to the “Meet” of the Issues Barrier
Oh hooray, it’s that time again.
Everyone comes together, circles the table, and stares. Arms locked
across chests, they stare at the ceiling, the floor, the clock,
the stain on doctor’s lab coat, yes it’s another staff
meeting and the intellectual exchange could only be greater if you
were measuring the spray patterns of aerosol cans. Admittedly, many
doctors look at staff meetings as big, fat, exercises in futility
that ultimately result in lost production time and lower revenue.
If that’s a fair assessment of how you feel about the effectiveness
meetings it sounds like it’s time to get to the “meet”
of this essential practice management issue.
Look at meetings not from the standpoint of revenue lost
but rather the potential of significant revenue gain. They
are the opportunity to identify and solve problems, to establish
policies, to present information, to motivate, to exchange ideas,
to identify areas of responsibility, etc. And isn’t every
one of those vitally important to growing a thriving practice? Yes!
I’ve tried staff meetings,” doctors will say time
and again only to abandon them because, “Everyone was
looking at me to do all the talking.” Conversely, team
members will pronounce, “We give input but nothing ever
changes.” Team participation and implementation of agreed
upon changes are essential to the success of not only the meeting
but also the ability of the staff to take ownership of systems and
become accountable for their results.
guarantee a productive and informative meeting for everyone by assigning
each staff member the responsibility of reporting on their particular
system at the meeting. For example, Jane, the scheduling
coordinator will report on: 1. The number of new
patients scheduled for the month. 2. The number
of new patients actually seen. 3. The number of
emergency patients scheduled for the month. 4.
The number of emergency patients treated for the month. 5.
The number and dollar amount of unscheduled time units for the month.
6. Office supply expenses for the month compared
to collections. 7. The number of patients with
Next week, more practical strategies to turn meetings into
the ultimate practice building sessions.
you have any questions or comments, please email Sally McKenzie
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
Missed Past Issues of Our e-Motivator Newsletter?
An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause
VP Professional Relations
Computing - Part 7
Last week [see
article], I started expanding the explanation of your clinical
computing commitments to your patients. I am going to continue expanding
this week with more patient service commitments.
next four commitments all belong in the same basic category. When
the dentist, hygienist, and assistant use their charting system
together – the patient gets to hear greater value
in the breadth of the services you provide on a regular
basis. You have already learned how important patient value perception
is to your patient’s well being, your business growth, and
Here are the first four for this week.
“A patient of ours will know and value that we provide oral
“A patient of ours will know and value that we provide plaque
“A patient of ours will know and value that we check “their
“A patient of ours will be much more aware of the depth
and breadth of our clinical examination findings”
The fourth patient commitment sums up the first three. Through their
training and countless hours of CE, dentists and clinical team members
have turned their hard work into an “assumed routine”.
To you, the diagnostic steps you take during an examination
are so much a part of your professional life – the
routine has caused you to “assume” the patient knows
what you are doing. As a dentist or hygienist calls out information
to an assistant while you use your charting software, the patient
is now exposed verbally to everything YOU take for granted! Believe
me, your patients will be warmly surprised. They may not say anything
to you. Some will – some won’t. Now reflect on your
own personal life. When was the last time you purchased the services
of a company and were “warmly surprised”? Do you have
an example in your mind?
I bet you kept going back yourself and purchased additional services.
And, I bet you would recommend the company if a friend, family member,
or co-worker asked.
Another patient commitment for this week.
“A patient of ours will be able to see the results
of their homecare regimen on screen and how it has affected their
The most important word in this commitment is “see”.
We just discussed the improved patient value perception when they
“hear” the many steps you take during an examination.
Now, what if the patient could actually “see” it for
themselves? The old saying, “I believe half of what
I hear, and everything I see”, applies here. Did
you not discuss their periodontal condition and home care at the
last visit? Of course you did! “Seeing”, the results
of their periodontal status from the last visit to this visit solidifies
the caring nature of the hygienist’s home care instruction.
It also ties the patient to the problem WITH the hygienist so they
can work on it TOGETHER. If you record periodontal probing depths
on your clinical charting system, take the time to present the results
to your patients. Once they have a sense of ownership in their care
– they will feel much better about “owning” the
rest of the care they need.
you have any questions or comments, please email Mark Dilatush at
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
Mark's Technology Workshop titled Using
Your Practice Management Software to Drive Revenues on Dec.
10th in La Jolla. For more information email email@example.com
or call 1-877-900-5775
The Cold Shoulder
Giving Dentists And Their Staff Different Perspectives On Day To
week I concluded my article by stating that there are practitioners
who believe that their need for leadership skills is based upon
their assumption that leadership is somehow a magical concept that
will allow them to make
listen to them and then do what they are told. The desire
to have people listen to you is a very natural extension of everyone's
desire to matter in this world and have some power and
influence over their destiny; however, it is one thing to ask to
have influence over a perfect stranger, and it is quite another
to insist on influence over someone that you are paying to do a
job for you.
