Morning Huddles – How does that make you feel when you read that? Do you ever feel like your attempt to conduct a daily morning huddle is just a big hassle? That the meetings are a waste of time? Or maybe you’re already conducting morning meetings and want to make them more effective, Please keep reading!
Today, I want to share with you some tips and suggestions that will help you have effective morning huddles and answer some questions that many of you have asked about morning huddles.
Why should I have a morning huddle/meeting?
The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow my tried and true suggestions & tips. Every dental office wants to produce more, collect more, stress less, have happy doctors and team members and consistently exceed patient expectations. Right? Well, effective morning huddles help to make those things a reality.
Remember this: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
When should the morning huddle start? and How long should it last?
Twenty – twenty-five minutes before the first scheduled patient. It should last no more than 10-15 minutes. Taking 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning to ensure the day starts off happy and productive is well worth it.
Who should attend the morning meeting?
Everyone. If scheduling prevents everyone from attending…at the very least the doctor(s), hygienist(s ), assistants and someone representing the administrative team. It is imperative for a team member to be assigned at every meeting to update the employee(s) not present of what was discussed/announced. No one should be left in the dark. This eliminates any “I didn’t know” or “no one told me!”
Who leads the huddle?
Rotate team members to conduct the meeting and make certain that everyone stays on point and that the meeting ends and starts on time (appoint a time-keeper)! Doctors (lead by example) be present at the start of the huddle and end each meeting on a positive note. Team members from each department can & should contribute what pertains to their particular department.
How do we prepare for the huddle?
Each employee should be assigned a task/responsibility for each huddle. For example, Hygienists should be checking their own charts/routing slips (checking for unscheduled treatment, are they due for: health history update, full perio charting, x-rays, etc. any family members due for appts, that the patient is due for today’s appt) at least the day prior and assistants check the charts for the doctors.
Your PMS may have a daily huddle report you can generate to show your production, collection, treatment plans, broken appts, etc. from the day prior and the appointment information you need to review for today. If you’re not sure if it does or not, it’s definitely worth looking into as it will be a huge time-saver!
What do you talk about?
Focus on: Today, Tomorrow, and a little bit of yesterday 😉
START and END the meeting with something POSITIVE. Review your office intention/vision for the day.
- Ata-boy/gal minute – What did we do “right” yesterday? How did we go the extra mile for a patient? Did you notice any team member that did something nice for a patient or another team member? Did anything happen yesterday that could be improved upon or avoided in the future? If yes, How?
- Today’s Appointments – have all patients been confirmed?
- Lab Cases – have we double checked that all lab cases have arrived and are correct?
- Holes – Can a hygiene patient in need of restorative slide over into the doctor’s chair? Is there anyone coming in with the doctor that is due in hygiene? If not, how will we remain productive during this downtime?
- Emergency time – Where can we put the “true emergencies”?
- Potential trouble spots – Review schedule for any potential trouble/hiccups/hangups. Such as: doctor needed in multiple places at the same time, habitually late patient, copays that must be collected, difficult patient, etc. Do everything in your power to start, stay & end on time, exceed patient expectations and work together as a team for a smooth & happy day.
- New Patients / Referral Sources – Who are our new patients today and how did they hear about our office? Everyone be ready to warmly greet all patients but be sure to introduce yourselves to all new patients. Thank them for coming in.
- Pre-op calls – Any new patients coming in tomorrow or the next day that the provider can call and welcome?
- Same day services – Identify any patients that would benefit from same day services (fluoride, X-rays, sealants, desensitizing agents, whitening, mouthguards, better home care tools/products, etc.)
- Post-op calls – Did we call yesterday’s patients to check in on them? Preferably the doctor and hygienist should make their own calls. (Who do you call? All new patients and any patients that had anesthetic, extraction, or perio treatment. Also, any patients that may have been fearful.
- Social Media – Who will help with that today? Ask patients to like the office (or check-in) on Facebook, follow on Twitter & Instagram. So many reasons throughout the day to post to your social media sites, such as: a patient brings in a treat, to welcome a new patient to the office, a child joined your kid’s club/team, celebrate a beautiful cosmetic restoration/teeth whitening, team members having fun or being silly, etc.
- Testimonials/Reviews – Who is a candidate for providing a testimonial/review/recommendation? Be alert throughout the day to ask for testimonials/reviews. Especially when a patient compliments the office on something… ask for a written or online testimonial. Take their picture (with permission) to post on your social media sites/website. NOTE: If a patient that is coming in for today has previously filled out an online survey be sure to review it. If they had a problem make certain it’s not repeated and if it was praise be sure to thank the team and the patient!
- Goals – Look at Production, Scheduling & Collection goals vs actual for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Reminder to collect all co-pays at the time of appointment!!
- Open Chair Time – Total Open Chair Time Hours for Yesterday and Tomorrow
- Broken Appointments – How many same-day cancellations and missed appointments were there for yesterday? How many were rescheduled?
- Treatment plans and Unscheduled Treatment – Remember, offer the very best treatment options to your patients, let’s not “watch” or “wait until next visit” chances are it will only worsen. Give every patient the opportunity to say yes or no to your very best care. Were there any patients that came in yesterday that we treatment planned and they did not schedule an appointment? WHY? / Unscheduled Treatment – anyone coming in today with already diagnosed treatment that is unscheduled? Who & How will we reintroduce treatment to the patient(s)?
- Conclusion – End the meeting on a positive note. Tell a funny joke, read a positive quote and/or thank your team. Watch a quick motivational, educational or funny video clip. This meeting sets the tone for the day… Make it a happy one! Let’s go change someone’s life or at the very least help them smile bigger and healthier!
Here are a few additional tips for a successful morning huddle:
Come prepared! Have ready copies of the schedule (today and tomorrow). Charts/treatment should be reviewed (by the provider/assistant) the day prior to the huddle. Be sure to have available your collection, scheduling and production goals for today and tomorrow and yesterday’s results.
- Stand for the meeting. This helps to keep the huddle on time and hold everyone’s attention.
- Maintain a positive attitude regarding the importance of DAILY morning meetings.
- Use a check-list! This will help you stay on time and cover all points.
- FOOD! Every once in a while surprise the team with bagels, donuts, coffee, muffins, etc.
I strongly encourage you to implement daily morning huddles, simply because I know that they’re effective and I want all of you to have happier, more productive and stress-free work days!
If you already conduct morning huddles, way to go! Feel free to share with me any of your tips for successful morning huddles.
Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help.
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Huddle Up and Have a Great Day!
Yours for Greater Success!