What would we do without our dental practice office manager? Quite frankly, our dental practice would likely be falling apart! Office managers do so much to keep our team members and patients happy and our office organized. It takes special skills to do what they do, and that’s not lost on us.
To all the office managers: You are so appreciated and needed. Thank you for all that you do for us and our patients. Our lives would be so chaotic without you!
In honor of Office Manager Appreciation Month, here’s a blog detailing what office managers do and why they are essential to dental practices.
The Role of a Dental Office Manager
To explain what a dental office manager does, we typically say that dentists deal with the patients and the office manager does everything else. Here are five ways that dental office managers keep our offices running efficiently and successfully:
1. Know and Understand Insurance
Explaining fees, payment options, claim denials, and benefits to patients fall under the office manager’s responsibilities. They also spend their time filing accurate claims for reimbursement, negotiating fees, and researching the advantages and disadvantages of staying in-network. No one in the office is more educated on insurance than the office manager, which means he or she is always busy talking with patients and insurance companies in addition to their other tasks.
2. Ordering for the Office
There’s no end to the restocking of a dentist’s office. From toilet paper to staplers to scalers to toothbrushes, the office manager is typically in charge of keeping us stocked with everything we need to do our jobs and make our patients happy and comfortable.
Filling out forms related to hiring, payroll, and more also falls on the office manager. Once filled out, they must be filed appropriately. These tasks are not typically something most people would sign up for, but our office managers do them so well and we are so grateful!
4. Run and Organize Team Meetings
Team meetings aren’t always known for being fun, but they can be productive! Office managers know that their team’s time is valuable, but they also keep track of where the team can improve.
During these meetings, the office manager keeps the rest of the team up-to-date on the latest office improvements and policies along with addressing any issues that need to be discussed. These meeting may also include team-building exercises that boost morale, enhances communication, and keeps team members motivated.
5. Improve the Overall Office Experience
Great dental office managers benefit the whole office and the patient experience. Dentists, hygienists, and the rest of the dental team often reflect the attitude of the office manager. Thankfully, they are known for being positive, warm, and supportive! This environment creates an excellent patient experience.
Wonderful Office Manager Qualities and Skills
So, what does it take to be a great office manager? These priceless team members often have a certain set of qualities and skills.
The key to any successful relationship and business is communication. Dental office managers are constantly making phone calls, writing emails, and communicating with their team members. Communicating clearly with tact and grace is essential to making patients and team members feel heard and important.
Customer Service Skills
Though we don’t like to think of our patients as “customers,” having customer service skills is essential for anyone working in the healthcare industry. Great office managers have these skills and enjoy creating a welcoming office environment and helping patients achieve their oral health goals.
Managing a dental practice and team requires strong leadership skills, such as:
- Resolving conflict
- Enforcing rules and regulations
- Setting an example for other team members
- Hiring and training
- Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team members
Without organization, any business will become chaotic. It’s essential that a dental office manager has great organization skills to handle all the patient records, receipts, budget reports, insurance forms, and more. We’re grateful for an office manager who keeps things in order!
Every day brings new challenges, and dental office managers must be prepared for them. This was never more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Office managers had to be flexible and adaptable in ways we could have never predicted.
Other common changes they may need to adapt to include new technologies, industry regulations, and new insurance policies. Whatever comes their way, our office managers handle new situations and challenges with grace.
To Our Office Manager: THANK YOU!
We can’t express our gratitude enough. You deserve all the flowers, thank you cards, and chocolate in the world. We appreciate you and our patients appreciate you more than you know.
Want to meet our wonderful office manager? Schedule an appointment at our friendly, welcoming office today!