Are you Monitoring Your Practice’s Vital Signs? (Part 2)

Dental Practice Team MeetingIn my last post, I discussed five reasons why it is important to monitor your practice’s vital signs for trends, trouble, and “touchdowns.” At the end of that post, I promised to outline five more reasons you and your team should be taking at least one hour per month of your precious productive time, and using it to review the “vital signs” of your dental practice.

(Click here to read the first five reasons)

  1. Stress Practice Priorities: In the business world there is a cliché that states, “What is measured is what matters.” It’s a cliché for a reason; it’s true, and it is especially in human resources. The measurements and statistics you discuss with your team imply to them that they are meaningful to you. This encourages your team to positively impact those figures in order to demonstrate their value to you. This can be an extremely valuable tool for you as their boss and leader. For instance, if you want to encourage your team to convert more emergency new patients to the hygiene department, measure reality, set a goal, report it, and reward the team for accomplishing that goal. It works!!
  2. Objective Decision-Making: Without accurate statistics and data, decision-making becomes a skill of the Wild West, you just shoot from the hip. No aim, no target, no real rational why you decided what you decided. I don’t need to tell you that this is not an effective, nor beneficial, method when it comes to important business decisions. The best decision-making comes from accurate data, team input, research, and objective thinking.
  3. Understanding the Big Picture: In your dental office you have financial systems, new patient systems, software systems, clinical systems, infection control systems, documentation systems, recare systems…I could go on and on. How can you possibly understand how all those systems interrelate and perform when you have your head in a patient’s mouth 95% of the day? There is no better way to understand how multiple systems impact each other and how effectively they are working than through monitoring their statistics. This helps you and your team see the bigger picture when it comes to how well your practice is running.
  4. Apply New Learning to Your Practice: Continuing education is vital for the growth and sustainability of every practice. Whether the learning comes from articles, CE classes or research, it typically relies on data, statistics, and parameters for validity. In order to properly relate new learning to your practice, you need to be familiar with what your data, statistics, and parameters are in order to effectively integrate new information and practices. Your vital signs will help you implement change and improvement.
  5. Know When to Celebrate: The last, but definitely NOT the least, is to know when you are achieving your goals so you can reward yourself and your team for the progress. On the football field, if there was no scoreboard or goal posts to measure touchdowns, how many players do you think would ever play: no cheering, no excitement, no challenge, no celebrations, no scores…very few. It is the same with your team. Celebrations are very important. Don’t ever neglect them.

Your practice’s vital signs, or monthly monitors, are without a doubt one of the most important managerial systems in your practice. Make sure your whole team understands the value of your monitors, and use them to help grow your practice and reach your goals.

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