How is the month of September looking for your office? I hope that it is looking healthy and productive. If it is looking a little weak – I have some office management and leadership ideas that when implemented, will help strengthen it.
Leadership and Employee Appreciation Ideas
Bring Your Manners To Work Day: 1st
“Good manners are cost-effective. They not only increase the quality of life in the workplace, they contribute to employee morale, embellish the company image, and play a major role in generating profit.” – Letitia Baldrige
Say please and thank you. Make it a habit to say please every time you ask for something. Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and boosts morale.
Use your Body language Manners – 75-80% of how we interpret what others are (or aren’t) saying is through their body language. Remember, smile more, make eye contact, be attentive and demonstrate that you are listening.
Employee Appreciation Ideas
International Chocolate Day: 13th-Bring in chocolate for the team. National Coffee Day: 29th – Starbucks or Coffee Gift Cards or Bring in a special coffee/tea drink for the team.
A gentle reminder (idea) for the team…
Hug Your Boss Day: 8th – Don’t forget to show appreciation for your boss! They want to hear & feel that they’re appreciated too.
Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at email@example.com.
Practice Management tips and reminders for September
Unscheduled Treatment Plans & Hygiene Continuing Care – Reach out to all your patients with incomplete treatment plans and/or that are past-due for their hygiene visit. Encourage them to schedule their appointment during the months of September, October, and November.
It is important to stay in touch with these “unhealthy” patients even IF you have crazy full schedules. They need to know you haven’t forgotten about them and that you care about their health.
Morning Huddle and Chart Reviews – Look for unscheduled treatment, family members due, unscheduled hygiene patients, etc. Look for opportunities to help more of your patients smile healthier.
Insurance Renewal Letters – Send out your Insurance and HSA/FSA “Use it or Lose it” reminder texts, emails, and letters. If you would like a sample letter please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dental Service Special Feature/Mouthguards – September 5th is Mouthguard day. Consider, offering special pricing for custom mouthguards during the month of September.
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Wishing you a productive, fun, and stress-free September!
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Many dental offices are dealing with holes in their schedules and an increase in last-minute schedule changes and broken appointments. Or maybe you have full schedules, but they’re chaotic and not very productive.
Unfortunately, when there is that open chair time with no production to collect on, your overhead expenses continue without letup.
This isn’t just about money though – our focus should always be on helping our patients smile healthier and happier. When Your Patients Are Healthy – The Practice Is Healthy. To help make our patients healthier we need them to schedule (and KEEP) appointments. More importantly, we want the schedules to not only be full/busy but productive & healthy.
Here are 12 tips and ideas that won’t require a lot of extra time or expense to help improve your schedules for this fall…
#1. Morning Huddle – At your morning huddle, review schedules for patients coming in without a future hygiene appointment scheduled, any family members due in hygiene, and patients with unscheduled treatment plans. What is your plan to ensure that these patients leave with their next appointment scheduled?
#2. Broken Appointments – Who is tracking, and how are they tracking your broken appts? More importantly, what proactive steps are taken to reduce or eliminate broken appts in your office?
Practice Owners – If you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about or would like to discover areas of opportunity for your practice … please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#3. Telephones – It is imperative that all team members are well-trained to effectively care for the patients and potential patients calling your office. How many calls end with an appointment scheduled, and how many do not? Are your office phones being answered during the times that patients and potential patients are most likely to call? How many times is the phone ringing before being answered? How often are callers being put on hold?
What about the “shopper” callers, the callers with insurance questions, the callers with questions about whether going to the dentist is safe or not, the callers asking if you’re accepting new patients, how do you know that these calls are being handled and cared for effectively? How do you know that your team members are not inadvertently keeping them from scheduling an appointment and Keeping you from welcoming them into the practice as new patients?
This may not seem like a big deal or related to what I am talking about today, but how the telephone callers are cared for or not cared for has a big impact on your schedules and the growth of your practice.
#4. Treatment Plan Presentations and Completions – Pull your unscheduled treatment plan reports. Even if you prefer to leave it to your patients to decide when they’re ready to schedule, you certainly can keep in touch with them and continue to gently plant some treatment reminder seeds of urgency, want, and need.
#5. Welcoming New Patients – What are your plans to successfully welcome more new patients into the practice? What are you willing to do differently in order to reach/exceed your monthly new patient goals?
#6. Community – What are some things you can do to get your name out there in the community? If you’re not already, now is an awesome time to become the “go-to” dentist in your city/town.
