If you happen to walk into Valley Pediatric Dentistry, don’t be surprised if everyone on staff is wearing tie-dyed shirts, baseball jerseys, or even pajamas. That’s just part of their “fun days,” a little something Ashley Kovacs introduced to the practice a few years ago to make going to the dentist a bit more kid-friendly. “We try to make it fun,” says Kovacs. “On their day off from school, who wants to come to the dentist?”
But, as office manager, she does a lot more than just make the practice’s environment less anxiety-producing. Overseeing 14 professionals at two locations, her varied responsibilities range from internal functioning of the practice and patient scheduling to marketing and community outreach.
Shortly after joining the staff in 2007, first as scheduling coordinator, Kovacs helped the office transition into a paperless file system. The office scanned every patient’s chart into its computer system—ergo, no more paper charts stuffed away in filing cabinets. “It saves so much time and we’re so much better organized,” says Kovacs. And, just to be safe, she makes sure all files are backed up, twice daily.
Kovacs also spearheaded the office’s social networking effort, creating and maintaining its Facebook and Twitter pages. It not only allows the staff to interact with their patients, but raises the practice’s visibility. “When a patient likes something on our page, all their friends can see that,” says Kovacs. She also helps the office stay involved in the community. She started and helps maintain a candy buyback every Halloween, in which the office collects care packages to send to our troops overseas. The staff also sponsored the building of a playground for the Primrose Elementary School in Somers.
Valley Pediatrics Dentistry opened a second location this past August, a move Kovacs was vital in shepherding. “It was our primary goal as we expanded to keep our patient experience consistent,” says Benjamin Dancygier, DDS, owner of Valley Pediatrics Dentistry. “Ashley has done an amazing job at accomplishing this.”
To improve her skills and stay informed, Kovacs became a member of the American Association of Dental Office Managers and the Professional Women of Putnam. She’s also in the process of starting a local study club for office managers, which would meet to discuss different ways of accomplishing tasks within the office.