Dental Practice: Training Tools for the Clueless

By Dr. Addison Killeen

May 24, 2022

Abdicating Knowledge

I have to admit that there are certain things in the office I am totally clueless about. Actually, I don’t even know the right questions to ask when it comes to some of the front office tasks. Re-filing problem claims, insurance questions, basically all the billing and AR stuff that goes on outside of my clinical wheelhouse. I don’t know the first thing of tactically how to do it- and actually, when I coach other dentists- I suggest they also avoid spending many hours to learn these skills.

Why do I suggest abdicating this knowledge? Simple math- you should be doing dentistry, not billing. Now, to achieve this, I have two tools at my disposal if it ever occurs that my front office disappears from the face of the earth. (Young employees these days have been known to ‘ghost’ employers more and more.)


Tools of the Trade

First tool: My Operations Manual – I consistently and thoroughly push my team to have a killer operations manual to help train new employees, as well as document what they do everyday. Our operations manual is soo detailed it goes through their daily task lists, all the way down to ‘How to Submit a Claim’. These instruction pages are simple, even I could do it if I had to. Actually, that’s what I tell the team to achieve…instructions soo simple you could teach a newbie in 15 minutes. (Remember DSN Members can download the example Operations Manual)

Second Tool: I don’t have time to teach my employees all the most detailed aspects of billing, AR, insurance, and front office skills. I do have time to just enter their email, assign courses, and follow along as these employees complete the coursework to become billing rockstars. You can even track how well they complete these tests as they progress through the courses. It’s crazy simple, for $49 a month for DSN members, it pays for itself in minutes. If the team member has questions or needs further assistance- there’s even weekly webinars and office hours to ask specific questions of or amazing contributors

Once again I think our time is valuable, and learning to do front office duties and tasks are not the best use of our time. Make sure as you grow your team, you’re doing it right- and with the right help.


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