If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  Events 

To ensure delivery, please add mark@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how 
Real Estate Bisnow
Real EstateTechLegalAssociationThe SceneWomen
December 29, 2008



Here's a belated holiday present: advice from a specialist who's not only surviving this economic downturn but says he's growing 18-20% each year. We didn't even have to travel far. It's Bethesda's H. Ryan Kazemi, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who opened his practice 10 years ago.


To open shop in a competitive market, Ryan tells us he needed more than just satisfied customers. He needed loyal customers. Here some quick thoughts on how he achieves that:

  • 3-minute rule: No patient waits longer than three minutes of their appointment before being seen. ("We are 99% compliant.")
  • Immediate letters to referring doctors informing them of real-time progress of their patients.
  • Emergency patients always seen on the same day, immediately.
  • If a patient or doctor calls after hours, Ryan gets paged and calls back within 5 minutes. (He finds after-hour outsourcing services are often poor quality.)
  • All patient and referral inquiries are addressed within the same day.

Ryan says keeping referrers loyal is as important as patients because 90% of his customers come through other docs. He nurtures this relationship by providing relevant information to referrers via newsletters (biweekly); continuing education courses; regular meetings and telephone calls; and engaging their employees. He also uses technology to reach patients directly, both to offer health suggestions, and reverse-refer them to dentists, strengthening ties between him and other docs. ("Reverse-referring" is a highly technical maneuver and should only be practiced by trained professionals and Russian gymnasts.) He also launched a video podcast on common dental procedures.

A few other things you'll find at his practice:

  • In-office prescription service (avoids trip to pharmacy).
  • Service packages: different levels, each with additional services including transportation, accommodation, 'anytime' scheduling, and even house calls.
  • An interactive website with a catchy URL. FacialArt.com

"The most important factor," Hamid says, is having the right team. So, he approaches hiring strategically. Inspired by the book Topgrading, he's made several changes: He created a system for hiring that can be followed every time with predictability; he improved the interview process to eliminate "B and C players;" he strategically places ads to attract talent; and he created a culture that keeps A players motivated and happy by playing to their strengths. Every decision is part of a larger strategy to be the "Apple of Oral Surgery Practices." Apple, as in the Mac computer company: innovative, fresh, stylish, and re-defining a product (or, in Hamid's case, a service). We should add: To those of you attempting to be the PC of oral surgery practices, you're on notice.

After extensive research, Curtis Raye writes our medical articles. Unless you don't send story ideas. Then, he just makes them up, which is probably a violation of HIPAA. Send your suggestions to Curtis@Bisnow.com

Cardinal Bank
Drinker Biddle
CONTACT EDITORIAL                             CONTACT ADVERTISING                              CONTACT GENERAL INFO

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe at bottom of the newsletter. 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

ZegnaAdrian JulesDormeuilemailMedical BisnowSent Using iContact