Case study: Stating the case for changing plan provider

Lesley Morgan-Barlow — Joint Owner & Business Manager : Synergy Dental Care

Lesley talks changing plan provider, and how with the right support and experience, her practice experienced a seamless transition.

“I am joint owner of Synergy Dental Care and have a non-dental background. My role is to look after the business element of the practice 24/7, leaving our dentist to get on with his job — so you could say that I’m a business manager or business director, really.

A big part of my role is always looking for ways to keep our business evolving and fresh and a few years ago, in the back of my mind, I had started to become a little disillusioned with the inertia from our plan provider.

One year, whilst attending Dentistry Show I got chatting to a dentist on a stand who was telling me all about his experience with Practice Plan and the relationship he had with them. What was refreshing to hear was the fact that Practice Plan were clearly geared towards helping him run a business as opposed to just a dental practice and it made me acknowledge that we weren’t getting the support we needed.

I wanted Synergy Dental Care to be able to access that kind of business support and valuable advice and Josie, our potential Regional Support Manager, was so friendly and easy to chat to that I soon started to discuss how we could look to move our membership plans over to Practice Plan.

My main concern was our patients and my team. I could see the long-term benefits but would they? A lot of our patients had been with the practice a long time, so I was concerned that the majority of them would want to cling to the relationship they had with the other plan provider. But not only that, would making a change have an impact on my team? If I went through with this, how could we make it as smooth as possible for everyone?

But I needn’t have worried, Josie and the Practice Plan team were so experienced that they were able to support us with everything. They planned out everything with me, demystified the unknown, supported me to explain it to the team and prepared the groundwork for change. Gradually, as a team, we all learned to adjust our thinking and started to view this move as a new simple and seamless process. We had total control on how we approached this – the change didn’t have to take place overnight, we set the pace and we managed any impact.

Equally, with training from Josie, we understood how to communicate our decision to change plan provider to our patients. Josie assured us that patient relationships were with the team, and as long as we had the patient’s well-being at heart, then they would listen to the advice we gave them. She couldn’t have been more right. Whilst the choice to move remained firmly with the patient, the team had total belief in the benefit and reason to change and as such, our patients were happy to make the change. Since then, Josie has supported us with many a business challenge or change. In short, we haven’t looked back. If you are serious about your business then talk to the people who are serious about helping you evolve and develop for the long-term.”

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