7 Resources To Improve Your Practice

Episode 043

Hey folks. This week I wanted to share 7 resources that I personally use in my practice. Don’t worry, they are not affiliate programs or corporate sponsored items.  So go ahead and check it out on episode 43 of Business of Dentistry!

More About This Show

Let’s jump right in and get to my top 7 resources to improve your practice!

1. Evernote
This resource is first because it is my #1 go-to. Evernote is my crutch, I use it for nearly everything. I make lists, prioritize tasks, write my goals, etc. Based on David Allen’s book, Get Things Done, I began using Evernote to get things out of my head so I can stay organized and mentally sharp.

You can use a pen and paper, index cards or anything else to do the same thing. The important piece is to get the information out of our head and put it in another place.

2. Camtasia
I use this and have grown to love it. It helps me get together videos, and open lines of communication to referring doctors. It’s very easy to use and I like how simple it makes
discussing treatment plans, findings I see, follow ups, etc.  Now I make a Camtasia video in just a couple of minutes.

3. Brightsquid
Brightsquid is what I use to make sure everything we send is HIPPA compliant. You can track messages and see when something was sent, when it was opened and by whom. It gives accountability to both sides of the communication lines.

4. Birdeye
Birdeye is an online reputation management program. As we’ve talked about in Episode 24, your online reputation is very important. People go online to find out who we are, and what our practice is about. Whether they are looking for a new dentist, or to change dentists, or work with someone on a particular issue, they go online to research.

I’ve used BirdEye to help with this, in particular we have focused on Google reviews. BirdEye has a lot of power to do more: Yelp, Healthgrade, Yellowbook, etc. But I made a point just to look at Google reviews, and with its help we went from 4 to 64 Google reviews in five months (all are 5 stars).

This program has a dashboard for sending emails, text messages. We get about 9.5% conversion, which doesn’t sound like much but it’s pretty good! We send one email and one text message to ask our clients for a review because social proof helps to bring more people in the doors.

5. Formstack
Formstack has helped me build custom health questionnaires, appointment request forms, and financial policies for my patients that I keep on my web site. When you go there you will see it starts by asking you one of the three questions. Next your answer will take you to specific page related to your response. The forms are linked on top.

I’ve also used Formstack to build a suggestion box on our web site.

6. Mindmapping
Again this tool is about getting something out of your head and getting it on to paper, or somewhere else that you can leave it. Mindmapping also helps to create organization and workflow. It creates strategies, marketing plans, new locations, etc. I use this tool for podcast episodes and online courses; I’ve outlined a book using it too.

It’s a great way to leave your ideas and then come back to them, so you can see something new or shuffle things around in a new way. I also share my mindmaps with my staff, doing so helps tighten our practice systems and keeps things working fluidly.

7. Awesome screenshot
This is a tool that captures images and allows you can annotate the images. I use this for everything: editing awards, images, photographs, X-rays, etc.

It’s supplemental to Camtasia and works great when you don’t want or need the detail of a video. Awesome screenshot allows you to capture images off the Internet, your desktop and then makes notes on those images, and share the annotated images with others via email.

Those are my big seven! Now that you know mine, I’d love to hear yours. What do you use every day to make life easier? Do you use any of these seven, or do you have some resources that you think are better? I’m all ears! Email me or leave a comment here and let me know. Thanks for listening to episode 43 of Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: “Get it out of your head and get it on to paper!

Episode Resources

Get Things Done, by David Allen
Episode 22 on Camtasia
Episode 27 on Brightsquid
BirdEye web site: online reputation management program
Episode 24 on Online Reputation
My personal web site
Awesome Screenshot
Voices of Dentistry

Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter

Mind Mapping In Your Practice

Episode 020

What the heck is mind mapping and why is it relevant to your dental practice? That’s what we’re talking about today on the Business of Dentistry.

A couple of years ago I took a hard look at mind mapping as a tool for organizing my thoughts. I had heard about mind mapping before but really didn’t know how it would apply to me. In today’s episode I explain what mind mapping is and give an example of how it may help you organize your thoughts on the way to building systems and processes in your practice.

BODP Mind MapMore About This Show

Before we can talk about why mind mapping can be so helpful in your practice we have to understand what it actually is. Mind mapping is a way to get ideas out of your head and onto paper or screen so you can explore the ideas fully.

You can do this either by writing your ideas down or by using a mind mapping software tool. I use X Mind, which has a free or a paid version. There are several others on the market, but the three that are the most popular are Free Mind, Mind Manager and X Mind (these are listed in order of popularity).

Mind mapping differs from an outline in that it isn’t linear. You write your idea down and it’s the main subject, it is the tree trunk. Growing out from your tree trunk are all the related concepts and topics, they become the branches. You can drill those down even further, those become the twigs.

To illustrate this point on today’s show I mind map the idea of improving your customer service. So that is your main idea, your tree trunk: improved customer service. Branching out from there you come up with a few ideas: clean the office, better phone etiquette, reduce wait times and send out surveys to post-procedure patients.

Now you take each of those topics or branches and dive deeper: who is going to clean your office? How will they go about doing so, and how often? Who is going to check on the cleanliness and how?

And what phone etiquette are you going to implement? Will you have a certain way of answering the phones that is standard? If so, who will come up with it? Answering all of these questions creates more twigs stemming from your branches.

Once you’ve listed your branches and twigs print out the image and give your staff a copy at your next staff meeting. Ask them for their feedback and input on what you have so far. Are these good ideas, what would they add to your existing mind map? Getting them involved in the process of making your practice better creates a stronger staff unity and loyalty, and a much happier place for everyone to work!

And that’s your action step from today’s show: explore mind mapping. Do your own research on Google and find out more about it. Make up your mind whether or not it’s a fit for you. Let me know what you decide, after you listen to episode 20 of the Business of Dentistry.

Tweetable: “Have your staff involved in making your practice better.”

Episode Resources

X Mind
Free Mind
Mind Meister
Business of Dentistry on Facebook
Connect with me on Twitter
Leave us a rating or review on iTunes!