4 Secrets for Making Your DSO a Success

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Centralizing, standardizing, establishing standards and
defining job roles within your DSO can bring stability
— and help your organization deliver better care.

As they grow, many DSOs and group practices find that a lack of  centralized data and processes can stifle operations. Without centralized control, complex practices like these can be hampered by everything from duplicate patient records, siloed data and multiple appointment books to location-specific billing and claims. By centralizing data and processes, all locations can increase efficiencies, deliver better care and act as one cohesive organization to help you achieve greater success.

David Danielson, Dentrix Enterprise Senior Product Manager, and Karina Santos, Henry Schein One Strategic Customer Success Manager and longtime large group expert, covered these and other best practices of successful large DSOs in the webinar “Unpacking the Centralization Secrets of National DSOs.” Here are four secrets of national DSOs that they shared — and actionable tips you can use to help you thrive now and into the future.

1. Centralize your data.

National DSOs live and die by their metrics. They know that accurate, real-time data is critical to running a successful organization. If your practice is larger than three offices, it’s time to upgrade to a shared database, or you’ll remain stuck with inefficient, time-wasting workarounds to capture and benchmark data.

TIP: Let your practice management software (PMS), like Dentrix Enterprise by Henry Schein One, do the heavy lifting. Your PMS should enable you to drill down into your data by location or provider – or see the big picture of your entire organization.

2. Decide on centralized support functions.

You can free up your staff to focus on patients by consolidating certain nonclinical functions. Some functions that national DSOs centralize — and where you can also gain efficiencies — are:

  • Insurance and billing
  • Scheduling/call center
  • Marketing
  • Reporting and analysis
  • IT support

TIP: Create internal teams to handle areas like those mentioned above, or look into outsourcing to third-party vendors, which may be even more cost-effective. A quality PMS like Dentrix Enterprise can effectively enable your centralization of important support functions.

3. Establish SOPs and document them in a learning management system.

Standard operational procedures, or SOPs, are your key to replicating success. They help you apply best practices across your organization by promoting productive and efficient workflows, which then help you scale your organization. SOPs enable you to get accurate data for reporting and perform quality marketing analysis. They can even lead to a happier work environment.

However, SOPs are challenging for many organizations. If they’re not written down, are outdated, no one knows where to find them — or, conversely, they’re notated in excruciating detail in a 200-page manual that no one reads — you may as well not have them.

Your SOPs are a living document that needs to stay up to date. Set a recurring task reminder for your Ops team to revisit SOPs quarterly and update them as necessary. This will help you maintain current procedures as policies change or new locations are acquired.

TIP: Your practice management software can help standardize your SOPs. Start with a pilot office and get procedures and workflows running smoothly. Then, roll them out to the rest of the organization. Dentrix Enterprise can help manage and standardize effective workflows across your practice locations.

4. Define job roles and train by job role/function.

Karina Santos notes that Starbucks can serve an average of 500-750 customers a day with perhaps only four to six employees on each shift. To accomplish this colossal task, every staff member has a well-defined job description and is an expert in their role. You can apply the same principle to your practice. Large organizations can benefit by putting specialists in each role, creating even higher efficiencies and savings.

And don’t forget to continue to invest in training. Train by role, not just for software. And keep providing training opportunities so employees can continuously improve. As you replicate your training, you can replicate success.

TIP: Define the specific tasks someone must accomplish to be successful in that position and turn it into a checklist so employees know how to meet role expectations. Dentrix Enterprise allows you to assign rights and roles in the software so roles and job functions are standardized across your organization. As employees are trained for their role and to use the software effectively, they can become specialists in their skillsets.

By using Dentrix Enterprise at all locations, your DSO can centralize data, consolidate support functions, establish SOPs and standardize job roles. All of these help increase the efficiencies that can increase profitability, helping your organization be successful today and far beyond.

View the free webinar “Unpacking the Centralization Secrets of National DSOs
to learn more about each of these expert tips for success.

And request a Dentrix Enterprise demo to learn how the right enterprise
software can help you centralize and standardize your growing organization.


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