What can you and your team do to give back to the community? Hint: I share ideas with you each month to do just that. Are you following my monthly emails? If not, take a second and sign up/subscribe. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!
#7. Reviews & Recommendations – This one is super easy! Let your patients do some of the work, and invite them to do the talking for you. Give them something good to talk about and spread to their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. How? Consistently deliver excellent experiences via the telephone and in-person at their appointments. Make it easy for them to leave a review on Facebook and Google.
Please do not underestimate the power of “fresh” online reviews and recommendations to grow your practice.
#8. Insured Patients – Mid-September, early October start your end-of-year insurance “use it or lose it” reminders and campaigns. Patients tend to wait until the last minute to try and squeeze in a dental appointment to use their remaining benefits – encourage them to beat the end-of-the-year rush.
#9. In-Office Savings Plan – If your office offers an in-office savings plan, create some campaigns to let more uninsured people and local small businesses know about your awesome and affordable in-office savings plan.
#10. Continuing Education and Team Building – The fall season may be the perfect time to schedule some in-office continuing education and training. As well as some fun team-building activities.
#11. Exceed Expectations – Spend more quality time with the patients who do come in for their appointments.
#12. Celebrate your Success! – This will require a team effort to enjoy productive and healthy schedules for the rest of this year and beyond so please be sure to find ways to celebrate your success. Reward the behavior that you want to see more of!
BONUS TIP! – Take advantage of your social media pages and Google My Business Account to share office happenings, dental health tips, community news, and to feature different dental services/treatments that you offer.
If you appreciate and enjoy the complimentary ideas and content that I share each month – I would LOVE for you to PLEASE take a quick minute to leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links: GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOKThank you so much!!
I am wishing you all the healthiest and happiest schedules for this Fall!
~Betty – Dental Coach
Before you go, would you kindly please do something for me? I would LOVE for you to PLEASE leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links: GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOKThank you so much!!
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.
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!
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.)
Family Members – Do you have any patients coming in with unschedled family members due in hygiene? Who will appoint them?
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) one to two days 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 would like to schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to learn how our coaching program works, please email me at email@example.com.
If you already conduct daily huddles, way to go! Feel free to share with me any of your tips for successful 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.
Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.
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Here you will find my Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021. They’re not just free to read, they’re free to implement. How awesome is that?! Ideas that when implemented, WILL help you increase production, attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, have more fun as a team, as well as exceed your established patients’ expectations.
Betty’s Top Ten FREE Dental Practice Improvement Tips for 2021
#1 – Mission, Vision, Core Values – Knowing why you show up every morning will help to create a culture of happiness and excellence.
Mission – A clear definition of the purpose and focus of the practice today.
Vision – It is about what you want your practice to be in the future. It is the outcome/result of your mission.
Core Values – Core Values represent the beliefs and principles that define your practice, your team, and the patient experience you aim for in your dental practice.
Involve the entire team in your vision, mission, and goals for the practice. Involving your team will help to keep everyone on the same page, working together for the greater good of the practice. Encourage and empower your team to not only come up with new ideas and solutions to problems but to implement these ideas and solutions.
#2 – Lead by Example– “Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient!“
If you want to see a positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example… be the change. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one. This includes any employee in a management position – if you have employees complaining about your office manager, take it seriously. A toxic office manager will destroy your practice over time, at the very least, cause a staff turnover nightmare. In fact, any employee that is toxic to your vision, to your team, and/or your patients…needs to go. It’s not easy to make the decision to terminate someone’s employment, yet absolutely necessary if you want to improve your practice. It’s been said that “what you allow you encourage.” Once you make the decision to no longer tolerate or allow the poor behavior and attitudes in your practice, you’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief.
#3 – Communication – “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
Job Expectations & Job Responsibilities – What are the performance expectations for your team? Does each employee clearly understand their role in the practice? Have every team member write down a detailed list of all their job responsibilities. This is VERY helpful in determining more effective ways of doing things as well as finding out what is NOT being done.
Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
Thank you – Express your appreciation. Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
Commendation – Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Applaud & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Little surprise treats and gifts every now and then are also much appreciated.
#4 – Know your Numbers – “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” – Maya Angelou
Knowing your practice numbers and doing something with what you know about those numbers is key to growing and improving your practice. Numbers tell a story. Numbers tell you if your practice is healthy or unhealthy.
