11.24.17 Issue #820 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How Job Descriptions Can Improve Practice Efficiencies
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Dentist Case Study #414

The Doctor’s Concerns
When he came to us, this doctor felt like his practice was out of control. Tasks kept falling through the cracks, yet no one wanted to admit responsibility. He couldn’t hold any of his team members accountable for their performance, and no one seemed to know who was supposed to do what. All this confusion was not only leading to conflict among his team members, it was also hurting practice productivity and killing his bottom line.

After talking with the doctor, the problem became clear: He had never taken the time to develop job descriptions for his team members, leaving them feeling lost. They truly had no idea who was responsible for which tasks, or what the doctor’s expectations were. This lack of direction left the practice unorganized and chaotic, making it difficult for the team to meet daily production goals.

In his frustration, the doctor would hold team meetings to determine why there were errors in the schedule, or why certain tasks weren’t getting done. But because team members didn’t know which systems they were actually responsible for, those meetings got him nowhere. Nothing changed, and he continued to feel like his practice was out of control. 

The Solution
So how did we help this doctor? We told him to sit down with his team members to develop detailed job descriptions. He was resistant at first (like most dentists, he thought job descriptions were nothing but a waste of time) but knew something needed to change. He matched his current team members with jobs that fit their temperament and skillset, and made sure his expectations were clear. Now, his once chaotic practice is much more efficient, with team members who are confident in their skills and who know exactly what’s expected of them each day.

Many dentists struggle to create job descriptions, and that’s where McKenzie Management can help. In this case, the doctor received input from his team members to craft effective job descriptions, while we also provided guidance along the way. What we came up with has served to improve practice efficiencies and ultimately his practice’s bottom line. Here’s a quick overview of the job descriptions we developed:

Scheduling Coordinator
The Scheduling Coordinator manages the schedule, and is the only one who should book appointment times. This team member must be trained to schedule you (and all producers) to meet production goals, not just to stay busy. It’s this team member’s responsibility to follow-up with patients who have unscheduled treatment. In some cases, like in our doctor’s practice, the Scheduling Coordinator also checks every patient out, and is responsible for posting their charges and payments as well as scheduling their next appointment.

Treatment Coordinator
After you talk with your patients chairside, the Treatment Coordinator then spends time answering questions and educating them about recommended treatment and the potential consequences of not going forward with that treatment. He or she presents cases for all producers in the practice in a quiet, relaxed environment, and then follows-up two days later to address any lingering concerns and ultimately get these patients on the schedule.

Financial Coordinator
The tasks on this team member’s to-do list should include:
- Generate claims each day
- Verify patient insurance eligibility
- Confirm all patient insurance information is correct
- Manage outstanding insurance claims, outstanding account balances and weekly statements

Hygiene Coordinator
This team member is responsible for growing the practice through the hygiene department, and is charged with “dialing for dollars.” Each month, the coordinator should perform a five-step follow-up process to keep the schedule full. He or she must be trained to schedule the hygienist to produce three times his or her hygiene salary or 1/3 of the total practice production goal.

Hygienists and Assistants
These clinical team members perform specific duties associated with their training.

The Outcome
Once job descriptions were put in place and shared with the entire team, there was no longer any doubt about who was responsible for which tasks. If the doctor suddenly has a problem with procedures being booked incorrectly, for example, he knows he must talk with his Scheduling Coordinator about the issue and possibly provide additional training.

There is no more confusion, and employees now have a much better idea of how their contributions help move the practice forward. Team members are more efficient and much happier, and it shows in the way they interact with each other and with patients. Productivity and revenues have gone up, all because this doctor took the time to give his team members the direction they craved, enabling them to finally feel comfortable in their roles.

Need more help crafting the perfect job descriptions? Contact McKenzie Management and we’ll get you started.

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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