AIM Dental Marketing

AIM Marketing

Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke.

Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke.

If you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

In his book Good To Great, author Jim Collins explains that “Good is the enemy of great.” It is all too easy for us to grow complacent with things that seem ‘good enough.’ The consequences of this can range from a loss of market share to business failure. This has always been true, but never more so than it is today. Why? Because technology advances at an ever increasing rate, which means the period of time from ‘new and different’ to ‘old and boring’ shrinks with each passing year.

This is not to say that such mainstays as valuable customer service and attention to the needs of your patients are no longer important. On the contrary, they are more important than ever. That’s because a consequence of this increased rate of technological advance is a higher standard of care when it comes to “customer service.” In other words, if you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

Another way to help ensure practice growth is to increase your willingness and ability to understand what motivates members of the demographic group known as Generation Y, and adapt your communications and compensation accordingly. This group, raised on the Internet, is better educated, less brand loyal and more focused on quality and speed of delivery. This spells both opportunity and challenge for your team management and motivation skills.

Our company is committed to what we term “I.C.A.N.” that is, Improvement that’s Continuous And Never-ending. A poignant example of this is in our work with social media for dentists. At this time, ‘the rules of the game’ and what constitutes an optimum social media presence are changing at an astounding rate. Case In Point: I was invited in September, 2010 to make a presentation to a group 4 months later on social media strategies and nearly drove myself crazy reworking the presentation to ensure it was ‘current.’

While the pace of change required to remain in the vanguard of dental patient service may not be quite that great, I do suggest as a worthwhile investment of time adding a “What’s New” section to your team meetings. You and your team then have an opportunity to share updates and suggestions on how to improve the patient experience in your practice. And do not think that, once you’ve implemented a change, you are stuck with it. Experimentation is a key ingredient of improvement and that elusive goal called perfection. Just be sure to give each (hoped for) enhancement a fair chance to demonstrate its value. If ninety nine people love it, and one doesn’t, remember not to set or change policy on the exception, but rather, on the rule.

Lead or Be Left Behind


What this means for your practice is to be ever on the lookout for better ways of doing and packaging what you do. You need not be an ‘early adopter’ of technology. From your patient’s perspective, offering the ‘latest and greatest’ will probably not warrant the premium price you are likely to pay, as well as the ‘growing pains’ you’ll likely encounter, by being by the first to adopt a new technology. But you can and should keep yourself apprised of shifts in the preferences of your target audience(s). For example, are you communicating with current and prospective patients in ways in which they wish to be communicated? Is your service offering consistent with what patients value?

On the ‘back office’ side, are you learning about ways to reduce your cost of practice while maintaining high standards and perceptions of quality? Submission of online dental patient forms is an excellent way to simultaneously reduce the time and effort involved with enrolling new patients while providing a valuable benefit to your patients.

How To Know

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to keep up with what your patients want is through the use of surveys. These can be mailed or distributed by your team to your patients, but why not save time and money, while simultaneously offering another technology-based convenience to your patients, namely, emailed and online patient surveys?

AIM MarketingMarketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke.
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Dental Hygienists play a key role in delivering Third Era patient care

Dental Hygienists play a key role in delivering Third Era patient care

By Charles Whitney, MD and Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow, MBA

Dental hygienists are uniquely positioned to improve the health of America. Physicians (as well as dentists) need your help! Here’s a program that’s proven to improve, not only the health of patients, but also the financial health of your practice.

Periodontal infection, whether or not inflammation is present, has been associated with many systemic diseases including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, stillbirth, preterm labor, and high blood pressure. Until insulin resistance is addressed and treated, it is difficult to eradicate this infection.

Insulin resistance raises blood sugar and, eventually, causes diabetes. Evidence suggests that a skilled hygienist can administer expert therapy and yet, unless glucose metabolism is normalized, be unable to eliminate infection and inflammation.

Dietary and other health choices leading to obesity and pre-obesity are the main causes of most insulin resistance. In fact, they are the mother and father of many preventable systemic diseases.

The obesity epidemic is the reason the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that our children’s generation will have a shorter life expectancy than our own!

