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  • Michelle Shimmin

Business Changes in Orthodontics


If change is not implemented in the correct manner, the impact upon the business can be devastating. Some staff may decide to leave as they do not agree with what is be implemented and that leaves you trying to provide the same level of care, while putting added pressure on the remaining staff. Communication is key to help reduce barriers. For any change strategy to achieve its goal, every member of the team must be constantly communicating. If someone asks, “Why do we need to do this?”, you or the office manager must be able to give them a valid answer. Change normally affects both a business’s internal and external environments. Internally staff may feel that they have been left out of the loop and are just being told that they must accept the change. Externally, new processes, promotions, virtual exams, etc … may have an impact the staff may not be prepared for.

There are a number of barriers to successful change – both in terms of actually implementing the change and sustaining it. Employees must be able to flourish within an ever-changing environment to allow them to contribute to the practice’s success. 9 main barriers to successful change are listed below:

1. Not enough understanding about the change itself

2. Lack of leadership

3. Lack of focus and strong project management of the change

4. No engagement and/or buy-in of key team members

5. No clear process for managing endings and beginnings, and coordinating the change process

6. Successes are not recognized

7. Successes are not communicated

8. Progress is not measured and the process is not reviewed

9. Change is very tiring and is often something that requires extra effort – people need to see that this effort is paying off and their contribution is valued

All of these barriers can be overcome if the correct procedures are put in place and communication is consistent throughout the process. Employees need to feel that they are major contributors to a practice’s success and will sometimes feel undervalued if they are not involved in the process of change. This can lead to hostility amongst the team members and feelings of anger towards the doctor or manager of the practice. This, in turn, leads to barriers due to the fear of change.

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