Many dental offices struggle with clear and consistent communication. Finding the time and structure for daily meetings can sometimes be a challenge due to staggered start times or lunches. It may take some creativity to find ten or twenty minutes, even if you decide the best time to have the meeting is the day before it will ensure that everyone is aware of how the day should flow and any possible problems can be dealt with in advance, instead of everyone scrambling last minute.
Having a set structure for the meeting will ensure that everyone has a part in the days success as well, all team members will know how to prepare to make the meeting productive.
Have a chairperson who is responsible for getting everyone together (this can be a rotating position), the chairperson will be responsible for starting the meeting on time and putting the notes either in your software or on a centrally placed day sheet. Each team member is expected to participate in the meeting.
Admin team members will bring any special requests from patients (for example, someone needs to be finished at 3pm), patients with account concerns, openings that need to be filled and any patients that they are concerned about attending their appointments for no shows or last minutes cancellations. Admin team members will bring any status updates on treatment follow up for any patients they have spoken with.
Dental Assistants will discuss the patients from the previous day who need a care call and who will or has already made these calls. They will confirm the whereabouts of any outstanding lab work, identify patients who are scheduled in the dentist’s chair with outstanding treatment watches or observes from their last appointment.
Hygienists will discuss patients who need LA for their appointment, patients who need updated radiographs, patients who need updated medical history’s and any outstanding treatment watches and observes from the last visit.
Dentists will address any questions with treatment plans for example, materials or special set ups and share any patient management knowledge. Also, if the dentist feels that an appointment may be something else than planned then this would be the time to share it. The dentist should encourage the team with a positive comment from the day before.
Everyone should be encouraged to share any info that may help or hinder the flow of the day.
Every meeting should finish on a positive note, this isn’t the time to call out team members for things that went wrong. If there is a problem that needs to be discussed it should be in a general team meeting if it affects the whole team or in private if it involves just one or two team members. Daily meetings are a good time to publicly praise team members, make a conscientious effort to spread the praise around and not just deliver praise to the same person every time.
Tips to keep in mind include: you always want to ensure that your meeting keeps to the agenda and doesn’t wander into the territory of social time for the team. Have your chairperson as your timekeeper as well to ensure that you don’t run into patient appointment time and start your patient late because of the meeting. If a team member isn’t present at the meeting, ensure that they are brought up to date on everything that was discussed as well as having everything documented in your software.
The meetings will seem clunky and unnatural at first. Stick to the meetings and your agenda, you will soon find that your days flow with everyone on the same page with the same knowledge.