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How to: Combat the dental staff shortage


In December 2021, it was recorded that there was a ‘20 to 25 per cent shortfall in the number of dental hygienists, assistants and other practice staff'1 in Australia needed to meet the increased need for dentistry services post-pandemic - meanwhile, more and more patients are hitting the headlines as they turn to so-called ‘DIY dentistry’.  

With this clear shortage of clinical staff amidst the current demand for dental treatment, today we are going to be taking a look at some key actions you can take to build and maintain a strong, successful team in 2022 so you can continue delivering your essential services to those in need. 

Staff retention 

As dental leaders, you want to ensure you’re hitting and exceeding your practice targets - but are you keeping your staff in the loop with what these are? Driving team engagement with daily/weekly ‘huddles’, allows your staff to focus on one common goal, ensuring they’re putting their best foot forward in 2022 to hit KPI’s - giving staff members a greater sense of unity, morale and productivity. transparent_SOE_OUIR_STORY_540.730

At EXACT, we want to make empowering your staff a part of everyday practice life. With greater accessibility to key metrics in a series of user-friendly dashboards, practice members can now take ownership of their daily focus and feel inspired to transform this into long-term success with Dentist Portal. From the tracking and forecasting of individual recall effectiveness, diary utilisation and new patients, granting your team the ability to measure their performance and align their actions with the wider business - while driving individual and overall practice success. 

With all great goals comes a great plan. Providing your team with the right tools to streamline workflows and establish seamless communication between staff is ultimately what will set you apart from other employers during such tricky times - facilitating longer-term employee relationships. Refining workflows with tools such and Online Booking and Patient Portal will save time spent on unnecessary admin and will ease any additional pressure/stress, instead, giving your team the time they need to be proactive as opposed to reactive during the current climate. 

Attract talent 

As well as retaining your most valued staff members, it’s evident that where there are job openings in practices, roles need to be filled in order to meet the current need for dentistry. With the same issue facing so many practices nationwide, how can you ensure you’re targeting and attracting the right candidates for you? 

Build an online presence - applicants are going to be researching the businesses behind job openings and want to gain an insight into your team and practice culture, is your ‘online shop front’ reflective of this? Think ‘meet the team’ and ‘about us’ pages on your website alongside demonstrations of the variety of treatments you offer - social media is great for this! 

Utilise software throughout your practice that promotes ease of use - Dentists want more time to do clinical work. Automating internal processes with powerful EXACT tools allow for just this, making training inductions and day-to-day admin task completion easier than ever giving more time for what matters - patient care. 

Offer training, support and development opportunities - Candidates want to envisage a future with you just as much as you want to with them…but this requires incentive. Are you investing in technology that will drive treatment uptake? Can you demonstrate that you’re supporting staff with resources that allow them to excel within and beyond their role?  

Creating and maintaining a harmonious working environment is step one to ensuring your staff feel valued. Are you doing everything you can? Get in contact with us today to find out how we can support you achieve this in 2022, we’d be happy to help - call 1300 889 668 or email today.