Resolutions, goals, whatever you want to call it, this is the time when most of us take inventory of our successes in the last year and plan for the next. Successful practices set aside time for annual planning, a time when the entire team gets together and plans their goals for the coming year. But there is one thing to do BEFORE setting your 2011 goals..sync your team. Schedule a “Sync Session”, a few hours set aside to get everyone on the same page.
Without continuity between all team members and clear systems in place, it’s tough to reach your goals, especially in hygiene. If your practice has more than one hygienist, it is particularly important to spend time getting everyone in sync. There are 4 areas that need to be consistent between all your hygiene team members in order to grow this year. This week, I’ll share the first 2. And, I’ll give you a few questions to ask yourself and your team in your “Sync Session”.
#1 Treatment philosophy
This could be the single most valuable thing you do for your practice this year. Setting aside time for doctors and hygienists to review treatment philosophy creates confidence among your hygienists and elevates their ability to enroll restorative treatment in hygiene. Setting aside time to review a few cases will pay off ten-fold in increased treatment scheduled from hygiene. If your hygiene team doesn’t know why you recommended a crown instead of an onlay, they are less likely to be enthusiastic about urging the patient to move forward with care.
If there are multiple doctors in your practice, first conduct a meeting with the doctors to create a common treatment philosophy and then bring that to the team. Be specific, discuss intervals for x-rays, how you support your patients with fluoride treatment, what you expect with regard to periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning. Ask:
- At what interval do we take a full mouth series of x-rays, a panorex?
- In what instance does the doctor(s) recommend a crown, onlay, filling?
- Do we all feel comfortable talking with patients about the treatment our doctor has planned?
- When do we refer patients to specialists?
- What type of homecare products do we recommend to our patients?
#2 Review existing protocols
Pull out the office procedure and protocol manual and review the protocols you have in place for perio diagnosis and treatment, new patient exams, using current technology and recare. Ask:
- Does everyone still agree with the protocols?
- Are our systems/protocols congruent with our practice mission?
- Is the protocol up-to-date and does it include the use of new technology and/or products we’ve recently added to our practice?
- Are we still working close to the protocols or has each hygienist developed his/her own version?
- How often do we perform and record a complete periodontal probing?
- What indicates that a patient is in need of periodontal therapy?