Flourishing in Changing Times: A dental office should have solid systems in place

Team members work better knowing what is expected of them.

Jun 12th, 2013
Blatchford June

To create that magic team, we need solid systems for our team to follow. Everything we do needs to be documented so that our team can know how to best accomplish every task with efficiency and skill.

McDonald’s is a great example of systems in place. A whole new team can be trained to cook a burger just right, place the pickles, and so on. Everything they do is documented so new people can join in immediately, and customers can count on McDonald’s results.

Staff standards come from the dentist defining his or her vision for standard of care, goals, values, and ideals. This vision needs to be communicated often and demonstrated through action. Team members embrace this vision rather than operate as individuals, and from this vision, systems are built and documented.

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If you do not have your own unique systems documented, new people bring into your office the things they understood and enjoyed in their last offices. Yes, they’re experienced workers, but will that alone make your office special? And how do they embrace the magic that is possible?

Everything you do must have a system. Examples include preparing trays for tomorrow’s schedule, collecting fees, making financial arrangements, scripting for new patient conversations, handling emergencies, holding blocks in the schedule, handling the bonus system, entering treatment, office timeliness, meeting structures, asking for referrals, daily production and collection goals, the morning meeting, and how to address the office website are just a few.

Without solid and documented systems, we are operating a Lear jet with a joystick. Without systems, the dentist has a thin thread of hope that all will be accomplished well and patients will be thrilled with the service.

No documentation? No systems? A good place to start is MarshaFreeman.com, and each team member can revise to make it reflect your practice. Include links, manuals, and pictures of how you want your practice to look, sound, and operate. Add your scripts and things that make you unique and your service excellent.

Keep your systems manual up to date, adding revisions as things change. Review this as a team every six months. Train your team to the systems, and you’ll have consistent results every time.

Dr. Bill Blatchford, America’s premier dental business coach, is CEO of Blatchford Solutions. He coaches dentists of all ages to be more profitable and efficient while taking more time away to rejuvenate. His new book, “The Boomer Dentist,” with Jeff Griswold, a financial planner, is now available. Dr. Blatchford can be reached at 888-977-4600 and bill@blatchford.com.

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