Curing obesity can cure insulin resistance and prevent diabetes. Doing so also leads to greater success with eradicating periodontal infection and inflammation.

Physicians continue, by and large, to react to diseases by prescribing medication for high blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, many have already lost up to 50% of their insulin producing beta cells.

The medical community remains ineffective at treating insulin resistance because most physicians lack the time and ability to effectively treat obesity. 79% of primary care physicians have never been trained to counsel a patient about obesity. We simply tell them to eat less and move more. Of equal concern, the ‘O word’ has become a taboo subject to broach with many patients.

Fortunately, it is a simple matter to acquire the verbal skills to incorporate this conversation into your patient treatment protocol.

The Third Era of Medicine

The first era of medicine ended when we effectively controlled infectious diseases with antibiotics, immunizations, and improved public health.

Regrettably, most in the medical profession remain trapped in the second era of medicine, where the focus remains on reacting to disease, and only after end-stage symptoms (ranging from bleeding on probing to a cardiac event) has already manifested.

This second era approach in the presence of the disease-causing obesity epidemic is literally bankrupting our health care system, and bankrupting our economy!

It is incumbent upon all health professionals to move into the third era of medicine where the focus is on creating health, not just reacting to poor health. Curing obesity and teaching our patients the habits of health to maintain a healthy weight, leads to a happy and appreciative patient, and one who not only makes a positive contribution to the productivity of our society, serves as a ‘walking billboard’ for the practice that helped them succeed at achieving optimal health.

Create a Third Era Dental Practice

We are all health professionals. Accordingly, we ought to treat the whole person, not just a designated body part! A passionate dental hygienist is positioned perfectly to be the point person to champion this third era oral-systemic practice mindset, to the benefit of your patients, your practice, and society.

An effective oral-systemic practice need not be a financial loss leader. On the contrary, it can create a healthy revenue stream for all involved by offering a professional coaching service to those of your patients, as well as prospective patients, who want to create health in their lives.

In November 2011 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that, when a person possesses both a learning tool for achieving a healthy lifestyle and a health coach to work with and support them, they are significantly more likely to maintain long-term weight loss than those provided with only the learning tool. Yet, even with the benefit of a coach, those patients with class II obesity were only able to lose an average of 10 pounds after two years.

Dr. Wayne Andersen intuitively understood this information 12 years ago when he left a lucrative job at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. He created an effective coaching, and best in class learning system he calls The Habits of Health. He knew studies showed that people who use a portion controlled meal replacement (PCMR) program succeeded at losing weight. However, 85% of these people regained the weight they lost because they returned to the habits of disease that led to their original weight gain.

Dr. Andersen added safety studies and his coaching and learning programs to the PCMR, and created a comprehensive optimal health program. Individuals and practices can easily implement it at virtually no cost (the client merely shifts their grocery budget from one basket of food to another). Health professionals coach as little or much as they want, typically assigning the responsibility for coaching to the hygiene department.

Imagine the reaction of a physician when he or she discovers that their patient has successfully created health thanks to the assistance of their dental practice and team! It serves as a powerful force driving collaboration among the dental and medical professions that can only result in further improved patient outcomes.

Your patients and our country need your help. To learn more about the Third Era Model is grassroots effort to carry America into the third era of medicine today.

To learn more about the third era of healthcare send an email to DBobrow@OralSystemicHealth.com

AIM MarketingDental Hygienists play a key role in delivering Third Era patient care
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What’s In A Name? 10 Questions to ask when naming your dental practice

If you are in the process of naming your dental practice, Daniel Bobrow advises that you ask and answer these 10 questions before you commit to a name.

By Daniel A. Bobrow, MBA

If you are in the process of naming your dental practice, here are 10 questions to ask and answer before you commit to that name.

