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Anything I Can Do, WE Can Do Better

September 11, 2018

If you have children or if you were a child, you have heard and probably used the phrase “I can do it myself!” As young children, we are taught to get things for ourselves and to do things for ourselves with the idea we will be responsible for ourselves someday. Then youth activities and youth groups begin, and we must learn to be part of a team. We must learn to work together and share responsibilities. By being a part of that team, we help others grow, learn, and maximize on individual talents to accomplish one main set of goals.

When we are young our keywords are I and me. Have you ever noticed how many times a day you say I? For the next few days, keep a tally on your words. What is your ratio of I to We? Now, make a concentrated effort to change your words, because once you join a team the I becomes We. The simplest change, the effect we are looking for, can come by using words based around Us. By taking the I out of your sentences, you start to take the I out of your mindset. This is where the magic begins to happen. Suddenly you are not thinking of you, you automatically start to consider yourself as the We. It starts as a conscientious decision to change, and before you know it, you have become a part of the We.

Let’s look at two powerful words, team and work. Individually these words have great definitions. One of Wikipedia’s descriptions for a team; “A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.” The dictionary defines work as “something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking.” Now put these two together. All coaches will have almost the same definition of teamwork. What is different is the vision for how the goal is reached and what success looks like. Everyone must work as an individual within the team, the common factor is the end game, and how We accomplish it. Who is your team and what is your end goal? Do you have a common goal, or are you more of an individual working within a team?

Every team has individual components; but the whole, the effect you can make happen, comes from the team effort, the We. We is such a nicer word. People feel better when you use we, they feel included and like they are a part of something, part of a team. And isn’t that what most of us want, to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves? Schedule a team meeting today and review your end goal, what you as a team consider a success. During your meeting, make sure you have the tools you need to compete and to succeed. And remember to watch your words.

Now, you are no longer the I taking on the world alone. You are a part of the We making true changes every day. It starts with one simple word, but you will soon discover, “Anything I can do, We can do better!”

Systems? What are they and Why do we need them?

August 7, 2018

Filed under: Communication,Marketing,Systems,Teams — Tags: , , , , , , , — Laci Phillips @ 11:09 pm

If you have worked outside the dental industry in a business setting, chances are you are familiar with the term Systems. However, in the dental world, the term and the concept are not used as readily. But they should be. Think of systems as a set of organized instructions forming an entire network of how to. Or as one client put it “If I was hit by a bus tomorrow, this is how you do everything in the office!” We know systems and protocols are important and we know we should have them in place.  And yet this seems to be one of the biggest area’s we are lacking. For us creating effective systems in a dental office is a vital step in the process of obtaining consistent results that reflect the practice vision.

Your documented systems are your building blocks for delivering the care and experience you envisioned when you opened your practice.  When well-organized systems meet excellent customer service you have a recipe for success.  They ensure that new team members have clear guidelines on how to deliver results and existing team members know what expectations they are living up to within your vision.  Every practice is different, and every practice is ever-changing which means the systems need to change with your growing business.  These documents should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

We find that most offices have some systems documented but not organized. Most of them may even be in your head. Finding a place to start is usually the hardest part of this process. We start by assigning categories such as Ownership, Administrative, Business, Clinical, Hygiene, and Marketing. Next, if you don’t have systems in place currently start by outlining the ones that may be needed. A nice organized checklist could be the easiest to gather your thoughts.  If you do have some in place, review them and see what’s missing or what needs to be changed or updated.

Here is a good partial list to get you thinking but remember they should reflect the practice, the vision and the systems already in place.

Accounts Receivable Scheduling Patient Retention
Posting Payments Blocked Scheduling Recare System
Posting Insurance Confirmations Correspondence
Patient Billing Open Time Mgmt. Scripting
Insurance Management Emergency Time Broken Appointments
Fee Schedule Mgmt. Office Communication Clinical Team
Verification Team Meetings Tray Setup
Claim Mgmt. Morning Huddles Supply Ordering
New Patient Daily Communication Lab Case Management
Phone Scripts Hygiene Department Clinical Notes
Scheduling Appointment Protocol X-ray Protocol
Patient Handoffs Perio Protocol Procedural Guidelines
Arrival Same Day Treatment Day End Procedures
Chairside Open Time Emergency Patients
Dismissal X-Ray Protocol Software Protocol

These are just a few items that are key to your team understanding how you expect your practice to function. Some systems will be detailed and lengthy. Others may be as simple as a checklist that needs to be accomplished each day.  The systems you create do not need to adhere to a standard format in the beginning, they just need to be clear and concise.  If at some point you want to create and implement a systems manual it will be easier to accomplish once you have the initial steps in place.

 

Now that you understand systems a bit more, you probably also realize you have some in place right now. They may not be organized and documented, but you have them. Now is the time to take those policies out of your head and put them into a workable space. It is easy to get bogged down in the details and overwhelmed by where to start. Start with your category breakdown, then your checklist. The next step is to start documenting, then formatting. It can seem like a huge project, but we promise it is needed, appreciated by the team and well worth the time and effort.

As always, the team at Practice Dynamics is here to help you accomplish Balance Driven Success by utilizing Systems Teams and Technology. Reach out with any questions you may have. We are excited to hear about your successes!