8.28.15 Issue #703 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Training is Forever!
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

How many Continuing Education credits do you, doctor, earn every year? And how many hours does your team earn every year? I would venture to say that your team is not earning near as many hours as you earn. And why is that? As the dentist, do you feel that your team will “follow your lead” and just figure things out as they go along? You would not want to place an implant without knowing how first, therefore you should not expect your support team to answer questions about the implant and schedule the appointment without knowing how. They need training, just like you do, to be proficient in implementing this new procedure into their skill set. Let’s look at all the working parts should you elect to bring in a new service such as implants. This scenario would also apply to cad-cam restorations, orthodontics or any new service.

Training for New Procedures
You elect to dedicate your CE credits this year to learning how to place implants. You feel that your patients will appreciate you providing this as a service. You spend hours of reading and training to prepare yourself. But what about your team? Let’s review two scenarios associated with new services being offered to your patients that will shed some light on this question.

Scenario #1
Who in your office is asked the most questions about your services - you, your assistants, your hygienists or your business team? I can promise that it is not you! When you review options with your patients, they nod their head and agree with what you say. When you ask if they have any questions, they respond with a “no”. But as soon as you leave the room, the patient immediately asks your assistant or hygienist to explain what you just said, or asks why they need the service and what other options they have. How can your staff comfortably and confidently answer these patient questions without being trained?

Scenario #2
Who answers the phone in your office and fields questions about the implants you are presenting? Your business team - so don’t you want them trained to answer these questions? Let’s say your patient says “yes” to your treatment proposal. Now your clinical team needs to know what parts to order and who to order from. Is there a custom abutment? How do they create a treatment plan for the business team, etc.? How do they set up the tray and the operatory, do they need different instruments? Your business team needs information. How is the appointment scheduled? How much time is needed and how much time is assistant vs. doctor time? How many appointments will it take and is there a follow-up appointment? When should the appointment for the crown be scheduled? What insurance codes should be used? Does a pre-estimate need to be sent to the patient’s insurance company? They need answers!

Retraining for Consistency
Basic scheduling concepts often go by the wayside due to new employees coming on board with no training relative to their job description. Other times, it is simply a matter of team members following the path of least resistance instead of staying the course for improved change.

Whether your practice has worked with McKenzie Management, another consulting firm, or you have implemented your own systems, it is imperative that the systems be reviewed annually to confirm that protocols are still in place. Ask questions such as, “How soon can a new hygiene patient get an appointment?” The answer should be within a week. If the answer is something different, the system has been compromised and retraining is necessary.

The same is true for the clinical team. Are each of your treatment rooms set up the same way with the same instruments and supplies, or have your assistants “claimed” an operatory for their own? Retraining and reviewing is necessary to get them back onboard.   

It takes a team working together to achieve your practice goals, and the team must have a game plan, scripts and training (and retraining) on a regular basis to confirm that the systems are in place and being implemented. If your practice needs systems or you feel it is time to review your systems for effectiveness, contact us today. We can help.
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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