Dental Team Annual Planning with Melissa Marquez

Melissa Marquez
Melissa Marquez

I am a high energy and performance driven operational leader with over nineteen years of experience in the dental industry. My professional roots lie in both the private practice and Dental Support Organization environment. With experience as a chair side dental assistant, treatment coordinator, office manager, trainer and Market and Regional multi-unit leadership, I have a unique understanding of what successful dental practices, professionals and groups require to succeed.
My strengths lie in building relationships, development and implementation of systems that drive profitability, and creating a culture based around the experience of the customer and the team member.

Dayna Johnson  0:08 

We are super excited you have found Novonee on the Go, the premier Dentrix communities free podcast. I’m Dayna Johnson, the founder of Novonee and my goal is to give you about 15 minutes of juicy content to take back to your practice and help your team have a more productive and less stressful day. Enjoy. Hello, everyone. This is Dayna Johnson, your Dentrix expert. And my goal is to help dentists and dental teams understand their Dentrix software better. So you can create systems to improve the profitability of your practice, optimize your schedule and have a more stress free day. Yes, a stress free day, I started to Novonee to be able to give all Dentrix users a platform to attend live one on one events with me and tap into best practices resources for optimizing your Dentrix software. If you want to become a Dentrix super user, a member of our exclusive community, please go to click on the green Join Today button in the upper right corner of our website. And we would look forward to having you in our community. I am super excited today to have good friend and dental industry experts. Melissa Marquez with Jarvis Analytics on with me today. This is our second podcast together. So if you missed the first one, you can certainly look back in the past episode #34 and listen to when Melissa and I talked about numbers with patient retention. You know Melissa and I share the love of numbers analyzing dental practice statistics, which helps dental teams need to make better decisions about their practice. Melissa is the chief operating officer for Jarvis analytics. But I think more importantly, you know, you have the experience of being a chairside dental assistant, you are a treatment coordinator, office manager trainer. I mean, you have lived in our shoes you have lived in the Donald practice, which I love because you understand what we all go through every day. So, I’m excited to have you on Melissa, thank you for sharing some time with us.

Melissa Marquez  2:36 

Thank you for having me back. I’m so excited. And yes, every time I chat with you, I feel like we could probably make the world’s longest podcast. You know, we love to talk about this stuff. So happy to be here. And thank you so much for the compliments.

Dayna Johnson  2:51 

Absolutely. Yeah, I think you know, we spent a few hours together at your home office in Dallas that one day. And yeah, I think that we could talk all day about our practices and making life better in the in the dental office. And we just have we just share this love of numbers. So, we are so we are wrapping up. Third quarter of the year. Yep. And this whole quarter, we have been talking about annual planning. And because we really need to start thinking about goal setting for next year, think about, what do we want our practice to look like? Do we need to hire new team members? Are we streamlining team members? You know, like, what do we need to produce? Collect? What is our patient? You know, all these goals and annual planning topics? So we’ve been talking about that the last couple of months. And so we’re kind of wrapping that up. And when it comes to numbers, there’s a couple of things that I hear out in the industry, when I’m working with offices. And it’s kind of a two-part question. One is, the first part is sometimes I have doctors that are very reluctant to share numbers with their teams, you know, sometimes that they either don’t know how to do it, or they’re just they don’t want their team to know. And I feel you know, as a team member who worked with a doctor that shared numbers, I really felt like I was almost like an owner a stakeholder in my business because he shared numbers with me, but there are a lot of doctors that aren’t like that. What are you what are you seeing?

