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Get into Those Daily Huddles

Get into Those Daily Huddles

Get into Those Daily Huddles!

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By Carrie Webber

By holding a productive Daily Huddle, you can increase the productivity of your practice by approximately 10% - maybe not every day, but over a month, quarter, or year. How is that possible, you may ask?

By doing the following:

  • Get focused. Each of you has come to the office from your unique environment and now you are turning your attention to patient care and to the smooth operation of the practice. Take 10 minutes to get yourselves settled and focused. Energy without focus can lead to chaos.
  • Visualize the day. By following a specific methodology and agenda, you can move quickly through your day and prepare for the smooth flow of the day.
  • Monitor the practice. You will be able to briefly, but effectively monitor the status of various systems in the practice to make sure you are on course to have a good day, week, and month. A brief look at certain systems and monitors on a daily basis will give everyone the current status. Therefore, if changes need to be made before the month is completed, this gives you ample time.
  • Work as a team to fill voids in the schedule. The business team makes note of voids in the doctor/s or hygienist/s schedule in order to contact people for the purpose of filling the void. Or, you can speak to people who are already coming to the office to see who would be able to proceed with the next phase of treatment. Make the most of each day - but do so with careful planning when possible.
  • New patients. Alert the team about new patients coming in that day so that everyone can be prepared to roll out the red carpet for this new person.
  • Emergencies. Have the clinical assistants identify times when an emergency can be seen. Even if you have reserved time for emergencies, have them identify additional times. No one knows when an emergency can be seen better than the assistants.
  • Referrals. Note referral sources of new patients and identify patients who can be asked to refer - and who will do the asking. Hand out cards or brochures so that patients have the armamentarium to refer.
  • Necessary radiographs. Make note of anyone who is past due for radiographs and either do them that day or schedule enough time to do them at the next appointment. Be sure to discuss the fee for the additional service.
  • Hygiene retention. By discovering patients (or members of a patient's family) who are past due for hygiene, you can either get that person scheduled while they are there - or give the notification to the hygiene retention coordinator so that they can call to schedule a family member.
  • Dentistry diagnosed but incomplete. Look at the patient's treatment plan to see what is next. You do not need to read through the day's schedule to discuss what you are doing on each patient - it's in front of you on the daily schedule. Everyone can read. However, you need to look at what needs to be scheduled next so that you can use your photographs to re-evaluate, re-educate, and re-motivate that patient to proceed.
  • Management situations. Note any patients who may have management issues (for example, disabilities) and be prepared for them before they come in for their appointment.
  • Financial situations. If a patient has a past due account, make sure that the patient sees the business administrator so they can negotiate a settlement of the account.
  • Personal information about patients or team members. Share any relevant information about personnel or patients that will be necessary for a smooth running day and for social grace.
  • Positive thought of the day. Start your day on a positive note. Get your minds focused on constructive thought processes - and go from there.

There is no place for negativity in a Daily Huddle. If yesterday fell apart, this is not the time to gripe about it. If there are issues impacting the practice, those issues need to go on your team meeting agenda - or call a special meeting. But do not bring negativity into the Daily Huddle. Start the day out on the right foot - and keep it there.

So what did you produce last year? Increase that by 10%. What would that do for the bottom line of your practice? A good, well managed, productive Daily Huddle will do just that. Increase production, smooth out your days, enhance patient care, improve patient education, reduce stress, have more fun. Sound good? You can do that by including a productive daily huddle into your practice today.

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