Letter to the Editor
Why I Close 23 of My Dental Offices Once a Year An open letter to the dental industry
By Dr. AJ Acierno Dr. AJ Acierno is the CEO of DecisionOne Dental and was named one of Chicago Magazine’s Top Dentists in 2018. He is the Team Dentist for the Chicago Wolves Hockey Team and in 2017 gave a TedTalk about how “Healthcare Has Lost Its Soul.” To see highlights from Frank Stephens’ speech at the DecisionOne Dental rally, visits the DecisionOne Dental Facebook page.
I’ve known since I was about 19 years old that I wanted to be a dentist, and I’ve been practicing for 17 years. But seven years ago, I saw a change happening in dentistry and it became clear to me what I needed to do. My brother is also a dentist. When I approached him with my idea, he immediately joined me. We started DecisionOne Dental with one purpose: put patients first. Insurance companies are changing our industry and creating a barrier between doctors and patients. This isn’t just a financial effect, it’s fundamentally personal. We have pressures to see more patients, but spend less time with them. Our office staff has more paperwork to look down at than patients faces to look up to. Everything is numbers now, not names. It may seem counterintuitive, but to connect more with our patients, we’ve committed to close our offices – to NOT see patients – for at least one day every year. We recently hosted our 6th annual D1 Rally. We close every one of our offices for the entire day, and all 250 of our team members rally together to reinforce our mission
Efficiency In Group Practice : ISSUE 5 • 2018