“It was 2008 and my dental practice had become a high-stress environment. Staff were unhappy and morale was low. My wife, a periodontist, and I didn’t know how to respond. We had no job descriptions and no accountability. Somehow the practice had kept growing and as long as it did, we didn’t delve too deeply into the management side.
“But then our growth hit a plateau. We realized it would be worth the effort to learn how to manage the practice. Other dentists had sent us letters recommending Sterling, so we sent away for their free management DVD.
“My wife and I watched the DVD and felt as if the speaker were talking directly to us. We signed up for Sterling’s four-day program which enabled us to check out their facilities, meet the staff and see if they could deliver what was promised. By the end of the four-day program, we were convinced and asked Sterling to come out and help implement their management system.
“Early on, Sterling discovered we had a big problem with one of our staff. This was a staff member whom we valued highly. She did everything from keeping the appointment book full to collections. After we let her go, we discovered files of undone work and collections which she had been hiding from us. The appointment book wasn’t really full and she was so unpleasant and hostile, we could not keep staff under her direction.
“Sterling implemented its hiring protocols which we clearly needed. Using these protocols, we hired five new wonderful staff.
“Now we have job descriptions so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and are accountable. Sterling trained the staff in organizational basics which increased efficiency, and a cash bonus plan helped boost productivity.
“The first year, we had a 30% increase in production and collections. Even better, 2010 was our best year yet.
“The Sterling program taught me how to make a productive and competent team. My staff are more confident and capable and this comes through loud and clear to patients.
“Now I know how to be the CEO of my practice, manage the staff and I am free to do what I like best, helping people with dentistry.”—Stephen Hamelburg, DMD