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Alicia Owens, a Dentrix profitability coach at Henry Schein Practice solutions, discussed how the morning huddle can put a dental practice on better path to profitability at the Yankee Dental Congress in Boston, Mass.
There are several challenges that come with owning and managing a dental practice that can be amplified when the practice owner has little to no business background. This is the unfortunate case for many dentists today.
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On Saturday, Jan. 28, Alicia Owens, a Dentrix profitability coach at Henry Schein Practice Solutions, discussed how to overcome challenges in a dental practice.
According to Owens, two of the biggest challenges that dental practice owners face include production and collection. As the leader of the practice, it is your job to ensure these issues are being addressed. However, in order to tackle these challenges, your whole team needs to participate. One way to ensure participation is with a daily huddle.
Daily huddles, Owens said, should be a casual and motivational start to the workday. There should be open communication between the leader — the dentist – and the staff. It’s important to steer the conversation away from negative issues and complaints, and toward organization and strategizing, Owens said.
First, the team should come up with a list of long-term and short-term goals. Getting the staff involved in setting goals will keep them motivated, while ensuring the necessary funds and resources needed to reach each goal are available can help keep goals realistic.
Six considerations to keep in mind when setting goals include:
1. What do we want to accomplish?
2. Why do we want to accomplish these goals?
3. Are there requirements or constraints?
4. Who needs to be involved?
5. How will we achieve this?
6. When should we accomplish this by?
One of the most important goals for any dental practice is setting daily revenue goals optimizing the schedule to achieve them.
For example, if your daily goal is $5,000, and you previously scheduled your day to reflect that goal but you had two cancellations, make sure your team devises a plan to make up for the loss. One solution Owens suggested is to have a waiting list that can be used to fill the schedule holes.
Other goals may include:
· Reminding patients of their outstanding balance while they’re in the office.
· Reaching out to patients due for a hygiene appointment.
· Reminding a patient if their family member is due for an appointment.
· Identifying loyal patients and asking them to reflect on their experiences through online reviews.
· Maximizing production to increase the daily revenue.
To ensure that your long-term goals are met, Owens suggested reviewing them monthly and quarterly. Studies have shown that written goals are more likely to be achieved than spoken ones. Whatever the goals may be, Owens stressed the importance of celebrating the small wins and acknowledging progress.