  • Is it meaningful? Does it communicate something about the essence of the brand and support the image you want to convey?
  • Is it distinctive? Is the name unique, easy to remember, pronounce, and spell?
  • Is it future-oriented? Does the name position your practice for growth?
  • Do you like how it looks? How does the name look as a visual signifier?
  • Does it portray strength and energy? How vital and full of life is it? Does it have “buzz”? Can it carry an ad campaign on its shoulders? Is it a force to be reckoned with?
  • Is it positive? Does it have a positive connotation?
  • Does it have warmth? A measure of a name’s humanity is its “warmth.” Avoid names that are cold, clinical, and unemotional.
  • Does it support your positioning? How relevant is the name to the positioning of your practice? Further, how many relevant messages does the name map to?
  • How does it sound? And, equally important, how easily is it spoken?
  • Is it protectable? Can it be owned?

Author bio
Daniel A. (Danny) Bobrow, MBA, is president of AIM Dental Marketing® (formerly American Dental Marketing). He is also executive director of Climb for a Cause™ and The Smile Tree™. He may be reached at 1-800-723-6523 or DBobrow@AIMDentalMarketing.com.

AIM MarketingWhat’s In A Name? 10 Questions to ask when naming your dental practice
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Oral Systemic Practice Update – Validating the Oral Systemic Health Connection

Oral Systemic Practice Update – Validating the Oral Systemic Health Connection

How does one go about becoming familiar with an avenue of health improvement that we have in the past paid little or no attention to, at least on a professional level, yet has major impact on our patient’s oral health? I am referring to the nutritional status of your patients and the implications it has on their general health. The central question is whether or not there is adequate validity in the quantification of our nutritional status as a measure of our health to apply it to our patients.

To find out more, read the full article: Validating the Oral Systemic Health Connection.

AIM MarketingOral Systemic Practice Update – Validating the Oral Systemic Health Connection
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Oral Systemic Practice Update – Early Childhood Cares

Oral Systemic Practice Update – Early Childhood Cares

Did you know that among young children, the most common chronic illness isn’t diabetes or even asthma? It is early childhood caries (ECC)–chronic tooth decay. And it doesn’t just edge out those other diseases for the number one position. ECC affects more than five times as many children as asthma. Of course, this isn’t just about early childhood caries. Oral health is about the associated oral systemic linkages (ie, periodontitis and DM, premature labor, CVD, and aspiration pneumonia, to name a few) as well as recognition of oral lesions, including the early detection of cancer.

To find out more, read the full article: Answering the Call: Joining the Fight for Oral Health.

AIM MarketingOral Systemic Practice Update – Early Childhood Cares
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Oral Systemic Practice Update – Diabetes

Oral Systemic Practice Update – Diabetes

“The relationship between diabetes and periodontitis has been well established. As other variables, such as obesity, are introduced into the equation this relationship becomes more dynamic and complex. In this excellent review, Dr. Ryder highlights some key aspects and definitions in this area. Because new information is constantly surfacing, clinicians need to stay current on the scientific literature to be able to provide optimal care. As the epidemic of obesity and diabetes escalates, so will the role of the dental clinician in overall patient care,” Dr. Peter Cabrera, Team Lead (DentalProductsReport.com).

Please read the full article for more information: Diabetes and the Periodontal Patient: What You Should Know About the Relationship Between These Two Conditions.

AIM MarketingOral Systemic Practice Update – Diabetes
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Oral Systemic Practice Update

Oral Systemic Practice Update

Dental Profession Needs to Build a Stronger Connection Between Oral and General Health

The dental profession needs to build a stronger connection between oral health and general health–not only for individual patients, but also at the community level, according to the special June issue of The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice (JEBDP), the foremost publication of information about evidence-based dental practice, published by Elsevier.

The special issue follows the usual format of JEBDP, comprising expert reviews and analyses of the scientific evidence on specific dental procedures. “Yet the coverage goes beyond a review of specific clinical interventions to broader ones that address prevention on a community basis,” according to an introductory guest editorial by Robert J. Collins, DMD, MPH, of University of Pennsylvania.

To find out more, read the full article – Dental Profession Needs to Build a Stronger Connection Between Oral and General Health.

AIM MarketingOral Systemic Practice Update
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Oral Systemic Marketing Plan

Oral Systemic Marketing Plan

If You’re Ready To Ramp Up Your Oral Systemic Practice… If so…
Click here to order your Oral Systemic Marketing Plan
(Be sure to enter promo code: FREEOSP
Promo code is case sensitive).

