In this episode, Dr. Steven Frost and I sip Monster energy drinks and examine what it truly means to be excellent in the field and what the future holds for the specialty.
We talk about:
- Why Dr. Frost started US Endo Partners
- What value US Endo brings to the larger community
- The importance of of creating a memorable doctor patient experience
- The future of endodontics
Ready to embrace change as an opportunity and learn how to achieve true excellence? Grab a Monster energy drink and join the podcast.
The changing face of endodontics
With over 28 years in endodontics, Steven has witnessed quite a bit of change in the field. From rotary files to microscopes to CBCT, he’s seen it all. According to Steven, embracing change is the key to pursuing excellence in endodontics. From finding new ways to improve the patient experience to finding new ways to improve clinical outcomes, embracing change is how you move from good enough to better.
Incorporating change into your practice
New tools and products aren’t the only way to progress forward. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the way you communicate. Steven added a 60-inch TV in the operatory to create a new way to communicate with patients.
“Old school root canals, it was, hey, we’re going to get you numb and do the root canal,” Steven says. “In this day and age, I think that the patient wants more.”
Steven uses the TV to explain everything that’s going on so that the patient understands that they’re part of the process. It’s all about making a difference in the patient’s life so that they leave with a completely different idea about the root canal specialist and the procedure.
“We actually have this knee-to-knee, shoulder-to-shoulder experience with the patients, and they love it,” he says.
Creating a memorable experience
Steven likes to say that endodontists are in the entertainment business. They entertain patients. For him, that philosophy is integral to improving the patient experience. “It starts from the time the patient calls to when they show up,” he says. “It’s that whole messaging that they really matter. They’re the only ones that matter.”
Steven’s goal is for patients to get up out of the chair and say that it was the best dental experience ever. It all comes down to the communication process and leading the patient through the experience. When you create memorable patient experiences, it will get back to the referring dentist as well.
“Talk about practice builders,” Steven says. “It makes a huge difference in that whole process of cementing the relationship with the dentist and them feeling the credibility to send the patient to you.”
But Steven doesn’t stop there. Everyone on his team aims to create memorable experiences for the general dentists as well. His team sends treats to referring dentists, they text the referring dentist when a patient leaves and provide a post op report, and they strive to understand the expectations of the referring dentists every step of the way.
“Understand the power of delivering on what their expectations are,” Steven says. “We’re the specialists, but we also need to make sure that we’re delivering on what the general dentist wants us to.”
Getting away from good enough
“Good enough is the enemy of excellence,” Steven says.
And excellence is the only way to deliver the best possible care for patients. Even if a new procedure or tool only makes your practice better by 2%, Steven believes you should make that change. An example of this idea in action is Steven recently began taking a cone beam to every patient.
“It’s just amazing the things that I’m seeing that help me diagnose, but also help me to see other things that are maybe not dental related but can impact a patient’s life,” he says.
It’s all part of being focused on better outcomes for patients. Pursuing excellence in your field leads to longevity in your career.
“I need to constantly strive to be better than I was the day before. That has helped sustain me throughout my practice.” — Steve Frost
The future of endodontics
Steven started US Endo Partners because he believes that the future of endodontics lies in collaboration and cooperation. “In the past, we felt like we were in competition with each other, but US Endo is breaking down that barrier,” he says. “The guy down the street is our future partner.” Steven sees a world where endodontists share best clinical practices with each other, where everyone is connecting all the dots and everyone is improving together. “We are making huge strides and pursuing clinical excellence together which makes us stronger,” he says.
Within this new paradigm, everyone wins. Practicing endodontists learn cutting-edge practices for treating their patients, patients receive the best care possible, and residents and new clinicians enter a field where they are given every opportunity to learn and succeed.
“The endodontists down the street are your future partners. They are not your competition. That perspective is the future of our specialty.” — Steve Frost
That’s the real power behind this new way to approach an idea of community in endodontics.
Imagine a world where this process of working together and sharing best clinical practices helps young doctors become experts in a short period of time, a world where they are empowered and encouraged to break down barriers with one focus in mind: better outcomes for their patients.
What a world that would be.
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