Before we move on to the next topic of cross-training your dental team when it comes to scheduling patients for their next visit while they are in your treatment room or answering the call of a new patient, I want you to re-read a couple of articles so you are up to speed with this topic. You should have already completed your annual planning and goal-setting so your Dentrix appointment book is outlining a map to help your practice reach goal.
Every person on your team should be able to effectively schedule a patient if you have given him or her a roadmap. This roadmap will ensure, no matter what your role is in the practice, that you can feel confident in your decision on scheduling a patient in the appropriate place in the schedule. This also ensures that the scheduling doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders or just the front desk.
Oh, okay, you are one of those people who wants complete control over your schedule and doesn’t want anyone else’s grubby hands in your appointment book. Oh, I know. I used to be you. Back in the day, I had my appointment book password-protected and would not let anyone else schedule an appointment but me. The problem with this, however, is that you never get a break. You never get to relax on your vacation or feel like you can even take a vacation because someone is going to mess up your schedule. I know. I have been there.
Here is what I say to that . . . empower your team, don’t handcuff them. Give your team the keys they need to unlock the doors of freedom and confidence. That is what a true leader would do. They keys you want to give your team include mapping out your perfect day schedule, discovering how to monitor practice goals and verbal skills to guiding patients where you want them to go. All these tools can be documented in your onboarding guides or your practice training manuals.
- Perfect Day Scheduling is a feature inside of your Dentrix software that is one of the most powerful roadmaps you can give your team. When I was in a practice, using this system gave me the freedom I needed to turn over the reins and allow anyone in my practice to schedule an appointment. With Perfect Day Scheduling, you know that you can teach a new team member quickly where the appropriate places are for specific types of appointments, and you can feel confident that your appointment book will not get bogged down with unproductive time.
- Knowing how to monitor the practice financial goals is another key to making sure your team is scheduling the right procedures in the right places. There are several places in Dentrix that you will want to teach your team where to monitor goals, so make sure to document them in your onboarding guide or practice training manual. You can also use the Novonee online courses as part of your training protocol for onboarding new team members or cross-training your team.
- It’s important that your entire team are all speaking the same language and responding to patient questions in a consistent manner. If a patient is hearing different responses from different people, it’s possible they will continue to keep asking until they hear the answer they want to hear. You might want to create some scripts or note cards for training your team on common questions. One of my favorite communication coaches is Katherine Eitel Belt and you can find a webinar she did for us titled “Have them at Hello” in the Novonee library. You can also reach out to Katherine for personalized coaching for your team.
Having a consistent and systematic approach to onboarding and cross-training your team will result in a more productive, happy, and less stressful team of employees. You will find everyone on the same page, speaking the same language and working toward the same goals. Life is good!