If you are still not obtaining your desired goals, perhaps it is because a better understanding of priorities is needed.
I often hear doctors say they would like to be more productive. See more patients each day. Have more new patients visit each month. They inform me that if only they could figure out how to have that, they would be doing well.
Many of us have challenges prioritizing our days. We have so much to do and so little time to do it in. In the end, we accomplish less of what is most important. When discussing the tasks that must be finished in any dental practice it is best to group them into the following categories: People, Priorities and Projects.
People come first because people are most important. No matter what type of business we are talking about, this is true, but it is particularly true of the business of dentistry. People tasks should ALWAYS come first. People based tasks include greeting, checking patients in and out, answering the telephone and providing dental care. With people as our primary focus, we must strive to do all we can to ensure they know we respect and value them.
Priorities are tasks that must be completed before each team member and/or the doctor leaves for the day. Priorities include things such as charting, sterilization, day sheets, and confirmation.
Projects are items that need to be done, no doubt, but they are tasks that can be completed at any time and are not necessarily time critical to today. They are things like insurance follow-up, ordering and finding someone to replace a ceiling tile. Important, yes, but maybe not so important that it can’t wait until tomorrow.
In a group setting, I will often go to each team member and have them list the main things they do for the practice, placing each task in the appropriate category based on how they view it. Many times I find the following items in the project category: treatment follow-up, recall and marketing. Remember, projects are things to be completed only after people and priorities if there is additional time at the end of the day. If your true desire is more patients in your schedule, more new patients coming in, then shouldn’t the efforts of your entire team reflect this?
A doctor walked into her office and stated it was time to clean the carpets. Later that day she had a number of bids on her desk to clean the carpet. That is great, except her schedule also had five hours open for the next few days and no one had been working on it. It is a great example of what happens when the line between people, priorities and projects is blurred.
To see more of your existing patients or to have more new patients come into your practice, the tasks that directly lead to that outcome should be a priority and, aside from people activities, take precedence.
Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build quality communication and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.