The fact that many practitioners do not see this distinction is
a reflection of the way the mind organizes itself. It is not a flaw
in the brain, but rather it is a beautiful example of how we
learn to adapt in childhood and then take the same adaptations and
apply them to our adult life. Business is the manifestation
of adult living and this assumption that people will not listen
to us like they didn’t in childhood, except if we are a “leader”
is a carryover from a childhood fantasy.
us be very clear and remember that we are talking about owners of
a business who pay out a paycheck every week in exchange for asking
people to do their job descriptions. We are not asking people to
do something that is illegal or against their interest. Now, these
situations require real leadership skills. Isn't it interesting
that a person should think that asking someone to do what
is part of their job description requires leadership. Nothing
could be farther from the truth.
truth remains that you, as the business owner, have the power to
ask your staff, the employees who receive a paycheck, to do absolutely
anything that is consistent with their job description. We do not
need leadership, we do not need the love, we do not need respect,
we do not need trust, and we do not need their permission. It is
part of the social business contract that exists between employer
and employee. Tell people what you want them to do. They
expect you to tell them what you want.
Yes, love, respect, and trust go a long way toward building working
relationships that feel pleasurable on a daily basis, but they are
not essential to have people do their jobs. While it is very easy
for me to say, I am also well aware that it is very very difficult
for some practitioners to utter these words and feelings
because of their personal experience. That experience in the past
was real, it was hurtful, and it was damaging to the worldview of
coaching, I work with people who have a perspective of the world
and a perspective of themselves which is not accurate based on the
social business contract. They live their life as if certain things
are true for everybody, when in fact, they were only true for themselves
and they were only true for themselves in their childhood.
It is essential that everyone reading this column understand that
we are all, I repeat, we are all the product of our family experience.
Some of us have had experiences that prepared us well for the world
of the adults, the world of business, and the world of family. Others
have had experiences that have not prepared them well
for the world of adult, the world of business, and the world of
is this lack of appropriate preparation which leads to this distorted
definition that the word “leadership” conjures up. As
I expressed last week, leadership seems to be a natural biological
behavior that some have and most do not; however, when we discuss
issues of practice management, we are not talking about leadership,
but rather we are talking about asking the staff to do something
the way the owner wants it done. This does not require
leadership, but it does require a belief that you are entitled to
get what you want and what you paid for. Ask any adult or owner
of a business.
In conclusion, the discussion of leadership is a valid topic for
practice management discussion, but it must be placed within the
context that it belongs. Many of the problems that are called “issues
of leadership” are really the owners of the business
reluctant to express themselves and tell others what they want.
Coaching is the solution to this kind of problem.
Want your issues answered? Ask the firstname.lastname@example.org.
miss The Coach’s workshops on November 8th, Taking
Your Practice Back – Leaderhip Development for Dentistry.
For more information email email@example.com
or call 1-877-900-5775
Insurance Coding Handbook 4th Edition
manual is an office essential!
Much more than just codes and definitions, this manual helps you
speed up insurance reimbursement, reduce requests for "more
information" and decrease payment delays! Additionally, under
the provisions set by the HIPAA Act, all dental offices and insurance
carriers that transmit health information electronically must
use the current version of dental procedure codes found in this
Handbook. In addition, you will receive information on treatment
estimates and how to talk to patients about insurance.
GOALS IN 2003?
us help you and your team establish an overall business plan
for the upcoming year. Achieve your goals with our two day
Team Building Retreat!
your time in La Jolla, we also encourage you and your team
to take advantage of some of La Jolla’s incredible activities:
golf, surfing, professional
sports, wine tasting, horseback riding and a whole lot more!!
I just attended a seminar you gave in San Diego and you were talking
about having my receptionist keep track of unscheduled time units.
How does she do that?
To track the number of unscheduled time units for the doctor she
must first know what the daily production goal is in order to put
a value on the unit. An unscheduled unit if cancelled and not filled,
the patient not showing up or time never filled. Unscheduled time
units is taking the daily production goal divided by number of units
worked per day. For example, let’s say our present goal is
$3061 and you work an 8 hour day and are scheduled on 10 minute
time units. There are 48 ten minute units in an 8 hour day. So $3,061
÷ 48... 10 minute time units in an 8 hour day = $65.83 per
10 minute unit. Now let’s say your Goal is no more than 2
- 10 minute units per day unscheduled for the doctor or $131.66
($65.83 x 2 = $131.66) in lost production. Your receptionist should
track this daily in order to report to you the monthly total.
you wondering if your hygiene department is producing what it could
Allan Monack's hygienist produces $1231 a day seeing
1 patient an hour with a
prophy fee of $70.
your hygienist producing?
Monack is the Hygiene Clinical Consultant for McKenzie Management.
He can help you produce the same results.
To find out more about the Hygiene
Clinical Enrichment Program [go
here], contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call: 877-777-6151
Center for Dental Career Development
Business Education for Dental Professionals
737 Pearl Street,
La Jolla, CA 92037