Our Business Model
Pacific Smiles provides all of the resources necessary to enable independent practitioners to provide optimal clinical services to patients. The resources include;
- Strategically located professional Centres with high exposure, easy patient access and high quality design and fit-out
- Experienced centre management teams
- Front-office reception services
- Trained clinical support staff
- Sterilisation services
- Electronic patient management systems for booking, charting and invoicing
- Fully equipped and maintained surgeries and consultation rooms
- Stock of required consumable items
- Professional marketing services
- Access to Preferred Provider Agreements with Third Party Payers
- Local community and school based oral health education programs
- Practitioner education and development services
Over and above these resources provided by Pacific Smiles to the practitioners, the business model benefits practitioners via the social environment that develops in larger professional Centres.
Practitioners who practice from Centres operated by Pacific Smiles are able to interact with professional peers based at the same Centre and those within the Pacific Smiles network to enhance their professional working life and their own knowledge base.
Key features of the business model include;
All Centres operated by Pacific Smiles benefit from an efficient and effective standard Centre operating platform. Consistency of systems, policies and procedures augments the provision of optimal care and customer service to patients and practitioners at all Centres.
Pacific Smiles has developed an exclusive in-house training framework for all employees which prepares them to deliver a perfect patient experience to each and every patient who attends one of our Centres. Essentially, a highly customised customer service and patient care program, APPEx® training works in well with the Pacific Smiles standard operating platform.
Every single employee at Centres operated by Pacific Smiles are required to complete a multi-module training course on the delivery of APPEx®. It is our aim to ensure that every patient’s experience with us exceeds their expectations and is as perfect as a visit can be.
Further emphasising its commitment to education and training, Pacific Smiles has established a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The RTO offers a range of training solutions for the dental industry, not just Pacific Smiles , for nationally recognised qualifications and short courses such as Dental Implant Nursing and Infection Control.
Pacific Smiles has developed important strategic relationships in the industry with major health insurers and suppliers. An exclusive licensing arrangement with nib allows us to operate some of our Centres as nib Dental Care Centres. There are also special arrangements in place with nib and other private health insurers to benefit patients who visit Pacific Smiles Dental Centres.
Practitioners who practice from Centres operated by Pacific Smiles enjoy independent clinical decision making subject to professional conduct and best practice requirements.
Most practitioners who practice from professional Centres operated by Pacific Smiles are independent operators who provide clinical services to patients in their own name (or in the name of their own company) and with their own Australian Business Number (ABN). They engage Pacific Smiles as a service provider to provide a fully serviced facility at which they deliver clinical services and treatments to patients.
Pacific Smiles levies a monthly Service Fee for the provision of the serviced facility. The relationship between Pacific Smiles and each individual practitioner is documented in a Service and Facility Agreement which both parties sign prior to commencement.
As a responsible Australian health-care organisation, Pacific Smiles has systems and structures in place to maintain a strict focus on clinical governance and risk management. This includes a Dental Clinical Review Committee comprising senior dentists and a Clinical Governance Manager who conducts audits and reports opportunities for clinical advancement. Infection control policies and procedures are compliant with Australian Standards and relevant legislation. Work, Health and Safety awareness and training is mandatory for all employees.
Employees of Pacific Smiles are professional, competent, friendly and efficient. They recognise practitioners as being a customer in the Pacific Smiles business model and continually strive to provide outstanding services to them. Pacific Smiles recruits selectively and then provides ongoing training and development to keep employees at the forefront of their profession.
All Centres operated by Pacific Smiles feature a local on-site Centre Manager. The local Manager’s main purpose is to provide excellent customer service to practitioners and patients. The Centre Manager is supported by a Regional Operations Manager and Group Head Office for specialised assistance in the areas of Operations, Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Corporate Services.
Continuing education is of paramount importance in the delivery of health-related services. Pacific Smiles’ own Registered Training Organisation (RTO) systematically delivers training and education to employees throughout the tenure of their employment. Practitioners benefit from efficient, knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Pacific Smiles also encourages independent practitioners to participate in ongoing training and education programs while they practice from our Centres. Pacific Smiles provides each practitioner with an annual education rebate against the Service Fee invoice encouraging attendance to external seminars. There are also in-house seminars on a variety of topics and structured mentoring by experienced practitioners on a variety of clinical topics and treatments.
Pacific Smiles has established an in-house mentoring program with positions each year highly sought by recent graduate dentists. With training sessions delivered throughout the first year in practice, recent graduate dentists are exposed to the experience and wisdom of highly experienced dentists and specialists in a variety of different fields.
Dental Centres operated by Pacific Smiles are strategically located with high exposure, easy patient access and high quality design and fit-out. The use of contemporary designs and colours adds to the appeal of the Centres and to the motivation and enjoyment of those who work there.
Pacific Smiles invests in proven technology to enhance the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of the Centres and the practitioners who practice there. Pacific Smiles also invests in information systems to maximise efficiency and accuracy with respect to the operations of the Centres.
