Connie Hopper, from DPAS, speaks to Practice Manager Andrea Korn about moving plan provider and making changes by investing in their practice…
‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ is a well-worn cliché. But, the reason for that is probably because it has more than a ring of truth to it. When you’re trying to attract and retain patients, their first impression is often your practice – the exterior of the building, the appearance of the reception area and waiting room, etc.
The team at 740 Dental in Bournemouth understand this and after changing their plan provider to DPAS, they took the opportunity to make a difference to their 35-year-old practice and invest in upgrading the building. I spoke to their practice manager Andrea Korn to find out more about their move to DPAS and the improvements they have made since then.
Connie Hopper (CH): Why did you choose to leave your existing plan provider?
Andrea Korn (AK): We had been with them for 10 years but we felt their fees were just too expensive and we knew we could make substantial savings by joining DPAS.
We also wanted to have more control and flexibility over the types of plans we offer. With our previous plan provider, we didn’t feel able to offer the variety of plans that we wanted to and it was branded to them. We wanted to offer 740 Dental plans and build up our brand, as well as increase the types of plans available to our patients.
CH: What changes to the practice did you introduce after joining DPAS?
AK: We joined DPAS in 2010 and that year we also invested heavily into the appearance of the practice to make it more modern and streamlined. The practice has been there since 1983, so it was time for an upgrade to align it with the brand we are today.
We also renovated the reception area, added a new frontage and a new roof in the same year as moving provider. Since then we have also created a new treatment coordinator (TCO) area and transformed the third floor from offices into a new staff room/boardroom.
CH: How have your patients reacted to the investments you’ve made?
AK: The improvements have all been about enhancing the patient experience and they really like the modern, up-to-date aesthetics of the practice. When the big improvements were made to the frontage and reception, the practice held an event and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony, so it was something that was really celebrated.
CH: The TCO area is a relatively new addition; can you tell me more about why you wanted to introduce that service?
AK: We do a lot of Invisalign, implants and cosmetic services, so we wanted to introduce the TCO service to manage the pre and post-consultations, deal with the financial aspect of the treatments, and add some value to the patient journey. Patients really feel they are receiving special service and it also frees up the dentists’ time to concentrate on clinical work.
The TCO service has been officially active since May 2017, and it has been going so well that we decided to create a specific area for them to see patients which we did in March this year.
CH: What is the focus for the practice for the future?
AK: We will continue evolving the TCO role to include more Invisalign scan consultations, and we’re also going to work closely with you to look at our marketing to increase the number of patients we have on plan.
The practice has really been going from strength to strength and we’re in a really good position, so we want to build on that and increase the stability and steady income we receive from plan patients.
CH: Sounds fantastic, thanks for sharing your story and I’ll be coming to see you soon to discuss those exciting plans!
About Andrea Korn
Andrea has been the Practice Manager at 740 Dental since 2015. She qualified as a dental nurse from Eastman Dental School and worked in a variety of NHS and private practices. Before joining 740 Dental she also worked as a multi-site manager and compliance manager for a corporate group.