Michael J. Thomasino, DMD (Mike) started his dental business practicing in emergency care only. But when clients were so wowed with his services, they begged Mike and his team to do their cleanings, restorative work, and other dental care, too.
And so the story goes, Mike began to expand his business to include both emergency and comprehensive care. Today, his dental practice group, Megalodon, has 3 practices, including two Jacksonville Emergency and Family Dental Care locations in Jacksonville, FL, and Sunrise Emergency and Family Dental Care in Orange Park, FL.
As his team made the big transition, Mike realized: comprehensive care was much more complex than emergency services. Meaning, it was going to require more overhead, structured scheduling processes, new machinery, different systems, and so on.
And trying to document it all in a paper manual simply wasn’t cutting it. Because after putting a ton of effort into his documentation, he’d find it a year later and say, “This isn’t even relevant (or accurate) anymore.”
So when Mike heard about Trainual at some of his national study groups, he decided to give it a go. And hasn’t looked back since. “It’s an essential tool at this point,” he claims. “It’s one of my favorites for sure.”
From walk to run
Mike admits that he was a little impatient the first couple of months as he began to build his business playbook. “Honestly, I would love to just spend like two weeks working on Trainual myself, you know — I love it that much,” he said. But he quickly realized, the project was too big for just him. So he decided to loop in his trusty team for assistance.
Shortly after beginning, his team began to see how Trainual could really help them to be more self-sufficient, quickly train new peers, and more. Per Mike, “[they] started to see the value when it started saving them time.” As a result, the team engages in weekly meetings to review what’s documented in Trainual and talk about what they can do to improve it.
Mike credits his team’s hard work for making their Trainual what it is today. And to him, the collaboration and communication Trainual provides has had the biggest impact.
“I was looking for something everyone could collaborate with very easily, that we could update constantly, and keep up to date…Trainual fits right in with that.” - Dr. Michael Thomasino, Megalodon Dental Practice Group
The turning point: OSHA training
But the biggest milestone for Mike’s team was when they implemented their own Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) trainings.
Before Trainual, Mike was dropping up to $2K per year to hire someone to come in to facilitate an annual OSHA training for his team. Not to mention he was hit with thousands more in lost production and downtime (ouch).
But when he implemented Trainual, he realized that he could just knock out the training himself. So he downloaded a bunch of OSHA material and created his own OSHA training — complete with tests to make sure his team members retained all the important info.
Then, he simply printed out everyone’s certificates of training completion as proof for OSHA and HIPPA inspectors. And just like that, thousands were back in his pocket. This is what made Mike a Trainual fan for life.
“Man, I’ll never quit Trainual because the value right there — it’s done. I mean, it’s perfect. It saves me thousands every year.”
Mike added that ideally, a new hire should be trained in OSHA within their first week of being hired. But when you only do one in-person training per year, chances are good that a team member will be employed for months before receiving their training.
When Mike made the switch to OSHA training with Trainual, new hires became fully trained on worker safety in a matter of days. And just like that, the weight of OSHA and HIPPA regulation compliance was lifted off his shoulders. And more importantly, his team now has all safety materials to refer back to when they’re on the go.
👉 Need help starting your own OSHA training? Save thousands every year by snagging the Trainual OSHA Training starter template for your team. Check it out.
From “caveman” to “cutting edge” training
Patients want their dentists to keep up with the trends. If we’re being frank, your practice could have the best customer service, most knowledgeable doctors and hygienists, and biggest TVs in your exam rooms — but if you don’t implement the best and brightest systems and processes, you’re going to get left behind.
The dental industry is continually coming out with new equipment, tools, and processes to level up — including 3D x-rays, intraoral scans, and top-notch scheduling software, to name just a few. And to keep up, you need a tool that’ll help you roll out next-level practices to the whole office.
Mike credits Trainual for keeping his whole team up to date with new system and process implementation that ultimately help them compete with larger management groups — with hundreds or even thousands of practices.
“You really just cannot compete with [the big guys], as it goes for systems and processes, unless you have a tool like [Trainual]. So for smaller practices, I think it’s just perfect.”
Before Trainual, Mike’s team was using word of mouth to pass down new processes and equipment use. He recalls one time after the switch to Trainual when he went to teach an employee how to use a new nitrous oxide system because a patient needed it that day. His team member responded, “Nope, I already watched the Trainual — I got it!”
What music to Mike’s ears as he learned he was saving time, money, and hassle of on-the-spot training. When you know your team can keep up, it’s all the more reason to run full speed with high-tech equipment implementation.
Combatting applicant dry spells
Mike expressed that in the dentistry industry (like many others), it’s very difficult to get employees. In fact, the current job market is the first time in his career where practices are offering sign-on bonuses of thousands of dollars so they can get needed assistance.
In order to one-up other practices that are hiring, Mike leverages Trainual. In fact, when he interviews a candidate for an open position, the first thing he tells them about is how they use Trainual to keep everyone in the know.
“[Trainual] is a selling point. [Candidates] are impressed because they want to see, like hey — these guys are on the cutting edge, they’re organized, and it’s convenient for them to learn on the go. They usually get so excited, they want to open it up before they even start!”
In addition, Mike uses the in-app HR tools like the people directory and the org chart to help new hires see how they’ll connect with others in the company. He says when new hires onboard, they think it’s so cool that Trainual helps them get to know who they’ll be working with.
It’s a process
Hey, dentists: raise your hand if you’re a micromanager. And if you’re one of our dentists, we sure hope your hand is raised. After all, we all want each step of our dental work done exactly right.
On the other hand, this helpful characteristic could cause you to pester your poor employees until they do a process exactly the way you want them to. But according to Mike, implementing Trainual has allowed him to take a step back. He now puts important process details in Trainual and looks at the content completion reports page to make sure he can hold everyone accountable for doing every process right — every time.
One thing Mike recommends to other businesses is to use Trainual to document how-tos for those things you don’t do that often. He gives the example of his team’s annual “free dental day” community service project, Smiles for Miles.
Last year, his team served 77 patients and provided more than 45K worth of donated services to those who could not afford dental care. To make their coming events just as successful, he wants to document what they did and how they did it. That way, they can continue to refine their process and reach their give-back goals.
“Most dentists are so busy in the chair…[having] a playbook to go by is really, really valuable."
As a small business owner overseeing 3 practices, Mike explained that he sometimes just can’t remember a how-to. “I’ve actually made my own Trainuals — just for me!” he says, “Just to remind me how to do a process!”
Mike recommends Trainual for any motivated dentist who really wants to grow their business. He described Trainual as the “perfect fit” for him and his team as they follow their vision to grow aggressively, scale, and continue to refine business processes.