Monday, August 29, 2016

Five Tips for Effective Morning Huddles

Anyone in practice knows how busy our workdays can be and how easily they can get out of control. To keep our days running smoothly, and to make sure we are maximizing our potential production, our team runs a morning meeting every day. Now, most offices I’ve seen are doing some type of morning huddle, but quite often, they end up becoming time for everyone to gossip or complain rather than an opportunity to set the day in the right direction. If you think your office needs some redirection, the following five steps can guide you to conducting effective and efficient morning meetings. 
  1. Let go of the reins. The morning meeting should be run by the team, not the doctor. This means that each member present comes prepared to briefly review his or her assigned information and will take turns presenting it to the rest of team. As the team and doctor listen, the team member can ask questions.
  2. Review the front office report. It is the responsibility of the patient care coordinator or office manager to go over the previous day’s treatment acceptance, what got on the books, and what went out the door and why. This creates a great opportunity for team members to assess how effective their communication skills are, as well as how they can approach things differently. It will also provide insight for scheduling coordinators on how to follow up with a patient. 
  3. Review the hygiene report. Our hygienists are next. As they go over each individual on their schedule, they highlight what needs to be followed up with on that specific patient. For example, is there treatment pending, and why? The front office and assistants can provide input as to why treatment has been delayed so everyone can decide how to approach the conversation.
  4. Review the dental assistant report. While I know we dentists love and get excited about our schedules, and we can chat it up with our wonderful and just-as-excited dental assistants (DA), this should be the briefest report of the huddle. The only thing that should be discussed is what procedures are being done and any specific questions the DA may have about the appointment. Also, this is the time when the team can solidify how the patient continues on with care … what’s next?
  5.  Review numbers in “The Daily Huddle Report.” Every dental software program has the capability to generate reports. The one I recommend being reviewed in the morning meeting is called “The Daily Huddle Report.” This can be customized to whatever numbers you want to track and deem relative to the daily production. Don’t spend too much time on this. Numbers are important, but they can be boring. We all want to have great production and collection, but ultimately, the focus should be on patient care. Increased revenue is just a wonderful byproduct of quality care!
I enjoy coming into my office in the morning and seeing my team. I love to have fun with them, but our days need to start with positivity and laser-sharp focus. If we start the day off fully prepared and headed in the right direction, we are always more productive and relaxed and have more time for fun together as a team and with our patients.

Pamela Marzban, DDS, FAGD

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