NOTE: A credit card is required to order the free service but no charge will be applied and your information will not be retained.

  • You will then receive a link to the Practice Situation Assessment referenced in the video above, which must be completed within 3 days.
  • The Shopping Cart requires entry of valid credit card information – no charge will be applied and your information will not be retained.
  • Upon receipt of your completed Assessment, you will receive a telephone call to arrange delivery of your Service.

Thank you for your interest in ADM’s Acclaimed Oral Systemic Marketing Plan Service!

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New (to me) Organization Worth Watching

I recently became aware of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. One of many indications of why this is an important organization to know about is their most recent blog post which directly addresses the links between oral and overall health, and the fact that THE number one illness among children is Early Childhood Caries (ECC). By comparison, asthma afflicts 1/5 as many children.

I urge you to subscribe to their free journal.

AIM MarketingNew (to me) Organization Worth Watching
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Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke

Marketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke

If you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

In his book Good To Great, author Jim Collins explains that “Good is the enemy of great.” It is all too easy for us to grow complacent with things that seem ‘good enough.’ The consequences of this can range from a loss of market share to business failure. This has always been true, but never more so than it is today. Why? Because technology advances at an ever increasing rate, which means the period of time from ‘new and different’ to ‘old and boring’ shrinks with each passing year.

This is not to say that such mainstays as valuable customer service and attention to the needs of your patients are no longer important. On the contrary, they are more important than ever. That’s because a consequence of this increased rate of technological advance is a higher standard of care when it comes to “customer service.” In other words, if you think your current level of attention to the needs of your patients, both current and prospective is ‘good enough,’ think again.

Another way to help ensure practice growth is to increase your willingness and ability to understand what motivates members of the demographic group known as Generation Y, and adapt your communications and compensation accordingly. This group, raised on the Internet, is better educated, less brand loyal and more focused on quality and speed of delivery. This spells both opportunity and challenge for your team management and motivation skills.

Our company is committed to what we term “I.C.A.N.” that is, Improvement that’s Continuous And Never-ending. A poignant example of this is in our work with social media for dentists. At this time, ‘the rules of the game’ and what constitutes an optimum social media presence are changing at an astounding rate. Case In Point: I was invited in September, 2010 to make a presentation to a group 4 months later on social media strategies and nearly drove myself crazy reworking the presentation to ensure it was ‘current.’

While the pace of change required to remain in the vanguard of dental patient service may not be quite that great, I do suggest as a worthwhile investment of time adding a “What’s New” section to your team meetings. You and your team then have an opportunity to share updates and suggestions on how to improve the patient experience in your practice. And do not think that, once you’ve implemented a change, you are stuck with it. Experimentation is a key ingredient of improvement and that elusive goal called perfection. Just be sure to give each (hoped for) enhancement a fair chance to demonstrate its value. If ninety nine people love it, and one doesn’t, remember not to set or change policy on the exception, but rather, on the rule.

Lead or Be Left Behind


What this means for your practice is to be ever on the lookout for better ways of doing and packaging what you do. You need not be an ‘early adopter’ of technology. From your patient’s perspective, offering the ‘latest and greatest’ will probably not warrant the premium price you are likely to pay, as well as the ‘growing pains’ you’ll likely encounter, by being by the first to adopt a new technology. But you can and should keep yourself apprised of shifts in the preferences of your target audience(s). For example, are you communicating with current and prospective patients in ways in which they wish to be communicated? Is your service offering consistent with what patients value?

On the ‘back office’ side, are you learning about ways to reduce your cost of practice while maintaining high standards and perceptions of quality? Submission of online dental patient forms is an excellent way to simultaneously reduce the time and effort involved with enrolling new patients while providing a valuable benefit to your patients.

How To Know

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to keep up with what your patients want is through the use of surveys. These can be mailed or distributed by your team to your patients, but why not save time and money, while simultaneously offering another technology-based convenience to your patients, namely, emailed and online patient surveys?

AIM MarketingMarketing Insider: On the Importance of Fixing It Even If It Ain’t Broke
read more