Right people right places right things

April 22, 2010
Right now it is vital to establish the key positions for a future-proof (we are beyond recession proofing) practice. It is important to match players with the positions in your practice.

By Gary Kadi

A baseball team without a first baseman would find it difficult to get their competitors out on hits to the infield. It is equally important for the baseball team manager to match the inherent talents and skills of each player to their position.

This article discusses Right People Right Places Right Things. Right now it is vital to establish the key positions for a future-proof (we are beyond recession proofing) practice. It is important to match players with the positions in your practice. The biggest challenge for most practitioners is the when-then mindset. When you make more money, then you can afford to hire a second person at the front desk. I suggest that you jump and the financial net will show up. This is a counterintuitive suggestion and one that everyone fears upfront, yet they are thankful for after they see the profound results of separating time/appointments and money/treatment planning.

1) Right people — There are two things you are evaluating here — positive mindset and positive skill set. An ideal team member has both. The second level is positive mindset and average skill set. Be careful not to get seduced by a positive skill set and poor mindset. Mindset is always senior to skill set. If you have any Debbie Downers in your office, it’s time to have a face-to-face with them to let them know that you are driving the bus and it is no longer acceptable to bring the team down. You must be willing to draw a line in the sand and move forward. Set new expectations and hold a firm line on your principles. When you do, the team member must look in the mirror and step up ... or out.

2) Right places — Here are the minimum positions needed to create a million dollar-plus practice — appointment coordinator, treatment coordinator, hygienist, assistant, doctor. If you think you cannot afford an additional person in the front office, think again while looking from this big picture view. Look at the average annual value of a patient as two hygiene visits worth $150 each ($300) plus the value of a crown and buildup that’s, say, $1,000, with a solid case-acceptance system. Then a missed hygiene appointment is valued at half of $1,300, or $650. One recovered or added hygiene appointment more than pays for the additional dedicated person’s daily salary.

3) Right things — This goes beyond job responsibilities. This is shifting your team’s thinking from being activity-driven and filling time to focusing on one primary outcome per day per position. This is known as a Daily Primary Outcome, DPO.

4) Measure and monitor facts, not feelings — A dental office can be an emotional place, but it is also important to manage your people by facts. Have your team leader set up a simple daily monitoring system to know factually how each person is fulfilling his or her DPOs. You will have a new awareness as to which team members are costing you the least due to the factual return on your investment in their salary.

Position — Ideal mindset — Daily Primary Outcome

Appointment coordinator — Warm, welcoming, firm on principle — Meets/exceeds doctor/hygienist production

Treatment coordinator — Caring, creates value, good relationship with money — Closes 67%

Hygienist — Educator, friendly, can ask to move forward — Meet/exceeds production goal; recommends treatment equal to twice doctor's daily production goal

Not just an assistant — Knows that she/he matters, educator — Meets/exceeds doctor production goal

Gary Kadi, founder of NextLevel Practice and author of "Million Dollar Dentistry," is globally recognized as the dental expert for profound results in the lives of dentists, dental teams, and their patients. Call now to get your No. 1 unanswered question in your practice answered, (866) 926-0914, and check out www.GaryKadi.com.