Since opening in 1986, Dental as Anything has evolved and flourished as a leading dental practice in Helensvale on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Operating in a highly competitive environment, business owners Dr Mark Miller and his wife Angela Miller have kept pace with market changes over three decades by continuous learning from both professional sources and patients; an approach which informs how best to respond to patient needs. The Millers lead a team of 13 dedicated dental and administration professionals in a process of continuous personal and professional improvement.
The practice services a wide range of 6,000 patients across all ages and stages of life. Daily patient lives are transformed through a relational approach to oral health management focused on confronting fear, overcoming pain and providing healing. Dental as Anything’s purpose is to deliver preventive care, education and treatment, encouraging patients to see teeth as a signpost for health, a lifetime investment that pays dividends in their quality and length of life.
Throughout 2020, Dental as Anything, like so many other businesses, had to work out how to manage through the uncertainty of COVID-19 quarantine periods and changing regulations for retaining trained staff and handling patient health and safety. Patient concerns were high priority in a climate of fear of being infected by the virus, whether patient or practitioner, especially in a dental practice where contact with mouths is essential.
The COVID initiative was designed and developed for three main purposes. Firstly, Dental as Anything needed to sustain the business over an indeterminate lockdown period when earnings would be negligible while fixed costs continued. Secondly, and of equally high importance, was conservation of the patient base, whose oral health needs would not diminish because of the virus, yet would likely go unattended during quarantine restrictions. Maintaining the health and wellbeing of patients was crucial for the future of the business. Thirdly, being able to hold onto trained staff was important given staff reliance on salaries to cover their own financial obligations and importance of reassured staff to the culture of Dental as Anything providing a relational experience for patients.
While Dental as Anything initially felt confronted by the COVID crisis, enforced lockdowns eventually became viewed as an opportunity to review and refresh the business, staff, patient approaches and procedures. Considerable research thought and planning in a climate of uncertainty was required to negotiate the period of adjustment from closure to resumption to have a better, stronger business to go back to once the shutdowns ended.
Goals and objectives covered all areas of the business with the main outcomes of the COVID initiative being financial and operational survival by building foundations to thrive. As a result of the COVID initiative, revenue and profitability improved. For the period from June to September 2020, the average monthly profit increased 24%, due to increasing the number of clinicians from four to six, as of April 2021.
Lockdown provided Dental as Anything with an opportunity to lift performance to respond to changing patient situations, at the same time as refreshing business operations to be more efficient and cost effective in meeting their needs.