Here’s what I mean by this. 2 things that I hear over and over are:
1. “My staff says that there just aren’t enough of them to implement this new idea. If we just had more people, then maybe we could do it,” and
2. “My staff says that there just isn’t enough time to do this.”
Well, I have two words to describe what I feel when I hear this. The first one is “bull.”
Listen, this falls back on the doctor in this way. Most doctors just don’t give their people enough guidance to know what they are supposed to do next. They also don’t give them priorities to know what they need to do first and what absolutely must get done before the end of each day, week, or month. In this way it isn’t really the staff person’s fault that they feel this way. They probably don’t have enough time to get everything done considering that they place the same priority on every single thing they do. Also, many times they put too much priority on a little thing that doesn’t add any real value to the office.
You think that I’m kidding, but I have seen it too many times. A person left to their own devices will fill their workday with the absolute easiest tasks and leave the hard tasks unfinished or half done. They will also become very creative with reasons that justify their lack of follow through and completion. This is where the doctor must step in at LEAST one good time, set up standards, policies, and the like, and establish a strong chain of command with accountability at each position.
This is certainly easier said than done, but it has worked every time I have seen it tried.
Let me go over a couple of warning signs that you might see if your practice is being affected by this disorder. You may diagnose a crown on a patient and leave the room convinced that the patient is going to stay to have the work done. After a little while you don’t see that particular name on the schedule any more. When you inquire about the patient, your staff person might say something like this, “Oh, we didn’t have the time to get that worked in today, but they are coming back tomorrow.”
Well, what if tomorrow never comes?
Another might be a continuing care hygiene list the never gets called. Yes, it is something that they all agreed they needed to do, but when the day was finally over, time just ran out before they could get it done. If you inquire as to why it never got done, you might hear that insurance was getting behind, new patient packets were getting low, the file room was a mess, or any number of lower value tasks that the staff decided to do instead of call continuing care.
The truth is that calling patients was more painful and the other tasks were easier. Without a clear way of monitoring things, the staff will never choose the tasks on the top of the doctor’s to do list.
If you can find out what secrets are motivating your staff, then you can finally unlock the door that’s holding back your whole practice.
Once you discover the secrets that your staff members are hiding, you can break down the barriers that have sapped productivity and caused squabbling in your practice for so long. One of the greatest findings of Dr. Griffin during his consultation with dental practices has been that once everyone is aware of the few little things that have been nagging at them, they can resolve longstanding issues and enjoy fun, profitable growth to superstar levels. You can get your free CD explaining the 5 most common Staff Secrets at http://www.dentalstaffsecrets.com.