‘Why is Portman Dental Care the Gold Standard in Corporate Dentistry?’….. Well you’re going to say, ‘He’s bound to say that, he works for Portman’ and of course you’d be right - I do work for Portman. But this is more than just my opinion – it’s supported both by evidence from the industry (Portman was the Dental Industry’s Outstanding Business of the Year for the last two years) and from an independent survey of our existing clinicians, colleagues and patients which I’ll talk more about later. As we are all aware ‘Corporate Dentistry,’ whether deserved or undeserved, has a name that is mostly used in a negative sense; some of these views are justified, but some are certainly not. Portman, though, really is transforming the way ‘Group Dentistry’ is delivered and we’re firmly committed to our vision to be the best private focused dental group in the country, if not the world.
I personally find it quite an irony that a corporate group, which ultimately, we are (legally if not culturally) has been ‘Business of the Year’ two years running. I can without doubt say that if you’d told me even 5 years ago that any dental group would be voted “Business of the Year” by our professional peers, I would have laughed my hat off… So what is it that makes Portman so special?
From the day that Sam Waley-Cohen started the business he wanted to match his family values in the business and the fundamental point he has instilled in Portman is to ‘Treat People the Way You want to be Treated’. It’s our mantra. This doesn’t just apply to the patients (which is fairly obvious). It applies to every colleague, clinician, hygienist and specialist in the group. Not only do we say we do this, but we have hard facts to show that this founding philosophy still completely permeates the business.
So let’s put this into numbers. We all get texts from companies asking “How did we perform”, whether it’s Sky, EE or whoever, 1 being poor and 10 being excellent. To give you a yard stick to judge us by Apple has a ‘Net Promoter Score of 72 (2017), the industry standard is 30, however, Portman’s score is 58; this means that patients are significantly more likely to recommend a Portman practice than anywhere else. Not only that, but when asked, Portman patients are far less likely to change practice than patients at ‘non Portman’ practices.
The same is true of our clinicians. The number of dentist’s that leave us is less than a third of the national average and at the time of writing, last month of the +500 clinicians that work with us, not one left the group. Over the 10 years Portman has been in existence we’ve had no principle clinician leave the business and go and work at another practice. We’re really proud of this.
If further evidence is needed, in our recent annual engagement survey 85% of our clinicians told us they were proud to be part of Portman and 96% of our practice colleagues told us they were prepared to go the extra mile for the business. I don’t believe there are any other clinical businesses out there with such pride and passion among their practice teams.
Ultimately, and this is my personal opinion, we have to be a business that is clinician focused; focused on giving the dentist and their team everything that they require to deliver high quality dentistry to their patients. This is what we try to do every day in Portman.
It’s great when you hear other groups say ‘We want to be like Portman!’