Melissa Marquez  4:45 

I am seeing that it never fails after either a webinar or a live class that I’ve had the opportunity to participate in. Someone will come up to me and say, how do I go about initiating this conversation? I’m really uncomfortable. sharing this information with them. And you hit on I think the core reasons, I think it’s really important to continue to ask why this hesitation is there to share the numbers I liked, you had the opportunity to work with dentists who made, especially our production, you know, and other KPIs very public. And we talked about them when we met. And it was a part of how we were measured. And like you, that gave me that ownership feeling. And it gave me a sense of pride and what I did at the office. But I think, to your second point, sometimes it comes from a fear that once the office, everyone in the office knows, here’s what the practice is bringing in on an income basis, is that then going to lead to that person feeling like, well, I should be paid more, or that doctor is making all this money, because they’re only really seeing the income side of it. They’re not necessarily seeing all the many, many expenses, dental practices are expensive, they may not have any idea how much the supply cost is related to something like a filling, right? It’s crazy. So, you know, I think it’s important if you start to share the revenue or production side of things and KPIs with the team. You don’t have to share the exact expenses. But it might be helpful to even share a little bit with them about what’s going out the door and a broad sort of summary way so that they understand, you know, everything that the practice is also paying out. And that it’s not just all going straight to the doctor’s pocket.

Dayna Johnson  6:32 

I agree with you 100%. Because in my own practice, back in the day, we didn’t have an amazing analytics dashboard like you have. But we had a spreadsheet that we would share at our monthly numbers meeting. And it shared not only the income side, but also some of the expense side. So it really helped to bring the whole team on board because we included the clinical team, like we were able to include the assistants and the hygienist on some of the expense side because they helped, they could really help to influence the expense side with dental materials and lab expenses. And, you know, when the hygienist are sending out their instruments for sharpening or whatever, they could help control some of those expenses. And so we did share both sides in my own practice. And so that kind of leads me to our the second part is, you know, once we have the doctor or the leader of the practice on board with sharing numbers. What do you recommend? Or what are your tips for involving the team, like a lot of times that team members say, you know, I’m just I’m just a Dental Assistant, why do I need to hear about practice numbers? You know, so how do you get the team on board, once you have the leader of the practice? Ready to dive in,

Melissa Marquez  8:08 

I go to usually three different thoughts and ideas about this. The first one is that it’s really important for everyone to recognize that every team member is important in the practice. And they each have a contribution to how the practice is doing. And so it’s important for each team member to have maybe three to five metrics that they can own or own as a department, right, maybe your front office team, for example. They can start to then understand how their daily activities impact those KPIs. But they’re not too distracted with things maybe that they can’t influence as much everybody does bring an influence to the practice for sure. So, identifying what are those, you know, few metrics that each team member can really own is important. The next thing I would say with that is the owner or the manager should not necessarily be the one telling that team member here’s how you did last month with that KPI or last week with that KPI. What I love to do is make those KPIs accessible to the team member. And then in your established either one on one meetings or your team meetings, have that person share what that metric looked like for last week or last month. That’s a lot of ownership around it. You know, it changes the dynamic of here I’m going to tell you how you did that type of presentation nobody looks forward to but a conversation where I get to say here’s how we did last week, you know, we lowered our nose by 2% because I used new verbiage and we worked really hard. That is a different kind of conversation for a team member. And then lastly, I would say it’s kind of cheesy, but my little thing is tune and talk wi I fm that what motivates the team because I really do think you’re can do a bonus system. You know if that’s not possible or something that you desire other forms of recognition even you know just how this can help them advance in their career and take on other responsibilities in the practice, I think it’s really important to understand what motivates your team members. So, once you know what each kind of team member or department owns, they have a way to report out on it to you versus you to them. And then a way that they are recognized for that progress. I think those three areas are super key.

Dayna Johnson  10:24 

I agree 100%. You know, in my own practice, we had, you know, we didn’t have like, our bonus program, or our profit sharing, only related to production or collections, because I kind of felt I kind of feel like that may put a lot of pressure just on the admin team or the schedulers. And we want our profitability, our profit sharing to be a team sport, you know, we want everyone on the team to participate. And, and we can’t just put the bonus program or the incentives on, you know, a couple individual team members. And so in my own practice, we definitely looked at a lot of different metrics, like lab expenses, or material costs, and office supplies and things like that. So we would do a profit sharing program where it was all based on practice overhead. And, and so you know, my doctor would say that if our practice overhead was less than a certain percentage, then we’ll get got to share in that profit sharing. And so it wasn’t specific to one individual number, it was this collective bonus program of revenue and expenses. So it really made us acutely aware of how much it costs to run a dental practice.

