Every morning when you get to work, it’s likely that you and the rest of the dental team huddle together for less than 15 minutes to discuss the rest of the day. There are eight hours ahead of you, giving you only a matter of seconds to discuss each patient coming into the practice. With a limited amount of time, how do you make the most of the morning team huddle?
It is so important to consider this question. An efficient morning huddle can prevent the team from having questions later on in the day, needing to track down the dentist or office manager for further clarification, and even making mistakes when it comes to preparing for the appointment.
Here are some important and effective ways to help you plan for and get the most out of those short meetings, so that you can work efficiently throughout the rest of the day.
Review Your Charts in Advance
The morning huddle should not be the first time the dental team looks at the charts for the day. Be prepared by reviewing charts the day before, or come into the office a little early. This pre-huddle chart review should only take about 10 minutes.
Only Communicate Crucial Information
It really isn’t necessary to go through each patient’s entire history during the huddle. Just note what’s important. For instance, maybe Mrs. Smith experienced dental anxiety the last time she was in the office, so the team will want to plan for this; or we know that Mr. Jones is probably going to have to return for follow-up care, so the front desk should be aware of this before he checks out. Unless it’s crucial for other team members to know the information, then there’s no need to bring it up during the meeting.
Arrive on Time
Everyone should be doing their part to be at the morning huddle location before it’s time to start. Don’t hold it up by doing something that can wait or should have been done prior. A late start for your morning meeting is a surefire way to put your whole schedule behind.
Pull the Photos Up
Some people are more visual learners than others. If you’re a “face person” who remembers others by seeing them as opposed to recalling their name, seeing the patient’s photo can help you to “put a face on” the needs of that specific individual and remember what you discussed once it’s time for their appointment. Most practice management software today has an option for inputting patient photos, so if this isn’t something you’re already doing, now is the time to get started!
Having everyone on the same page at the start of the day is one of the best ways to ensure you stay that way all day long. Making these few extra tweaks to your morning huddle can keep everyone running on time while ensuring your patients get the attention they deserve.
About the Author
Heather Colicchio is the Founder and President of the American Association of Dental Office Management. For more information about AADOM, visit www.dentalmanagers.com.