Faculty Teaching Guide for Dental Office Management
[Insert In-Class Dis Ques icon] In-Class Discussion
The dental office manager handles all business activities involved in running a practice. In a small office, the office manager may wear all the hats: receptionist, appointment secretary, and billing clerk. In a larger practice, the office manager supervises employees who work in the front office and at chairside.
The morning huddle is an opportunity to efficiently share information. It is a chance for members of the dental team to be on the same page as they approach a clinic day. Before clinic starts, the team gathers to set the tone, strategize procedures, discuss specific patient needs, and communicate any last minute changes. Some of the information communicated includes any problems from the previous day, identification of new or special patients, the flexibility of the day’s schedule, important financial information about the day’s patients, and a check on possible marketing opportunities in the day’s schedule.
Vicarious or second-hand liability means that the dentist may be held liable for the action or deed of an employee or independent contractor. In fact, a dentist or dental practice owner may be held liable without having ever met the complaining patient. However, although the dentist is the primary defendant in a malpractice suit or complaint, each member of the dental team has the potential of being held liable.
Most of the time, the telephone is the patient’s primary means of contact with the dental practice. More often that not, a patient’s first impressions are formed through phone contact, which means that professionalism and etiquette are important. A practice should have a telephone system that makes it easy for patients’ calls to get through, and the office manager must choose a phone system that efficiently handles call volume. While front desk personnel must have strategies for managing incoming calls, the office manager can take advantage of the brief time that callers are placed on hold by running pre-recorded messages that market the practice and/or provide helpful information. Communication with emergency patients also is important and the office manager must make sure that the equipment and services that support this communication are reliable.
[Insert Home Ass icon] Homework Assignments
Textbook Assignment. Read pgs. ____ in the textbook.
Oral Charting Flash Cards. Learners are to make flashcards with abbreviations and charting symbols covered in Chapter ____ of the textbook on one side and the answers on the other. They are to use these to prepare for class and to study as needed. Suggest that learners choose flashcard buddies for more effective practice.
Note: If you change Objectives or Assignments, don’t forget to change the slides accordingly.
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