Tips for training your office manager

As the leader of your front-end team, the office manager at your practice plays an important role in your business. From training an effective staff to managing patient flow and overseeing the day to day operation of the practice, an office manager speaks for you while you’re in the operatory.

Here are a few training tips to help your dental office manager reach their full potential.

A focus on hiring

Even an office manager who has been on the job for many years might not have a lot of experience at hiring new staff. Run through the hiring process from start to finish to make sure you’re on the same page.

  • Writing a solid job posting
  • How to read and sort resumes
  • How to conduct a phone screening
  • Basics of in-person interviews
  • Introducing new hires to their first week on the job

Planning a morning huddle

Patient control starts with getting everyone on the same page at the start of every day. Train your office manager to plan and run a daily morning huddle and you’ll soon notice fewer fires throughout the day.

Topics to be covered can include:

  • Recap and follow-up from previous day
  • Note available emergency times
  • Status of lab cases
  • Identify any potential roadblocks for the day such as payment issues
  • Cover all preop and postop calls that need to be made
  • Recap collection and production goals and progress

It’s a good idea to start and finish each huddle on a positive note. Train your office manager to keep an eye out for team members who go above and beyond so they can be praised in the morning huddle the next day.

Create a protocol for patient complaints

The office manager is typically the person charged with handling patient complaints. Ensure that complaints are handled professionally and consistently by laying out a protocol for dealing with them.

  • While some patient complaints are more valid than others, train your office manager to treat all complaints equally–even when they come from habitual complainers.
  • Hear the patient out. Sometimes a patient only wishes to vent and listening attentively may resolve the issue all by itself.
  • Never negate a patient’s complaint. Be understanding, regardless of the validity of their concern.
  • Whenever possible, try to offer a solution to the patient’s problem. Even the simplest actions can make a patient feel like their complaint has been resolved.
  • Always follow up. A quick phone call to check in works wonders.

Seeing the bigger picture with team building

Many office managers are great at day to day operations but fall short when it comes to building camaraderie and boosting morale. Be sure your office manager understands the importance of team building.

Invest in third-party training

Many self-training modules and programs exist to help your office manager reach their full potential. You may also consider paying for a specialist to boost your office manager’s skills to the next level.