What are the responsibilities of an office manager in a dental office?
Prerequisite: Since different offices use different titles to mean different roles, read our article about “Roles And Responsibilities of Staff in a Dental Office” for a common terminology in terms of what we mean by each title in this article.
In this article, we describe the responsibilities of an office manager in more detail. These tasks are what a dedicated office manager is responsible for and doesn’t include what she/he might take on from other roles due to consolidation of various roles. If you are consolidating roles, make sure to follow the recommended guidelines mentioned in the previous article.
Who is the Office Manager in a Dental Office?
The office manager is the person who is ultimately responsible for managing the staff and the business. She/he is the person who represents the business owner and is the one who has to ensure that the office is operating efficiently while being properly staffed. The office manager is also responsible for hiring and terminating employees while leading the team, ensuring the happiness and success of the team members as a part of the company and business.
The above is the general role of an office manager in a dental office; however, it’s important to know how the above role translates into day to day responsibilities and tasks of an office manager. This is essential particularly because you, the business owner, also need to be able to effectively evaluate and manage your office manager and help him/her grow.
Primary Tasks of the Office Manager
Knowing exactly what tasks fall under the responsibilities of an office manager is important and will help reduce conflicts in a dental office. If the managing doctor or business owner is not clear about the tasks, it will cause certain tasks to be missed or not properly and regularly performed because a task then may not have an “owner”.
The following list enumerates the tasks that are most common and important. Keep in mind that depending on the office, the list might include other tasks as a result of consolidation of different roles. In some offices, some of these tasks are being done by the owner dentist him/herself.
Work with the business owner to define “success”
As with any other business, a dental office needs to be able to measure “success”. This can be different for different offices. In business terms, success can be defined as “Key Performance Indicators or KPIs”.
It’s important for a dental office to have defined KPIs to be able to measure if the office is performing as it should be. KPIs can be any combination of the following metrics:
- Collection ratio
- Number of appointments
- Number of new patients
- Number of active recare patients
- Acceptance rate
- Patient churn
- Visibility on social media
The office manager should define the KPIs in a dental office by working with the business owner to select the metrics and the goal for each metric. The KPIs and KPI-targets need to be revised as often as needed (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually) to reflect the updated conditions of an office.
Create, prioritize, assign and monitor tasks for other staff
Once the KPIs and their targets are defined, the main responsibility of an office manager is to map those KPIs into tasks for the office staff. In other words, she is the one who decides what tasks with what priority need to be done so that the business hits the chosen KPI targets.
For example, your office manager is the one who decides if the receptionist(s) should focus on calling patients to fill the schedule, or should be calling insurance companies instead at any given time. The office manager also creates criterias to empower other staff in deciding what to do while at any point during the day, while monitoring it all closely to ensure the tasks are actually getting done.
The office manager should also monitor the quality of the work being done by other staff. For example, if the task is to call 50 patients and book their recare appointments, how many of the 50 actually booked their appointment. As you can imagine, calling the 50 patients without booking any appointment can demonstrate the need for proper training potentially or change in strategy overall.
The office manager should consistently monitor this loop to make sure that all tasks are completed with quality in mind at all times.
Hirings and terminations
As the office manager is the person who works closely with other team members, she/he is the one who can determine if the office is short staffed or overstaffed. She/he can also see if adjustments need to be made in staffing due to performance for instance or other potential issues. As a result of that, she/he is also the one who is primarily responsible to find new hires (either directly or through working with internal and external recruiters).
Helping and supporting other staff
This ranges from giving them training, helping out with their responsibilities (when the office is short-staffed) or representing their interest in conversations with the business owner. Being a leader is only possible if the office manager helps the staff grow in their roles and careers.
Artificial Intelligence for helping the office manager
The continuous nature of the tasks that the office manager is responsible for in a dental office makes it a full-time job. A great office manager should constantly monitor the KPIs, create and assigns tasks while monitoring the quality of the performances as well. Traditionally there are no tools that can help an office manager with his/her tasks. That’s only until now.
2Dental has created an artificial intelligence that can help with the responsibilities of an office manager. 2Dental can automatically create tasks, prioritize and assign it to the staff and monitor that they are done with quality. It can monitor the staff performance and provide recommendations on how to improve performance too. 2Dental uses the learnings of running high performance dental offices and is designed to help office managers greatly.
2Dental’s AI can create tasks such as contacting patients to book for recall (or treatment), collecting insurance information, appointment confirmation and many more, and furthermore, assign it to the right staff member(s). It can also ensure that all tasks are done while monitoring the quality of the tasks that are marked as done by staff members. For example, it can monitor that out of 100 calls that were made to patients on a specific day by a specific team member, how many of the calls led to actual appointments. This will help the office manager (or the business owner) to determine if a particular staff member needs more training on how to talk to patients for instance.
2Dental is designed in a such a way to be a great help in larger offices in reducing the workload of the office manager to a manageable level. It can also help the managing/owner dentist of smaller offices in consolidating the role of an office manager between the AI-system and other roles to reduce the overhead.
Visit www.twodental.com for a demo to see how 2Dental can help your office be more efficient while reducing overhead.