Profitability Must #1: No huddle equals less dental case conversions

A daily huddle is a proven “profitability must” for dental practices because it sets the flow and tone of the day. It supports communication by having the dental team report pertinent facts about the day’s patients, so you can strategize how to maximize the day’s productivity.

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By Kristine Hodsdon RDH, MSEC

A daily huddle is a proven “profitability must” for dental practices because it sets the flow and tone of the day. It supports communication by having the dental team report pertinent facts about the day’s patients, so you can strategize how to maximize the day’s productivity.

An efficient huddle highlights any scheduling, customer service or patient relations, and financial or clinical concerns for the coming day. A well-functioning and repeatable huddle doesn’t just happen it follows a consistent format. When attended punctually by all team members and doctors, it can take as little as 10 minutes. Ideally, it is held each morning before the first patient and/or at the beginning of a work shift.

BEFORE: The patient charts/records are reviewed before the meeting.

  • Clinical assistants review charts of those patients coming in to see the dentist for restorative care.
  • Dental hygienists consider those who are coming for periodontal therapy, patients who have diagnosed treatment yet no appointment scheduled, and/or patients who require a doctor exam.
  • The appointment coordinator reviews any gathered intel regarding new patients, emergency patients, and/or patients of record.
  • The financial administrator considers the account histories for all patients for the day.

DURING: Team members brief each other on issues related to the schedule and patients, and make notes if they are required to provide individual interaction with the patient during the day. For example, the financial coordinator alerts the team as to which patients are behind on payments or who requires updated financial arrangements, etc. Plus, the doctor and hygienist identify which patients have incomplete treatment from their previous visits and strategize how to best approach the patients based on the documented motivators and concerns in the patients chart. The hygienist and dentist “preplan,” or “choreograph” dialogue to be used with the patient requiring periodontal or restorative work so they can support each other’s clinical conversations and anticipate patient’s responses.

AFTER: The above are basic aspects of a profitable huddle. After training many teams on how to implement a huddle that is efficient, clinically significant, financially relevant and of immeasurable value to supporting patients to say “yes” to needed care, it’s the #1 “profitable must” for any dental team. But don’t take my word for it: Implement a morning huddle for 30 days. If done correctly, you will track for yourself an increase in case conversion, decrease stress around scheduling, and improved communication among the team.

Kristine Hodsdon RDH, MSEC, is the founder of Dental Influencers Inc. and for the past 10 years has been the editorial director of PennWell’s RDH eVillage e-newsletter. She provides professional business coaching and trains dentists and team on the 4 “M” words: money, time management, marketing, and mindset, so they create more profitable systems while serving more patients. Visit kristineahodsdon.com with inquiries regarding her coaching and CE programs.

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