty of their teeth, mouth and smile now.

  •          Their Hoped for outcomes.          What your patient wants to achieve as a result of any treatment regarding the health, function and beauty of their teeth, mouth and smile.

  •          Obstacles                                             Those things that have prevented them from accessing appropriate treatment in the past and what may prevent them from getting what they want in the future.

  •         Possible dates                                   Timescales that the patient has in mind and possible events that they want healthy beautiful teeth, mouth and smile for.
Once you know how to help your patient S.H.O.P. your treatment plan conversion rate will go up and your patients will be delighted with the care and treatment you provide.

If you would like to know more about the questions that enable your patients to S.H.O.P. or any other aspect helping you patient to make the B.E.S.T  C.H.O.I.C.E.S join us at one of our unique 2 day training events.

For more information click here or use this link in your browser