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3 ways to reduce stress at the workplace: Dental practice edition

November 22nd, 2022 | 5 min. read

3 ways to reduce stress at the workplace: Dental practice edition Blog Feature

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As a leader at your dental practice, you want to reduce stress at the workplace. You want to cultivate a healthy, happy work environment where your team is content at work and has little to zero complaints about their role. It’s every leader’s goal! You want happy employees and peers. 

So how can you reduce stress at the workplace?

Dental ClaimSupport is a trusted dental billing partner that has helped dental teams reduce their stress by providing a clear, accurate, and compliant dental billing process. Years of this work have taught us something important: 

Dentists want everyone at their dental office to feel valued, especially the employees. And when the workplace is stressful, it affects everyone - including your patients’ dental experience.

In this article, we are sharing 3 ways to reduce stress at the workplace. Each of these strategies will help your in-house team feel more at ease in their work environment, leading to a better work performance. This will also lead to an overall happier dental practice that your dental patients will take note of, resulting in high patient retention, and maybe even positive word of mouth. 

1. Promote a healthy work environment at your dental practice

Have you ever worked in a toxic work environment? More often than not, a toxic workplace is a result of poor communication between employees (and leadership), overworked team members, and no room for mistakes. This leads to high-stress levels from your employees, which ends up leading to a poor work performance. 

If this sounds like your dental team, you not only have unhappy employees, but you’re also not getting your best from them.

So, to reduce stress from a poor work environment, you need to promote a happy and healthy one. We’re not saying everyone should be thrilled to come to work every day of the year. Work is work! But your employees should be generally happy and content with their role at your dental practice. 

A happy workplace includes open communication between everyone and proper work-life balance.

Prioritize open communication between the dental team

The best way to prevent toxicity in a workplace is to prioritize good, open communication. When everyone is clear about their intentions, thoughts, and feedback at the dental office, there is less of a chance for any kind of resentment to form.

Related: 5 tips for managing a dental practice for the best staff experience

For example, let’s say someone on your administrative team inputs a patient’s contact information incorrectly into your practice management software, multiple times. Because it’s a recurring mistake, there might need to be an honest conversation to get to the root of why this mistake is happening. 

Does this person need more support in doing this work? Do they feel rushed? Are small details such as someone’s phone number hard for them to notice? 

Questions like this are a great way to communicate with that team member about their mistake productively, without jumping down their throat. We always say to be proactive, not reactive. Find a solution through a conversation, instead of dwelling on the fact that they made a mistake. 

Encourage proper work-life balance

What does encouraging work-life balance mean? It means when you talk to your coworkers, you talk about more than just work. You ask them about their weekend and their life. 

It also means that you don’t expect them to constantly work after hours and never take days off. It can even mean that you expect them to have time to eat their lunch every day. 

Your employees are more than just your employees - they’re people who have lives outside of the dental practice. And if you respect their life outside of work, they won’t be resentful when they come into the dental practice and will perform better. 


2. Create processes for every task at the dental practice 

When there is a step-by-step workflow for every task in the dental office, stress is reduced. This is because any doubt about the accuracy of a completed task is gone! For example, is your process for how to explain your financial agreement with patients a documented standard operating procedure (SOP)?

This means you have a documented process or checklist on how to perform this task so that no stone is left unturned. This also means that if the person typically responsible for said task is out of town - another team member can refer to this process to cover their responsibilities. 

This relates right back to work-life balance. Is each of your employees able to take time off without the entire practice turning upside down?

Related: How to avoid dental office burnout in your practice: 3 tips

If the answer is no, it’s time to write up some SOPs!

Be sure everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities

A great way to reduce stress in the workplace is to have clear roles and responsibilities for everyone. 

You know when you start a job, and the first two or so weeks of it you don’t really know how to begin? It can feel a little stressful, and it can take some time to get into the swing of things. When you don’t have clear roles and responsibilities for your dental team, and tasks are just being passed between those who can make the time - stress occurs. 

Reduce this stress by having clear roles and responsibilities for each of your dental team members. This way everyone knows what they need to do every day to make the practice run smoothly. There isn’t any confusion about what has to be done, and who is doing it. 

3. Outsource your dental billing 

Outsourced dental billing has become the new normal for many dental teams, and it’s because of how much stress it reduces. Both halves of dental billing - patient and insurance - are time-consuming, tedious administrative tasks. 

We’ve seen dental teams divide up dental billing tasks to whoever can make the time - similar to what we mentioned above about clear roles and responsibilities. And because billing is a background task, (as opposed to answering the phone or patient check-in), it’s oftentimes put on the back burner. 

But this can cost your dental practice thousands in unpaid insurance claims or patient balances. Instead of trying your best to get dental billing work done, but never truly having the time to dedicate to it, consider outsourcing the dental billing work.

Let your in-house team focus on patients and running the dental practice

The best part of outsourcing your dental billing is that your in-house team can focus on providing an amazing dental experience for patients. 

Billing work takes a lot of focus because there are so many details to get right. Patient’s insurance number, their procedure codes - even the proper spelling of their first and last name. If this information is incorrect, it will lead to a denied insurance claim which will lead to a payment delay for your practice. 

Instead of being bogged down or stuck in a room handling insurance claims, outsource that work and focus on creating relationships with patients. The way patients are treated from that first phone call to check out can make a huge difference in your patient retention rate. And a pleasant, easy dental experience is invaluable to patients. 

Curious about how outsourcing your dental billing can improve your dental practice?

You now know 3 ways to reduce stress at the workplace. If you apply all three of these strategies, you’re sure to have a happy dental team, a smooth-running dental practice, and even happier dental patients. 

Reducing stress at the dental practice will lead to financial and professional success.

If you’re interested in learning more about how outsourcing your dental billing can improve your dental practice, DCS is a resource for you to explore. Our billers help you deliver an excellent dental experience from start to finish.

To learn more, schedule a call with one of our billing experts. 

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