5.8.15 Issue #687 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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The Art of Appreciation
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Do you really know what tasks your business team members perform during the day? My guess is “not really.” You work closely with your clinical team and appreciate what they do for you and your patients. You realize that without them, you could not provide proper care for your patients. But often the business team members are the “black sheep” of the office. They can be misunderstood and underappreciated for all they do for you and your patients. What could be changed to give you and the clinical team a better understanding of their contribution to the success of your practice?

What Do You Know?
You “don’t know what you don’t know,” so you can’t appreciate any team member if you are unaware of their role in your office. You may have hired them, but did you train them? Probably not! To start appreciating an employee, you must know what they do in your practice.

In fairness to you, the doctor, specific systems must be in place to know what you need to know. Job descriptions and a mechanism for accountability are essential for you to appreciate their tasks and how well they perform these tasks.

Do you know the following?
• Who is responsible for scheduling you to your daily goal?
• Who is responsible for scheduling the hygienists to their daily goal?
• Who makes sure that the deposit balances daily?
• Who confirms the appointments for you and the hygienists?
• Who answers insurance questions?
• Who files the insurance claims daily and follows up to make sure they are paid?

These are just a few of the questions you should be able to answer with confidence if you have more than one business team member working for you.

Who Do You Know?
It is essential to have specifically assigned job descriptions when there are multiple business employees. You should be instrumental in assisting with the assignment of these job descriptions, unless you elect to partner with a practice management consultant who will work with your front desk team to clarify these tasks for you.

When you can identify tasks with a specific employee, it allows you to address specific questions directly to that person. Each team member is responsible for knowing the answer, opposed to “Doctor, I didn’t do that so I don’t know.”

Empowered employees WANT to be responsible for their own tasks. They do not enjoy being expected to know the answer to tasks they do not perform regularly, or reprimanded for a task they are not accountable for.

How Do You Know
Now that you know “who” is responsible for tasks by implementing job descriptions, you can determine if the tasks are being performed to industry standards. A monthly monitor of statistics is vital so you not only know who is responsible for the assigned tasks, but also what the statistics are indicating about the health of your practice from a business aspect.

Example #1: Do you know what percentage of your Accounts Receivables are over 90 days? It is the Financial Coordinator’s responsibility to know this information and report it to you and the other team members via the monthly monitor.

Example #2: Do you know what percentage of payments coming into the office every day are made at the time of service? This ensures that the business team asks patients for “their portion” if insurance is involved. This is the responsibility of the Schedule Coordinator, since she/he is typically the person checking out patients and making their next appointment.

Show Appreciation for Your Team
Now you have the tools in place for your business team to know who is responsible for what tasks, and what the indicators and goals are (with training from a practice management consultant or professional dental training center). Monthly meetings with the entire team to review these monitors and discuss the results gives you a venue to show your appreciation when the job is well done.

Don’t forget to rave about your clinical team as well. Yes, the Scheduling Coordinator can schedule you to meet your daily goal, but it takes the assistants working with you to be efficient while providing quality care with a smile for all your patients. Congratulate your hygienists for reaching their goals, as scheduled by your Hygiene Coordinator.

It takes a team working together to make every day run as smoothly as possible. Take a moment to recognize your individual team members for a job well done. Thank them after a busy day. Say “good-bye” at the end of the day before going home. I can promise you they will appreciate it!

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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