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a blog by Chris Barrow

Snag lists in dentistry

Having recently completed the purchase of a new-build home, we decided to invest around £600 in a company called Snagsure, who send an expert along to build the snag list on the property.

It seemed like a steep investment at the time, but now that we have a list of 200+ repairs/improvements that need to be made by the builder (under warranty of course), I'm totally convinced that the service is worthwhile.

Yes, admittedly, the majority of the snags are very minor - but a few are significant and would have either spoiled our first weeks of occupation or created a long-term problem with the maintenance of the house.

It occurs to me that what I do on a practice visit is very similar - identifying the business snags that represent "profit holes" in your business - the ways in which profit leaks slowly and often unnoticed.

Whenever people ask me what I do for a living, I answer "Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in your Dental Practice (with slightly less swearing)" - that always gets a smile but, equally, nails what I do for those asking, dental folk or otherwise.

When someone asks "what do you do during a full-day practice visit?":

"I create a snag list of the people and systems that aren't working either properly or at all."

We identify short-term issues that can be fixed quickly but also longer-term challenges that, if left, can create serious problems.

Two differences:

  • I can take my Snagsure list to the builder and simply ask "fix these please." - the business snag list goes back to the business owner with a "physician heal thyself" message;

  • Unlike the Snagsure chap - I can stick around to make sure the fixes take place, even suggesting ways to streamline or accelerate that process.

If you would like me to create a snag list for your practice - drop me a line.

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