Melissa Marquez  11:57 

I love that. And they don’t have to know the details they don’t, they’re not going to know what each other makes or anything like that. But then of the waste, maybe in the practice, you see them wanting to conserve things like the printer toner, and really thinking about, you know, what they’re using, and maybe not staying on the clock if they don’t need to. So, you know, I definitely agree with that type of plan and how it contributes to everyone feeling like an owner and understanding the bigger side of the business healthy in my practice.

Dayna Johnson  12:27 

Absolutely, absolutely. I agree. And so, we’re wrapping up, third quarter with annual planning. next quarter, we’re going to be talking a lot about the clinical team. And, and so how, what would you say to clinical team members who might be thinking, you know, there’s really not nothing I can do about, you know, the revenue or the collections or the production? You know, what would you say to those clinical team members out there that might feel like they’re really not part of the practice management or the business side of the practice?

Melissa Marquez  13:09 

Oh, my gosh, they have so much that I know, basically, a three step process on planning, and it really centers around your clinical team. The first step really is and this doesn’t have to be them specifically, but partner with your providers, with your clinical team and figure out not just what are the holidays next year, for each month at the practice, we don’t expect it to be open. When might they be planning vacation, and I know they you know, just like we ask our patients to reappoint. They may not know the exact days, but they typically know what months they want to take vacation next year, and maybe an idea of how many days? And yeah, what you do from there is look at your calendar. Once you’ve understood how many days each month, each provider expects to work, you can then think about the factors that go into your budget. And there’s three things provider days, patient visits and production per visit. And so once you have looked at your calendar, you know what days you’re open each month, you know what your provider schedules are going to be. If we just take an example of a doctor that maybe works Monday through Friday, next year in January, let’s assume we take a holiday for New Year’s, if that provider isn’t planning to take any days off, we can assume they’re going to work 21 days, we can look back at how many visits per day they had last January and what was that production per visit and calculate monthly production per day. And that’s pretty much a baseline, you know, for what that provider is expecting to produce that month next year. From there, think about how you want to grow and already typically centered around the provider. So you know when we think about the days factor, can we add an additional provider? Can we Take a provider from part time to full time, can we add an assistant or given assistant a new skill that allows us to schedule more days or more visits? We think about visits and we think about, you know, what can we do when it comes to improving our cancellation and no show or even maybe getting better at same day treatment, and assistance, so huge role in that. And then production per visit is really about that provider, you know, are there new high value services, they could get trained on an ad like laser or Endo? You know, there’s an of course the front plays a role here too, when we think about increasing production per visit with new financing options or potential fee increases. But really, those are some examples where your clinical team absolutely plays a role, because it’s only a certain number of levers you can really pull to get growth year over year. Agreed,

Dayna Johnson  15:55 

agreed. And I like what you were saying about trying to predict our days, vacation days for next year. And you know what that looks like as far as the production per visit. So tell me how the Jarvis Analytics helps the team analyze those kinds of numbers, because I know I used to have to do it on a spreadsheet, I used to have to get my calculator, get my calculator out and get my Excel spreadsheet out and create formulas in Excel, which is, you know, very inefficient. How does Jarvis help practices analyze that kind of data,

Melissa Marquez  16:39 

it makes it easy, because you can just go right into Jarvis and export those previous year work days by provider, the visits that they’re seeing each day and the dollars per visit. So it gives you those factors, you know, right off the bat, you don’t have to do calculations to divide the visits into the production. And you can export it. So, if you if you do want to play around a little bit and maybe apply, you know, an increase in the production per visit, if you know, that’s the lever that you’re going to be pulling with your initiatives next year. That way you could just apply, generally speaking, I like maybe a five to an 8% increase for a mature practice and maybe 10 to 15 for a de novo that’s just in its first, you know, three to five years. But exporting that data out of Jarvis is so easy, you don’t have to do calculations, you can just pull those numbers right out, you know, visit with your your team and your providers about those days. And really just create a budget and a very easy manner versus pulling a bunch of numbers from your practice management system. Right? Yeah,

Dayna Johnson  17:44 

I could just see our office managers like just salivating at the opportunity to say, Okay, if we in just increased our crown fee by $10, and we did 50 crowns per month, what would that look like? Or if we just did one of one more Invisalign case per month, I could just see our office manager elevating have the opportunity to be able to do that.

