Dental Hack In The House – Interview With Dr. Alan Mead

Episode 050

We have a couple of things to celebrate this week. First, I am honored to have a fellow dentist and podcaster, Dr. Alan Mead, on the show. He was in town to present a continuing education course to my referring doctors and staff so I was able to lure him into to the office for an interview.

Second, this is a milestone for the podcast. It is episode 50…thanks for all the encouragement and support! I didn’t release an episode last week because the timing was perfect to have Dr. Mead a part of this 50th episode of the Business of Dentistry. Enjoy!

Dr. Alan Mead

More About This Show

To kick off the show, Dr. Alan and I talk a bit about his background before jumping into a deeper discussion about the clinical side of his practice as well as his thoughts on social media for the dentistry industry as a whole.

If you don’t already listen to him on The Dental Hacks podcast, you may not know that Dr. Alan Mead is a general dentist who practices in Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and has had his own private practice since 1998. He admits he made a lot of mistakes and didn’t know a thing about running a practice back then!

In 2006 he started listening to podcasts and then began co-hosting a show with Dr. Jason Lipscomb in 2014. The Dental Hacks podcast has launched 118 episodes then and is going strong after two years.

On this fiftieth edition of Business of Dentistry, he also explains why he hasn’t created multiple practices like some dentists, and why he prefers the clinical of dentistry, the “nerdy side” as he calls it! In his experience, people who run multiple practices have to be detached, and can’t be very hands on within their practices.

Rather than run multiple practices, Dr. Alan likes to focus on the clinical side of things. He shares an obsession he has in his practice: microscopes. He has four of them in his office!

Despite not necessarily providing a good return on the investment, he uses them because they allow him to see things better and document them better. He uses his microscopes for most everything, if time allows. He says using a microscope can take a good bit of time and can slow you down.

He has also found that the best money spent on these has been in his dental hygiene rooms. Whenever he does an exam, he has a video recorder with an HD camera that records the exams and also takes still photos.

He also has monitors mounted on the wall and ceiling so his patients can watch while he’s doing their exam, they get to see what he’s talking about as he is explaining what he has found during their exam. It’s a much more patient-friendly experience, and even though he doesn’t market his technology he says their revenue went up $25k the year he put in the equipment.

We switch gears a bit after talking about the clinical aspect of his practice and focus on social media. I asked him how he sees social media fitting into the dental industry as a whole. He has found Facebook is good way to maintain relationships, but he is not sure if it’s good for getting new patients.

The key to social media, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or anything else, is the authenticity. People want to see your real life, they want to see your office team and your daily life at the office. Giving them an authentic look at what your day to day life is provides a better, richer connection than anything else.

And he strongly recommends you do your own social media, not a company. You can have a staff member do it, but it must be someone within your team.

Also on today’s edition, Dr. Alan tells the story of how The Dental Hacks podcast came to be, whether or not Facebook ads are effective and why he prefers to let his staff handle the sales side of things. Check it out and then join me in thanking Dr. Alan Mead for being here, and thank you for listening to episode 50 of Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: Nothing is ever perfect!

Episode Resources

The Dental Hacks podcast
Dr. Alan Mead’s practice on Facebook
Dr. Alan Mead on Twitter
Voices of Dentistry
Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter

Practice Financial Trends

Episode 049

Today we revisit some alternative programs for call tracking and analytics as well as look at some key metrics in determining trends in your practice. I also give an update on a little experiment I have been doing with our google reviews on episode 49 of the Business of Dentistry.

More About This Show

If you’ve listened to this show before you know I recommend financial tracking in your business; I do it in my practice. Today I took a look at our numbers, as I regularly do. Specifically, I viewed our production, collections and adjustments for the year. I then compared those numbers to last year’s numbers, as well as last year’s quarter to this year’s quarter.

I check to see if we are declining, if we are flat or if we are growing. I do this year over year, month over month, just to get an idea if we are doing as well as we have in the past, or if we are doing worse or doing better.