Get a baseline of where you’re at in order to make a goal for where you want to go. For example,
Overhead – Evaluate your true costs of doing business. What does it cost you per hour to keep the practice running?
Supplies – What is your supply budget vs what you are actually spending?
Payroll – What is your payroll percentage? Are you hygienists producing 3.3 times their salary?
Collections – Are you collecting what you produce and how long is it taking to collect your money?
Adjustments/Write-Offs – Are you closely monitoring your adjustments and write-offs?
Production – What are your hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly restorative and hygiene production goals?
New Patients – How many new patients do you want per month? What are you doing to welcome more new patients each month?
Attrition – How many patients are you losing each month and why?
Treatment Acceptance Vs Diagnosis – How many of your patients are saying yes to your best care? How are you keeping track of your unscheduled treatment plans?
If your numbers reveal unhealthiness be quick to act and get help to restore your practice to health and happiness.
Friends, do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month? To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities. I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me.
#5 – Declutter – “Clutter in your physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.”
Clutter represents indecision. Decide to get rid of the clutter! That includes any sticky notes attached to computer monitors, coats/sweaters hanging on the backs of chairs, and fast-food drink containers sitting out on the counters. Along with unnecessary things sitting on treatment room counters. What about your sterilization area? Does it look clean and sterile? Or cluttered and unclean?
Make a cleaning schedule – including the who, what & when. When will the parking lot, restrooms & reception room be checked & cleaned? This should be done several times throughout the day. Do not wait for the “cleaning person” to take care of those areas. If the flooring needs to be vacuumed… vacuum it. If the glass on the windows/doors have fingerprints…clean them. If the restroom toilet and sink are dirty… clean them. Make a promise as a team that if you see it (and you know you do) clean it.
#6 – Stay on Time– “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”
If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule. Running behind schedule sends a message to your patients and your team that you don’t respect their time. Respect your team by sticking to the scheduled work hours. Be sure that they are not habitually working through their lunch or having to work late. They need breaks to refresh and refuel. Give them that. They have a life outside of work and making them work past their scheduled end time is a real drag. I understand that sometimes unexpected events may occur so they might be asked to work late or into a lunch hour but this should be a rare occasion, not a daily or even occurrence.
Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.
#7 – Show you Care – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt
Post-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists, call your patients at the end of the day to see how well they are doing. (Tip: Call all patients that received an extraction, perio treatment, difficult procedure, were fearful or new to the office.)
Pre-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists start building your relationship with a new patient before they step foot in the practice. Call and give a warm welcome, let them know you are looking forward to meeting them at their appointment. It’s unexpected, takes only a few minutes, and will really make your new patient feel special.
Say My Name – Everyone likes to hear his or her name. Greet your patient’s by name. Use their name during treatment. Thank them by name for coming in or calling.
Memorable Goodbyes– Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name. Give them something good to talk about.
Thank you’s – Send handwritten thank you cards to your new patients and to your new patient referral sources.
#8 – Reappointments & Reactivation – “Do what matters, now.”
Reappointment – The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene visit when they are there at the office. Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time of treatment presentation.
Reactivation – Stay in touch with your unscheduled and/or inactive patients.
#9 – Online Presence – “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”
How are you presenting your dental practice, your services, your care, yourself, and your team online? Are you attracting potential new patients or turning them away? Consider briefly these four important areas…
Website – Your website should reflect the culture and personality of the practice and the team. The content should be fresh and relevant. The photos should be attractive and current. Think about this, when people visit your website are you welcoming them with warm and helpful messaging or inadvertently turning them away with poor messaging and unattractive pages?
Social Media – Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, Online Community News Pages, YouTube, and more help to build your dental practice. Even if you’re not a fan of social media, please remember that most likely many of your patients and potential patients are using these platforms regularly.
Google My Business – Are you consistently posting fresh content to your Google business page? If not, you should. It’s free, easy to do and people visiting your listing like to see fresh content.
Reviews & Recommendations – Ask your patients to please review your office on Google and recommend you on Facebook. Don’t simply rely on third party companies to do this for you. It’s so simple (& free) to invite your patients to do this for you.
#10 – Training – “There is no way the quality of your patient care and experiences will exceed the quality of the people who provide it.”
Don’t hold back in this area! Investin your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc. However, training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training.
Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, collecting dust? It’s most likely because your team didn’t understand or appreciate the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment, or procedure works, benefits the patient, the team, and the office is critical to enthused implementation.
Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at email@example.com.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2021!
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