“I’m all in pieces and I’m ready to close up and walk away” How Fractional Management can help practices put the pieces back together.”

In She's an Entrepreneur by Kristin Haynes

For the first time in her 15-year career, Dr. Jones says, “I’m in pieces, and I want to close up my practice and walk away.” How you might ask, did Dr. Jones get here? …

In January 2020, Dr. Jones felt confident about what the year was to bring. She had a full schedule in a stable economy, a fully mature, knowledgeable, and well-trained staff; systems were in place, and she had one of the best benefits packages being offered in the field.  3 months later however, she found herself at home during a national emergency, unable to practice orthodontics. Her thoughts “What is happening? What about my patients? What happens to my staff? How do I pay my staff? How do I pay my vendors?”  Within the course of 3 years, she lost almost all of her staff, her office manager, and she has had the highest turnover in her 15 years of practicing. The first to leave?Her office manager.

Dr. Jones now finds herself trying to fill in the gaps where staff is missing. Hiring anyone that can do the job even though they are not invested in a long-term position with her practice. Dr. Jones wants to hire an office manager but is unable to find anyone that has the needed experience to fill the position. Due to inflation, the cost of supplies increasing and also the supply chain problems have made it increasingly hard to get the needed supplies to run her practice. The quality of customer service in her office has declined for her patients and she is now spending her evenings responding to emails and returning phone calls. Her TC is unable to focus on the follow-up with new patients. Additionally, new patients are skeptical to commit to treatment due to the now unstable economy and higher cost of living. The clinical staff is burnt out because they are understaffed, and inflation has limited her ability to fully staff the practice. All of these factors have contributed to an environment in the office where everyone is critical of each other, and staff conflicts are increasing. When staff communicate their frustrations to her, she is unable to receive it due to her feeling overwhelmed. Literally, every part of her practice is in “pieces”.

Sound somewhat familiar? What could help Dr. Jones? An experienced Fractional Management Manager.

What is a Fractional Manager? A Fractional Manager is a highly skilled professional that a practice contracts with to utilize their expertise managing dental practices.    Utilizing the services of a Fractional Manager will assist the practice in increasing productivity and solving targeted challenges within the practice. They bring the latest industry knowledge to assist the doctor in solidifying or growing their practice.

Fractional Managers have experience in working with doctors assisting them in getting their practices turned around so that they continue to grow and thrive in every area.  The Fractional Manager has experience working in different environments, providing regular training, and support so that every employee feels valued and appreciated.

So….. Back to Dr. Jones.  In Dr. Jones case, the fractional manager was able to determine that Dr. Jones was hiring staff that were not committed to the success of her practice. The Fractional Manager met with EACH employee, to determine where the disconnect was in the practice.  What was discovered was there were areas of the practice that needed immediate attention.

  1. Utilizing staff based on their strengths
  2. Customer Service training,
  3. Insurance and billing training
  4. Clinical staff training

After determining the areas needing attention, The Fractional Manager worked with the Doctor to develop a plan of action to address the needs of the practice.  Because the Fractional Manager is not part of the staff, they were able to objectively put in place systems that will help put the practice back on track quickly and effectively.  The Fractional Manager continues to work with the practice weekly or monthly to assist with keeping the practice on target and performing at the top of the field.

What are the benefits of the Fractional Manager?

  1. Being able to quickly get to the root of the problem(s) in a practice and offer sound solutions for addressing them.
  2. Assisting the doctor with hiring and training committed team members that will stay with the practice long term.
  3. Working with the other team members to “put the pieces” back together in the practice to ensure a cohesive workflow and increased productivity.

Every house needs a solid foundation built with experienced builders and quality supplies….and that starts with an experienced management team that leads and motivates the team. The Fractional Manager is that for dental practitioners.

That is how KH Productivity Management services our clients. I built this business because I care about each individual staff member and doctor. Every doctor I worked for made sure that training was the most important thing, along with excellence in customer service and leadership skills. I have had the privilege to get to know my doctors on a personal level and understand what it takes to build and grow a practice. I understand that a practice is a business and what is needed to be to run a successful and productive business. Fractional Management IS innovative, but it is not always understood how this approach can work in a practice long term. I have had the opportunity to be a part of this type of management over the course of my career, and I am fully convinced that this is the way successful practices will be run going forward. This new mainstream form of management will benefit doctors at any stage of their practice.

There is a staffing shortage all over the dentistry spectrum, particularly with finding and retaining experienced management. COVID brought many hurdles to the dentistry field, which has caused most dentists to pivot. But with pivots come innovation. Fractional Management is that pivot.

About Kristin Haynes

Kristin Haynes is owner of KH Productivity Management LLC with the specialty of providing Fractional Office Management to dental practices. With her expertise in dentistry, Kristin brings both a finer and broader aspects in operating a dental practice. You can contact Kristin at kristin@khpromanagement.com or visit www.khpromanagement.com