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Are 'Cloud Based Systems' & 'Remote Monitoring' helpful for your dental practice?

I am a big lover of cloud based technology - I love the ease in which information can be accessed, processed and interpreted - not to mention there's no need for paper, amen to that! Along with this, 'zoom' (or skype) calling is a really great way to connect with people for a 'face to face' chat and can definitely bring about an improved relationship between business people, especially those who don't see each other all that often - all good stuff. However....

There are a lot of companies out there, telling Dentists (talking specifically now) that they can help generate positive change, specific 'results' and increased profitability - essentially, without actually being in the Practice all that often - curious. Some accountancy firms seem to be top of the list here currently - even more curious. A scramble to the sacred peak of not 'being a commodity' perhaps? 'More than just an accountancy firm?' Nothing wrong with that and good on them for developing their businesses & teams to help meet and indeed exceed, their customers needs.


We must always bear in mind that the biggest problems with Dentists and 'business management' are:


1) A lack of time, due to being on the Dental hamster wheel all day every day, leading to...


2) A lack of action on business issues (for a myriad of reasons).


Now, cloud based KPI's and remote measurement of business performance via numbers, in hybrid with the monthly zoom call for action will definitely bring a benefit to the Dentist who is looking to improve. By setting up some KPI's, getting them cloud based accounting software (Xero etc) and giving them a bit of a kick to take some action every now and again is a must. All great stuff - but I'm afraid, that is not enough to bring about positive change within a Dental Practice. It is too easy to politely ignore 'all that stuff' once the call has finished for that month - back to that clinical hamster wheel we jolly well go...


Business and Dental Business in particular, is a people business - it's a relationship game and the relationships that matter, the ones where real trust are built, are those in which face to face contact is a regular thing. This is critically important when supporting Dental Surgeries to initiate positive change. Ask Chris Barrow and Sheila Scott if you doubt me here... They've done OK...


The 'nitty gritty' work of facilitating positive operational change simply cannot be moved forward quickly, positively and proportionally on a remotely monitored basis - it won't work. If I am advising a Practice on how to improve their operations, cloud based systems, accounting apps and embracing technology are always near the top of the list of course, but...


I want to be in their world, feeling how their business runs, getting feedback from their team and customers - face to face - I want to be completely immersed in their operations. This enables me to give bespoke, well balanced and appropriate advice to these guys - I want to be a 'business buddy.' This will also allow me to really feel and become invested in their ethos, strategy (if the have one) and then as a result, be able to incorporate the technology stuff to support those operational changes. Let's remember - some cloudy apps will work better for some than others... let's not force any square pegs into any round holes!


The only way Dentists will take operational action is by someone being there in their Practice on a regular basis, immersed in their business, face to face - supporting them, caring for them and helping them take ownership of their own business and destiny.

Operational change and positive moves forward within the Dental Practice operation, is a relationship business - supported by technology, not the other way around.


Edd.

Edward Jones - Managing Partner at C&E Consult - Helping Dental Practices across the UK, take those steps to success!


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