We have entered the fourth quarter of 2020, most of us would like to erase this year from our personal and financial history. There is no blame to feeling this way, but we need to be business owners who can take stock of where we are and where we need to go. Just because the calendar changes over 2021 we don’t get to do over 2020. Let’s be ready to attack 2021 with enthusiasm by reviewing this last quarter to ensure that we are set for 2020.
I have created a checklist for many of the systems in your office for you to take stock of and ensure that you are prepared and in good shape for 2021. Please look at your results from August, September and October 2020 when reviewing the list.
- All treatment pending lists have been reviewed by myself, my office manager and the administrator assigned to that task. All notes for outstanding treatment have been entered.
- Accounts receivable have all been reviewed and the amount in over 90 days is less than 15% of the overall amount owing. This amount should almost all be accounted for in post dated payments for payment plans for your patients. Patients who have outstanding balances that aren’t covered in in payment plans should be contacted and have their accounts cleared by the end of December 2020 at the latest.
- At this point your hygiene chairs should still be filled to capacity, if they aren’t then you will need to review your systems and lists in the practice, to ensure that your patients are getting caught up on their hygiene care regardless of the pandemic.
- In most offices production has “normalized,” some of your expenses have definitely changed and your “break even” number for your practice has likely changed. Ensure that this “break even” number includes take home salary for yourself, salaries for team and associates, bonus plans along with your other fixed and variable expenses. Knowing this number is very powerful not only when you are looking back on the office production but when you are looking ahead to set goals.
- Have you stock piled PPE for your team to continue working if any of the regulations are tightened up again? Everyone was left shorthanded in March 2020, we know how to work and keep safe, let’s ensure we have the tools to do so if we need to moving forward.
- Do you have consistent messaging around patient education in the office for any patients who have not yet returned to the office? Have you put in place any systems to ensure that you don’t have patients falling through the cracks?
- Team mental health is still a problem in most offices with the pandemic in it’s second wave. A vaccination may be coming soon but due to quantity and distribution it may still be quite a while before your team may feel safe again. What have you instituted in your practice for checks on mental health for your team?
- Open time metrics need to be considered at this point. Hygiene open time should be 10% or less and Dr. open time should be 5% or less. Compressing days for people to start late or leave early still counts as open time. If you aren’t meeting these metrics some of your treatment pending systems and hygiene recall systems may need to be reviewed to see why there is a difference.
- You will want to review your patient experience in the office, perhaps connect with some new patients and some “long time” patients to see what their experience feels like in the office since you have returned to work. You may want to tweak some of your systems if their suggestions are practical.
Being able to complete 2020 in a thoughtful organized manner will allow your practice to enter 2021 in a way for you to reach all of your goals. Having all your systems aligned will be the best start you can give your practice.