Streamline your huddle


January 2010 | dentalproductsreport.comWEB EXCLUSIVE

January 2010 |

Streamline your huddle

An effective meeting is all about clear expectations and clear data.

by Dr. Wayne Pernell, Pride Institute Consultant

Many dental offices have some form of a morning meeting. Very few offices have a truly effective, streamlined huddle that produces seamless delivery of clinical care and outstanding customer service. The yellow brick road to a highly effective huddle is organized, thorough preparation consistently done during dedicated administrative time.

What follows are structured checklists for each team member according to his or her job description. This ensures efficient, focused preparation. It may not be as easy as clicking your heels three times, but if followed it will get you home. 

All aboard
All team members will need a copy of the next business day's schedule, highlighters, and patient charts. If charts are digital, access to a computer terminal is necessary. Each individual will report on information pertinent to his or her job responsibilities, while other team members take notes. This way, everyone is informed and-even more important-prepared.

Appointment Coordinator

  • Note the next available production pre-block
  • Note the next available new patient pre-block
  • Note the next SRP block for hygienists
  • Dollar amount of total production scheduled
  • Dollar amount of doctor's production scheduled
  • Doctor's daily goal
  • New patient information (include new emergency patients). This breakdown should include possible motivators and concerns, reason for the appointment, any special needs or concerns, and how the patient was referred
  • Note patients who are potential referral sources
  • Note patients who should be personally thanked for their referrals
  • Note patients who were kept waiting at their last visit
  • Note patients who were late at their last visit

Financial/Insurance Coordinator

  • Note patients who need to be handed off for financial arrangements
  • Note co-payment amounts due from patients
  • Note patients scheduled for today who have outstanding balances
  • Note patients who need modified financial arrangements
  • Note insurance information updates needed
  • Note any insurance delays and enlist patients' assistance

Treatment Coordinator

  • Highlight patients scheduled for consultations
  • Note any last-minute questions on today's treatment plans
  • Information from specialists for scheduled patients
  • Special materials needed for cases or special presentations
  • Follow-up due to/from specialists
  • Follow-up calls to patients including post-op calls
  • Highlight patients who need referrals to specialists

 Dental Hygienist

  • Goal for hygiene production
  • Amount of hygiene production scheduled for today
  • Highlight any patients who need to be pre-medicated before treatment
  • Highlight patients who need to do health history updates
  • Highlight patients on schedule who need periodic exams
  • Highlight patients on schedule who need periapical x-rays, BWX, FMX or Panorex
  • Highlight patients on schedule who need periodontal probing
  • Other services to offer patients-fluoride treatments, electric toothbrush, products to treat sensitivity, whitening, Invisalign 
  • Highlight patients who have outstanding restorative treatment plans that can be discussed while working in the particular quadrant
  • Highlight patients who can offered an intraoral camera tour of their mouth and dentition
  • Identify potential restorative treatment ("watches" on teeth)
  • Can any hygiene patients potentially be scheduled for upcoming production blocks?
  • Potential referral sources? If so, plan to ask for referrals

Dental Assistant

  • Match scheduled treatment to treatment plans-make necessary corrections
  • Identify times when emergency patients can be seen
  • Double check to ensure that all lab cases for today have been checked in and approved by the doctor, and that cases for the next patient day have arrived
  • Assess patients' motivators/concerns
  • Highlight patients who need to be pre-medicated for treatment
  • Any special preparations for patients-nitrous oxide, blanket, pillow, sunglasses, specific operatory, etc.
  • Next step in treatment-can the patient be scheduled in the next available production block?
  • Patients due or past-due for a hygiene visit? Can they potentially take any openings today?
  • Other services that can be offered-whitening, Invisalign, cosmetic procedures
  • Potential referral sources? If so, plan to ask for referrals.

Remember to report out only information that is new or that is not on the schedule. Once huddle prep is complete, all that remains is to utilize any remaining admin time with duties in your area or to offer to help another team member.

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