Preparing your practice for your first specialty treatment day requires some advanced planning to ensure a smooth experience.
Here are some topics you and your management team will need to address:
- Patient Selection
- Treatment Planning
The General Dentist is chiefly responsible for diagnosing disease and understanding when and how to refer to the Specialist. Ask your Specialist if you can take some time to talk through indications and contraindications to treatment. Leveling-up your knowledge of specialty diagnosis and procedures will help the consistency of message with the patient.
You should also train your team to screen as it will only help increase your diagnosis rate. Each member of your staff may have an opportunity to identify a need for specialty care. It may be a parent talking about orthodontics-aged children or a patient presenting with or discussing a missing tooth with the hygienist. It’s also valuable to start working with your dental assistants and hygienists to identify clinical and radiographic indications for a referral to the Specialist.
Your staff should also be versed in explaining specialty procedures. Oftentimes patients might ask about the procedure after the General Dentist has left the operatory. It takes a team approach to assist potential patients for referral to the Specialist.
Depending the types of procedures you’ll be referring to the Specialist, certain patient concerns will need to be addressed imminently while others can wait until the Specialist’s treatment day. There may be instances where you’ll still need to refer a specialist to a surgeon locally. Discuss which cases should be referred to the specialist and which should be handled immediately.
After a treatment day, take some time to practice reviewing radiographs with the specialist. This is a great way to get on the same page to calibrate your treatment plans and identify disease.
Since much of a treatment plan can vary by code usage, you’ll also want to do a thorough review of which procedure codes will be reimbursed for each procedure. The team at Pair Dental can help you conduct a UCR Fee Study to determine the fair rate for your area.
A conversation between the treatment coordinator and the specialist is required to calibrate expectations of procedure planning. The Specialist should take the time to communicate costs, procedure details, benefits, and complications so that the treatment coordinator can go in-depth with patients in the absence of the Specialist.
The Specialist is now part of your dental practice team. Consider updating your website and web listings with a profile of the Specialist and new services offered.
Your confidence in the Specialist’s work is of utmost importance and that isn’t something you should just assume they do well. Pair Dental does not clinically review cases or quality of work. Review past treatment cases with the Specialist in your interview with them and make sure you are aligned on standards of care so there are no surprises.
There are many other factors that will help build the Specialist’s schedule, so if your practice is having a difficult time with a particular treatment day, communicate this with our team and the Specialist early, so accommodations and adjustments can be made.
Are you a Dental Practice Owner interested in incorporating Dental Specialty services? Schedule a call with a member of our team to learn more about Pair Dental’s services.