Efficiency and readiness will allow your practice to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
When working one-on-one with dental practices, we always ask the same question: Do you have a morning huddle before the start of every day? We then follow this question with another, more telling one: Do you do it right?
Gathering as a group around a table or in your break room and talking about your day will be somewhat helpful so long as you don’t spend the entire time complaining about all of the patients that you don’t like, and who probably don’t like you. But we at Million Dollar PPO Coaching and Consulting are looking for more out of your morning meeting. We’re looking for structure, organization, preparedness and profit. I want my huddle, and the huddles done by our clients, to help alleviate stress and confusion while simultaneously maximizing productivity. Efficiency and readiness will allow your practice to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. It is an office’s ability to exploit these small opportunities that allow for success.
The most critical factor in an effective huddle is preparedness. Simply showing up is just not enough. Every member of the team must spend time preparing for the meeting. Reviewing charts, accounts, numbers, statistics, lab records, forms and treatment plans allows for meaningful contributions and data flow to occur during a huddle. Using the Dentrix Daily Huddle Report can help to facilitate this preparedness, and in many instances can reduce the amount of time and effort needed to be prepared.
We recommend that three days be reviewed during each huddle: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Dentrix can help provide data for each of these days and improve the profitability of your huddle.
Tracking your numbers gives you a day-to-day feel for the momentum of the office and keeps you and your entire team in constant contact with your performance. Designate one of your team members the task of preparing and reviewing these reports prior to the huddle. They should be ready to present the data on the report within the first minute of the meeting, and no more than three or four minutes should be needed to recap your previous day.
Understand the Schedule
Today’s schedule requires the most discussion and the most prep work. Having a clear understanding of every patient appointed will allow you to maximize the flow of your day, reduce your stress and capitalize on the maximum amount of opportunities. The Daily Huddle Report provides critical information about each of your appointed patients: account balances, treatment outstanding, recare outstanding, scheduled/unscheduled appointments for them and their family members, specific notes and important personal information.
Knowing the who, what, where, when and why BEFORE the appointment begins allows you and your team to anticipate and react most efficiently, so that you are able to optimize opportunities and avoid uncertainty.
Tomorrow’s schedule should be reviewed in order to be aware of available appointments, lab cases, outstanding treatment and new patients on the schedule. Although only a small percentage of the huddle need be spent discussing tomorrow, this brief review sets the tone for a more effective huddle tomorrow.
Strategies for Best Results
In order to achieve the best results with your meetings, you should consider the following strategies:
- Assign specific tasks to each team member. Be sure that they understand what is expected of them, and that they have been properly trained on how to carry out the task.
- If you are still working with charts, be sure to have the appropriate team members pull and review the charts prior to the huddle. Create routers for each chart before the meeting.
- Know your goals and keep track of your numbers.
- Start and finish on time. NEVER keep patients waiting because your huddle has run behind!
- Elect a huddle leader to help facilitate the meeting and to keep track of important items that need to be revisited at your bi-weekly one-hour team meeting.
- Take advantage of Dentrix Training and/or Profitability Coaching to help optimize the use of your incredible software.
If you create clear and effective strategies to help your team organize and prepare for each huddle, you will begin to realize increased productivity and profitability as those small chances that you once missed out on become easier to anticipate and exploit. Opportunities are a direct reflection of preparation, talent and skill happening with as little resistance as possible.
To learn more about the Dentrix Daily Huddle, read “Secrets of a Successful Daily Huddle.” Don’t delay! The average practice is saving 60 to 90 minutes a day by utilizing this powerful report.
The Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program can help practices set up all of these crucial reports and help increase efficiencies and profitability. With over 1,200 customers in the program, 100% of customers surveyed would recommend Profitability Coaching to a colleague. Also, after just seven short months, the average practice that received coaching saw an increase in collections by $8,000 per month. That is an annualized 3000% return on investment.
View the “Daily Huddle Report” section in the Dentrix help files for step by step instructions to generate the report.
By Matthew J Krieger, DMD
Matthew J Krieger DMD maintains a private practice in Franklin Lakes, N.J. He is an active member of the ADA, AGD, AACD, ACE, and the Crown Council. He has attended over 600 hours in continuing education in all aspects of Clinical Dentistry and Practice management. He is the Founder and CEO of MILLION DOLLAR PPO. He lectures on practice management, CAD/CAM dentistry, and is a highly effective clinical/efficiency coach.
Originally published in the Dentrix eNewsletter, August 2013