Implementing new systems in your practice isn’t always easy, very often team members sometimes will balk at change. It is always best practice to engage the team in some productive brainstorming when considering new systems. This will help everyone feel a part of the process and will also work toward getting everyone on the same page.
When implementing a new system, you can use this framework to help increase team engagement:
- Have a team meeting and start with why you have decided to implement a new system. Discuss why the system is needed, how it will improve efficiency for the team and how it will improve the patient experience. By allowing your team to discuss these points, you will find that with team weigh in there will be team buy-in.
- Ask your team to brainstorm if there are parts of your current process that you can incorporate into the new system.
- Decide on all the steps that need to be taken to get started on the implementation of the new system. Are the steps specific, measurable and achievable to set goals with for your new system.
- Who is going to OWN the implementation of the system? Assign key players to different tasks with accountability and timelines attached. If it is a complicated system have one team member “quarterback” the implementation to help assign the different tasks to ensure completion.
- While brainstorming try to also come up with any problems you may encounter with the implementation as well as solutions to these possible problems. That way if there are any roadblocks you will have solutions prepared in advance.
- Once a system is implemented decide whether you need a checklist, or a full “how to” document created. You will want to see the entire process from start to finish in whichever form of document you choose.
- Develop an environment where team are encouraged to ask as many questions as necessary. Everybody learns at different speeds and processes new thoughts differently. Allowing them to do this will help with their uptake of the new system.
- Implement a timeline for re-evaluating the new system to identify what is working, what isn’t working and if any area may need any tweaks.
- Old habits are hard to break. Have reminders for the new system where needed and monitor to check that team members haven’t reverted to old systems without even realizing it.
When thinking about implementing a new system, make sure you evaluate the old system with hard data and not just a gut feeling that something isn’t working.
Some of your systems that you may want to look at changing are the pillars of your practice, if your numbers aren’t at industry norm then it is likely a good idea to look at implementing new systems. The industry norms for some of these pillars are:
- Are 80% of your patients enrolled in your hygiene program and keeping to their diagnosed intervals?
- Is your new patient growth each month more than your patients being inactivated?
- Do you have 8% to 10% hygiene open time?
- Is there 80% Treatment acceptance the first-time treatment is diagnosed?
Having a coach come in and evaluate your current systems will provide you with an overview of the systems in your office as well as the data you need to make decisions about implementing change.