Morning huddles help improve dental team morale, productivity

Done right, morning huddles are not only helpful, but a huge dental office morale booster

Sep 19th, 2013
Fisher Day Huddle

Morning huddles are as important to a dental team as sideline huddles are to a football team. This daily communication is key to a productive and profitable practice, and is the most important communication of the day.

There are several things you should accomplish in the 10 to 15 minute huddle.

I recommend the dentist or scheduling coordinator facilitate the huddle.

*Have all providers and assistants review their schedule prior to the huddle. Any questions or concerns they have about a patient or the schedule can be addressed at this time.
*Hygienists and assistants should review their patient records prior to the morning huddle, make a note of unscheduled treatment or re-care appointments needed, and mention this in the morning huddle so the entire team knows. If there is a change in the schedule and a patient needs treatment, you can save the patient an extra trip to by offering to complete treatment while the persons is in the office.
*This is the best time for doctor(s) and clinical team members to review the schedule and decide the best times to see emergency patients.
* Any housekeeping issues that cannot wait until the regular team meeting should be addressed during the morning huddle.
* Hygienists should take this opportunity to make the team aware of extra time needed with the doctor (for anesthesia, new patient exam, etc.).
* Discuss team goals, where you stand and what you need to do to reach your goals.
* This is the best time for the scheduling coordinator to make the team aware of life events for patients on the schedule — i.e., marriage, new baby, death in the family, etc.
* Review the schedule from the prior day. Discuss follow-up where needed and address outstanding issues.

CONSIDER ALSO READING:10 ways to ensure that morning huddles will positively impact the dental practice
Don't muddle through the huddle

Benefits of committing to a morning huddle:

* Knowing patient needs in advance to make sure that the supplies and lab cases are available.
* Increased productivity and profitability by having the entire team aware of patients with unscheduled treatment.
* Improved team morale by identifying who will need help throughout the day and making sure someone is available to help.
* Effective handling of emergencies because the clinical team is involved in selecting the best time.
* Keeping the team informed of daily production goals and reinforcing that it is a team effort to meet them.
* Having everyone on the same page from the beginning of the day encourages teamwork and harmony.

Close the huddle on a positive note by thanking everyone for their participation and wishing everyone a great day.

Mary Fisher-Day is celebrating 30 years in dentistry. She worked as a dental assistant, scheduling coordinator, and office manager for 17 years, then returned to college to study business management. Mary consulted with a well-known practice management company, which led to her developing The Dental Business. She then joined The Snyder Group, which later merged with Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions. Mary has a proven track record of helping dentists make wise business decisions, and she loves the challenges The Dental Business brings and is committed to be the resource her clients need at any stage of their career. Contact Mary at

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