Guest Speakers Spark Action
Left to right: Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor of Dental Economics magazine; Mark Sanborn, Author of Encore Effect; Dr. Mark Hodge, Invisalign Elite Provider
Think of the last music concert you viewed—either in person, on television, or even through a podcast. Remember the exhilaration you felt as the band played its last song, left the stage and then returned to play another favorite, as the crowd erupted into even louder applause. The same feelings of rejuvenation, rushing adrenalin and high expectations are alive at Heartland Dental Care and producing the encore effect.
The mindset carried by doctors and team members is producing a higher level of patient care. How does this happen? In this case, it was education that lit the spark.
Doctors gathered for Heartland’s annual meeting this past December and were excited about the full lineup of guest speakers. Among them was Dr. Joe Blaes, editor of Dental Economics; author Mark Sanborn; and Dr. Mark Hodge, a dentist designated as an “Elite Provider” by Invisalign due to the number of patients he has treated. All three speakers unknowingly produced the one-two punch.
Dr. Blaes, responsible for the complete repositioning of Dental Economics as the premier dental practice management magazine in the industry, spoke to the group about “Dental Pearls for Your Practice.” Dr. Blaes’ experience gave the group insight into innovative materials, techniques and technologies.
Sanborn, a best-selling author of seven leadership books including Encore Effect, challenged the group of doctors to become distinctive. He said today’s best practices were out the window; what mattered were "better practices" and "next practices."
Sanborn encouraged the group to discover the what, how, why and who of their true passions and to live by their mission. Using the analogy of our favorite band in concert, it was music with which they could sing along. It made sense; it sparked rejuvenation, which led to action on the leadership front and overflowed into clinical action.
With the internal passion lit, Dr. Hodge tapped into the doctors’ passion for providing lifetime care to their patients, the main reason that most have remained in dentistry. With the lifetime care premise, Dr. Hodge explained that the underlying reasons for Invisalign lay more in function than cosmetics. Yes, straightened teeth may look better, but dentists are in the business of making teeth function better. An aligned bite is a functional one.
Dr. Hodge also introduced doctors to a series of patient education hand gestures that he refers to as digital software. This form of patient education is valuable in the acceptance of dental treatment.
This encore-effect moment left doctors thirsting for more details on how to share this “software” with their team members and implement this care in their offices. In response to that need, Dr. Hodge partnered with other Heartland leaders to develop a program designed specifically to help doctors and teams move forward to put their passion into action. Accelerate!—as the program is known—attracted doctors and teams companywide to seminars held throughout the first quarter of 2011. The effects of Accelerate! are life changing for patients and have reignited doctors’ passion for dentistry.
To complement the momentum started by Accelerate!, study clubs and group forums will serve as a format for continuing education, overcoming objections and working through situations doctors may encounter. Like the crowd that wants the band to continue playing, Heartland doctors are having encore moments, which produce encore effects for their patients. With a playlist like this, it makes one wonder what the next song will be.