Sidekick - Autumn 2010 - (Page 24)

Creating Your Customized Continuing Education Plan By John C. Cranham DDS Although the number of continuing education (CE) options for the general dentist is ever expanding, choosing the best option for the growth of your practice continues to be a challenge. Knowing whether you should attend a one-day lecture, a weekend hands-on course, a live patient experience, or do your expanded training via the worldwide Web, is a difficult decision. The price of dental CE courses is not getting any cheaper—and the real cost is the time away from the practice. Learning to align the best educational experience with your particular practice dynamic is critical if you want to experience an optimum return on investment. A plan for CE implementation in a practice has to begin with finding the best possible content for what you are trying to accomplish, align it with your schedule, and then create a budget over time that is affordable. Be very clear about what the desired outcome for what the additional training will do for the practice. Training should accomplish one of three goals: 1. Add additional professional services to the practice. Last month we described the process of implementing surgical implant procedures into a general practice. This additional training comes at a considerable expense, but there is a direct return on the investment that is measurable. At the Dawson Academy, we train dentists on how to predictably do more complex restorative and interdisciplinary cases. Again, training with us should create a measurable increase in the productivity of the practice. 2. Increase the efficiency of current procedures. Good CE should not only train the team on expanding the number of services a practice provides, but also how to do the procedures efficiently. This goes way beyond what the dentist has to do. Getting the front desk to work with the dental assistants to schedule appropriately and making sure the treatment room has everything ready for the procedure is critical. Efficiency is also easy to measure, as more procedures will be completed during the course of a day. 3. Increasing the quality and predictability of current procedures. What is more difficult to measure is CE that increases the quality and predictability of the procedures you are currently doing. This will increase profitability over time with a decrease in remakes and fewer unnecessary emergencies. It will also increase your own personal satisfaction for the services you provide and allow you to realize a higher net income with fewer hours worked. This has been a cornerstone in the teachings of Dr. Peter Dawson for the last 30 years. The Problem With CE in Most Dental Practices In the vast majority of dental practices, continuing education is an afterthought. A time and financial budget is never created, so CE is considered whenever it is convenient. When a brochure comes across the front desk, if it seems interesting, and the day is open, the course gets scheduled. The problem is that there is a guaranteed lack of congruency from one course to another. Some may actually contradict one another. This leaves the dental team confused, with a great deal of difficulty implementing what they have learned. Continuing education needs to be an extension of a practice’s big picture. The leader first needs to decide the niche of the practice, get the team aboard, and look for courses that will expand their services, increase efficiency, and increase quality/predictability. It is also strongly recommended to find an approach to dentistry that suits the practice—and stick with it. This leads to a clear approach that can be understood and easily implemented by the team. The Best Way to Implement CE One of the greatest challenges in a dental practice is the implementation of high-tech equipment into the practice. This requires a thorough understanding of the equipment as well as necessary training that will be required to perform the procedures. All too often, the technology is purchased without a clear-cut plan for where it will fit in the practice. A great example of this is the implementation of a chairside CAD/CAM system into a general practice. We have been involved with the E4D® system since its inception. I can tell you from experience that the more complicated the technology, the more important a well-defined plan will be to the practice. If the parameters of your practice are not clearly defined prior to the purchase, the impact of an exciting new purchase can quickly throw the practice into chaos. It is far better to clarify who you are; get the team to understand how the new SIDEKICK 24 Autumn 2010 Sidekick

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sidekick - Autumn 2010

Sidekick - Autumn 2010
Table of Contents
Arkansas Family Dentistry Drs. Tina Nichols and Samaria Mascagni
The Voice of Experience
Creating Your Customized Continuing Education Plan
Career Article
Social Media for Dentists
Quarterly Featured Designs
The Center for Pediatric Dentistry University of Washington Joel Berg DDS, MS–Director
CBCT–A Clear Perspective on Implant Options
Sitting Shouldn’t Have to be a Job
Pelton & Crane Opens the Dr. Richard Pelton Showroom and Training Center in Beaverton, Oregon
Everyday Dentistry
3D–Dawning a New Day for Dentistry
Social Media Checklist
East Pointe Trails Dental Centre Dr. Edward MacMurdo
Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions Partners With The Snyder Group

Sidekick - Autumn 2010

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