So today when I checked the numbers, I factored in how much vacation time I took as well and I was happy to see we are still a little ahead of 2015 at this point in the year. I’m hoping that indicates I’m working smarter, not harder and that we’re being more productive and collecting more money in less time.

The Importance of Online Reviews

Another thing to look at in your practice is your social media reviews. Yes this may sound like I’m beating a dead horse if you have listened to the show before, but let me explain why it’s so important!

Recently my office manager and I were looking at trends in self-referred patients. I have a traditional oral surgery practice, and as such a lot of my patients are referred from other practices, especially from our partner practices in the community. If someone isn’t from another dentist, from their insurance, or from one of our existing patients, then they are self-referred.

We track this number by asking people when they come in how they heard of us and we have noticed an increase in self-referred patients. We are finding many of these new patients are also commenting on how many Google reviews we have.

While we haven’t yet directly linked these two things, I’m seeing a lot of solid data to show how important reviews are to increasing your self-referred patients and to growing your overall practice.

So it’s important to revisit that part of your practice if you haven’t done so recently. How many reviews do you have? How many versus others in your area? You want to be in the game at least, don’t be the only person in town who isn’t doing this!

Hear more about the importance of online reviews and about financial trends on episode 49 of Business of Dentistry, then leave a comment below or send me an email with your thoughts!

Tweetable: Check the pulse of your practice and see where you are at.

Episode Resources

All Star Dental Academy
Call Tracking Metrics
Voices of Dentistry
Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter

Identity Theft and Personal Finances – 2 Resources I Use

Episode 048

This week we discuss protecting yourself from identity theft and a free way to manage your personal finances. Check out this episode of the Business of Dentistry podcast to hear about the two resources I use to assist me in both of these areas. And for the record, this is episode 048 not 047!  :-) (I totally lost count).

More About This Show

We’re taking a different tack this week. Rather than think about something inside of our practice, we’re going to think about and talk about our money. Specifically I’m going to share some of the personal tools that I use at home, the tools that help me track and monitor the money I’ve paid myself from my practice.

There are two tools I like in particular: Lifelock and Mint.com. Lifelock and Mint have both helped me tremendously, in terms of tracking where my money goes, and monitoring the accounts I currently have open. They also help me know how much I’m spending and on what.

Lifelock is something I began using after an incident a few years ago. While i was serving in the Navy, my wife got multiple notices of an overdraft on an account. She emailed me about it, but I had thought the account was closed. Obviously it wasn’t.

But there should have been no activity in it. Somehow someone had gotten ahold of the account details and was using it to pay their bills. It was clearly identity theft. Fortunately, we caught it early enough that we were able to shut it down without too much trouble or any damage being done to my credit.

After another incident of account theft with our credit cards, I found Lifelock. It’s the safeguard I found that I like best of all. Some of the benefits they offer are tracking of your credit score, providing you with a monthly summary of your accounts and overall finances, notifying you when a new credit account is opened in your name and when a credit check is done on you.

They also notify you of any sex offenders in your area who are within a certain radius of your zip code.

They have multiple tiers and options so you can add your spouse and/or your kids. Even kids aren’t immune to identity theft so it’s good to protect all of your loved ones. My entire family is on my Lifelock account.

The second tool that I’ve found so useful is Mint.com. Mint.com is a web site where you plug in your loan information, bank account details, credit cards, investments, etc. The site brings all of that information into one place and helps you track everything.

It helps you track where you spend your money, and how you spend it. It also helps you create a budget, then track your expenses against that budget. It will also notify you of service fees that you are charged, and ask you to be sure the fees are valid and cannot be waived by your financial institution.

And Mint.com does all of this for free. To maintain a free program, they advertise on the site by offering lower interest rate credit cards, auto loans, etc.

Now that you’ve heard about my two favorite financial tools, do you have other programs you like? I’d love to hear from you. If you email me with links to the apps and programs you like, I’ll add them to the show notes resources below!

Thanks for being here and for listening to episode 48 of the Business of Dentistry podcast.

Tweetable: Track where you spend your money, and how you spend it.

Episode Resources

Lifelock
Mint
Voices of Dentistry

Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter