“Great things really do come in small packages.” This old adage range loud and clear during my in-office visit with Dr. Joseph Hull and his team in Gregory, South Dakota. Often in the dental profession, we find tough challenges which often make it seem that staying-the-course is just an old useless cliché. We are often faced with difficult obstacles such as: keeping the schedule full, having the practice continue to grow, daily patient time management issues and even communicating clearly and consistently with our patients and staff.
Read on to find out how, during a private in-office coaching session, this team of eight in a small town of 1,350 delivered BIG outcomes and created BIG results!
In order to create significant change when the desired outcome is to implement new systems and protocols, it is important to identify the obstacles and road blocks, and then be dedicated to “pulling out all the stops” in order to achieve BIG results.
The team at Hull Dental Health has shown some HUGE improvements in less than 4 months of private hygiene coaching.
- Perio numbers have gone from 23% to 40%
- Adult fluoride application has increased from 27% to 80%
With these fantastic results, they still found themselves facing some obstacles that were keeping them from implementing crucial systems such as: updating medical/dental histories and time management issues. To work through their issues, we used role-playing as a learning tool.
We walked through a real patient appointment scenario, step-by-step and assessed what was working, what was not – and why? During this exercise, the team not only practiced adding in the new protocol and systems, but they uncovered and solved two key obstacles that were creating roadblocks!
Obstacle: Updating patient medical/dental history routinely once a year
Roadblock: Time management
Solution: Added 10 minutes of admin time to each patient appointment and assigned the task to a specific team member to gather the necessary history effectively and efficiently
Obstacle: Staying on schedule and creating a successful hand-off from back to front office
- Doctor’s time
- Patients waiting
- Insufficient treatment plan and notes taken before releasing patient to front
- Team members not getting lunches or out on time
- Assigned an Assistant to be the “traffic controller” for doctor
- Hygiene team committed to alerting the doc for exam as soon as they are finished gathering all data (20 minutes after beginning of appointment and before scaler is picked up)
- Assistant will input treatment plan and notes while doctor is discussing treatment with patient
- Assistant to escort patient to consult room for the hand-off to go over financial arrangements and schedule next appointment