Pacific Smiles engages in substantial marketing of the Centres to build awareness throughout the local community. This includes print media advertising, sponsorship of local sports and cultural events, direct mail campaigns and oral health education programs in local preschools, primary schools and childcare centres.
Pacific Smiles has established a variety of quality assurance systems to track the delivery of APPEx® including online feedback systems, telephone surveys, patient experience surveys and employee nomination systems where a patient wishes to nominate an employee for providing outstanding service and care. Combined, these quality assurance systems allow us to hear the voice of the patient and customer and maintain our commitment to APPEx®.
Our Centres are located in highly accessible locations, close to parking and major transport routes. They open six or seven days a week with some opening selected evenings and public holidays. Many of our Centres have their own car parking for patients and all of our Centres are wheel-chair friendly.
Patients who are genuinely in pain need priority attention. Every Centre tries to keep some space available in the appointment books every day for urgent care patients.
Patients today want the convenience of all or most required services being available from a single location. Pacific Smiles dental centres provide general dentistry. Specialist dentistry
such as orthodontics
, oral surgery, periodontics
and paedodontics are available at some centres, along with niche dentistry such as dental implants. Treatment provided under intravenous sedation or general anesthetic (sleep dentistry
) can be accessed at or via most Centres.
For most patients, the most affordable and cost-effective approach to dental care is good dental hygiene, a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleans. To assist in making those regular visits (and indeed all dental services) as affordable as possible, dentists at our Centres have Preferred Provider Arrangements with major health funds and some participate in government funding schemes such as Veterans’ Affairs.
All of the dentists provide written estimates for all treatment plans before treatment commences so that patients are fully informed as to expected fees and charges.
Patients need to feel absolutely safe and secure when they visit the dentist. All of our Centres are compliant with Australian infection control legislation and regulations. Our Centres feature the latest sterilisers and associated equipment for cleaning and processing reusable instruments, and we have strict protocols both in the surgeries and throughout the whole Centre with respect to infection control practices. All Centres have also invested in digital x-ray systems that minimise radiation exposures to patients when taking x-rays.
Under the terms of the Service and Facility Agreement (SFA), you conduct your own business from a Dental Centre operated by Pacific Smiles where you are provided with the range of services, facilities and marketing necessary for you to provide dental services to patients and develop your own optimal practice. The nature of this arrangement does not constitute an employee / employer relationship nor does it contract you to Pacific Smiles as a partner or associate. In fact, under the SFA arrangement, you are the ‘principle’ and Pacific Smiles is the ‘contractor’ whom you utilise for the provision of facilities and services which are provided in exchange for a monthly Service Fee. To establish your own practice based at a Dental Centre operated by Pacific Smiles, all you need is your own Australian Business Number (ABN), your own Professional Indemnity insurance and a HIC provider number for the specific location that you choose. You must be currently registered with the AHPRA and be registered for GST. You may also want to consider Income Protection Insurance for peace-of-mind. It is as simple as that! Pacific Smiles would invoice you monthly in exchange for providing the services and facilities. The Service Fee is paid to Pacific Smiles out of the patient fees that have been received and banked into a holding account during the month. The balance, (patient fees received less the Service Fee) is credited to your nominated bank account on the 7th working day of the new month.
A Private Health Fund Preferred Provider Agreement (PPA) is an agreement between the dental practitioner and the private health fund whereby the dental practitioner agrees to provide dental treatment to a group of people (health fund members) for a scheduled fee – usually with a ceiling limit or cap. Practitioners can elect to charge below the cap; however agree not to charge above the maximum fee for the associated treatments. Whilst each private health fund has its own unique Preferred Provider Agreement and some are more extensive than others in terms of the item numbers included within the agreement, many of them offer no gap items for selected preventive and diagnostic services to encourage patients to attend regularly for dental checkups.
Experience over time has shown preferred provider agreements to have many benefits for both patients and practitioners.
- Patients receive some dental services which are covered fully by the fund rebate (no gap items) – they tend to become regular dental attendees to gain maximum benefit from their fund
- Patients may receive a higher rebate on dental services for which they have to pay a gap
- Due to the increased attendance for dental check-ups, patients experience an improvement in their oral health and in many instances their overall health status
- Regular attendance allows dental concerns to be picked up early, minimising complex and expensive treatment regimes
- Privately insured patients appear to be more inclined to seek benefit from their health insurance by attending twice a year for their check-up and clean
- Patients seek out Preferred Providers which assists in filling up times in the appointment book that might otherwise be slow
- Assists in building patient numbers and consistency in appointment bookings
- Increased exposure/marketing potential by being listed as a Preferred Provider on third party websites
- The majority of fees are reasonable for the relative services and increase on an annual basis
- There is an increased rapport that builds between practitioner and patients due to regular attendance
All Pacific Smiles dental centres are equipped with a comprehensive range of consumable stock ensuring ease of practice. The consumables provided are of a high quality and cover the requirements for general practice.