9.2.11 Issue #495 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 


Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Importance of Monthly Team Meetings
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant McKenzie Management

As the practice owner, just the thought of having any kind of meeting causes you to start sweating, right? I understand that, because it puts you in a position to either have to conduct the meeting and drag information from your audience (your team), or sit through an hour of complaining that accomplishes nothing. So why even subject yourself to that?

One of the top 10 complaints that your team will have if I asked them would be that you don’t communicate with them! You and I know why… but they don’t. This article is intended to give you some tools to put in your tool box to assist you in conducting efficient and productive monthly meetings.

Step #1
Always schedule a minimum of 90 minutes as early as possible in the morning the 2nd or 3rd week of each month, and schedule them months in advance so your hygiene patients won’t have to be moved.

Yes - I said morning.  7:00am - 8:30am would be good. If you want someone to bring donuts or refreshments, that is fine. If you try to plan for meetings at lunch, they will never happen because YOU will work through the time set aside! Also, eating lunch in a hurry and trying to conduct a productive meeting is an oxymoron.

Step #2
Have an established agenda, as opposed to “winging it.” Here is our recommendation:

  1. Review the monthly practice statistics such as production, adjustments, collections, AR, outstanding claims, # of New Patients, unscheduled time units, production by provider, daily production averages, etc.
  2. Review the incomplete action items from the previous month(s) and check for progress. If completed, move these items to the “completed” list so you are always reviewing items that are still in progress.
  3. Discuss the new agenda items that are on the typed agenda. These topics are accumulated from the team members and you throughout the month. Invite everyone to either write them on the white board, drop in the suggestion box or whatever method works best for your office. Encourage your team to jot topics down as they think of something throughout the month and the Meeting Coordinator will organize them and present the list to you for review before it is typed for the meeting. As the practice owner, you have “veto” power should you elect not to discuss a topic that has been recommended.

As you review the tentative topics, you should organize them in order of importance, as you may run out of time. However, place any topics that were not discussed from the previous month to the top to ensure that they are covered. Attempt to cover all topics that are suggested, in order to empower staff to take the initiative to make suggestions. Once they feel that you have turned off the faucet, so to speak, it is very difficult to turn it back on and they will shut down.

Step #3
Before the meeting is adjourned, ask for a volunteer to be the next “Meeting Coordinator” to conduct the next monthly meeting. Everyone must take a turn as part of the team to learn that it is not scary and it is fun to be “in control!” You will also need someone to be the “secretary” to take notes and keep them in a binder or in the computer for reference as needed, along with the Action Item List.

The Meeting Coordinator should be prepared to create the actual typed agenda, make sure that all the statistics are complete and copies are made for everyone, a copy of the updated Action Items is available for everyone, and everyone is reminded to arrive early.

It is also the Meeting Coordinator’s responsibility to keep the meeting moving, the topics productive, and most of all, to help everyone in drawing a conclusion and/or assigning a task to someone with a deadline for the task to be completed. This is an area where you can assist, if needed. The new Action Items must also be placed on the current Action Item List by the secretary for review at the next meeting. 

Step #4
Help to make it fun and praise them for a job well done. Just as uncomfortable as it may be for you to do this, they may feel the same - but it is so important for this meeting to take place to open the lines of communication in your practice. You will be amazed at the great ideas your team will have relative to the promotion of the practice, improving efficiency, adding additional customer service items, etc.

As a practice owner, I hear that you are tired of “rowing the boat” all the time and why doesn’t your team come up with new ideas for the practice, implementation of new equipment or techniques, read interesting articles in the journals to share, etc. Maybe you have never given them an avenue to do so?

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com.

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