Melissa Marquez  18:11 

it’s called the practice potential. And it gives you kind of like four different areas, whether it’s case acceptance, or retention or collections that you can see, you know, here’s what we did last year. If I were to just move this lever, this little slider bar over to the right a little bit and increase my case, acceptance, just 5% What does that mean to me in my budget, and then they kind of know that low hanging fruit that they can build into their budget, you know, pick your shoes, and just make them your yearly initiatives that you rally your team around and makes it much easier to get the team involved when they have a clearer picture of what the opportunity is.

Dayna Johnson  18:49 

I agree. I mean, there’s so many ways that we can get our teams excited about the opportunities in their own, like inside of the walls of their practice. You know, I feel like there’s so much emphasis on new patients, new patients, new patients. Of course, you do have to have new patients, but there’s so much potential inside of the four walls of your own practice to increase patient retention or increase case acceptance or start talking to patients about all the services that you provide. And by doing some, just some analytics on your, on your procedures that you’re performing, can really open your eyes to the potential inside of your practice right now currently,

Melissa Marquez  19:38 

Yeah, you have to diagnose it just like you do your patients so you wouldn’t ever diagnose without your X rays and your you know, your five-point assessment ins you need those those tools and those metrics to tell you what’s going on with the patient. You need them for your practice also. And you know, something like Jarvis is going to make that very clear to you so that you can say I have 10 opportunities that are clear to me. But I’m going to pick these three. And I’m going to bake those into my annual plan. And that’s how we’re going to grab our 5% growth for next year.

Dayna Johnson  20:10 

Yeah, oh my gosh, I just love that. So, Melissa, we are going to wrap up our conversation for today, this has been so fun to talk with you and eye opening for everyone listening, I’m sure that everybody is going to go go check out their own practice and how they’re looking at metrics and how they could involve the team. And, and I know you and I would love to have a conversation with anybody out there. So I will definitely put your contact info in the show notes for today. And so do you have anything like last words that you’d like to leave our, our audience with for today?

Melissa Marquez  20:52 

Oh, gosh, I think you know, you mentioned we’re in the end of the year, coming up to Q4, it’s so crazy that you’re already I would say don’t wait, typically groups and DSOs start their annual planning in June. Yeah, they have so many practices, and they do follow this very same type of process. You’ve got time, you know, if you’re dealing with fewer than five locations to still take a really methodical approach, use your data, and build a budget that you can rally your team around that, you know, is going to have you growing over the next year.

Dayna Johnson  21:27 

Absolutely. Yeah, we started our Q3 in July with you know, kicking off annual planning so, so you’re kind of our, our closer. Yeah, I know. And I I’m so excited for next year. I’m excited for our teams, our teams, our dental practices are growing, it seems faster than they ever have. And they really need a a way of just being prepared, you know, and showing team showing getting the team I’m involved with the health of the practice, you know, that’s so important to is to monitor the health of the practice.

Melissa Marquez  22:11 

Absolutely. I could not agree more. It’s always fun talking to you. I hope that this has added and closed you out in an awesome way. And I look forward to our next talk.

Dayna Johnson  22:22 

I know our next call will be probably sometime the tail end of the year or maybe you maybe I’ll have you kick off our our January session. So it’ll it’ll come up this year. So I’m excited. It’s good. Yeah, so if this topic resonated with you, and you know other doctors or other dental teams that would benefit from our podcast, please share it, rate it review, review it wherever you listen to your podcasts. This really helps us helps get the word out about the Novotny family of resources. I look forward to watching your journey of becoming a Dentrix super user and make sure you follow us on Facebook Instagram. I will have Melissa’s contact information in the show notes so make sure you grab her contact information reach out to her if you have any questions. If you have any questions for me about Jarvis how it integrates with your Dentrix software. I’d be more than happy to have that conversation. One of my favorite things to talk about. Well Melissa, you have a great rest of your day and I hope everybody else I hope you have a great rest of your day as well.

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