Are you Monitoring Your Practice’s Vital Signs?

Dental Practice MonitorsIn my last blog post I talked about how important it is to care for your dental practice as you care for your patients. I specifically discussed the value of strategically scheduled Comprehensive and Periodic Exams for your practice.

Continuing this analogy, it is equally important to monitor your practice’s vital signs for trends, trouble, and “touchdowns.” This is similar to the way you monitor the vital signs of a patient undergoing dental treatment. In a dental practice these vital signs are frequently referred to as monitors.

Some practice monitors are obtainable from your software reports; some must be gathered independently. Knowing which ones to follow and what they mean can often be challenging. There is definitely a right and wrong way to analyze these important statistics. Without them, however, it is impossible to determine how effectively your practice, team, and you are performing. A practice isn’t taking full advantage of the gold mine of information in these monitors, if they aren’t reviewed and shared with the entire team regularly.

There are ten reasons why monthly monitor meetings are so critical for the success of a dental practice.

  1. Creates Employee Accountability: Reporting monitors related to performance, out-loud, each month to the entire team creates automatic team accountability. No one wants to report figures reflecting poor performance. In business, a common saying is, “what isn’t measured doesn’t matter.” Reviewing monitors every month tells your employees the importance you place on performance and accomplishment. It says to them, “In our office, you can’t just show up and go through the motions.”
  2. Establishes Team Goals: An important part of monthly monitors is establishing team goals. The definition of a team is “a group of people working together to accomplish a common goal.” Any practice without team goals, by definition, is not functioning as a team. As in sports, working together to accomplish realistic goals can be energizing and motivating for your employees.
  3. Keeps Score: As I mentioned in #2, by definition, a team works together to achieve a goal. However, it is difficult to know if you are winning or losing the game if you don’t know the score. Reporting the monitors each month shows where you currently stand in reaching your goals.
  4. Early Problem Detection: Anyone in healthcare knows the earlier you detect a disease the easier it is to treat and the greater the chance of a successful outcome. The same goes with your practice. Monthly monitors allow you to see inside the interactions of your business and pick-up on problems early.
  5. A Basis of Comparison: Dentistry, like most industries, studies their highest performers and sets benchmarks. These benchmarks allow you to compare your practice performance to others in your specialty. Comparing these each month helps you detect a number of potential problems (or opportunities) in your business.

There are five more advantages to integrating a sound Monthly Monitor System. Stay tuned for the next post.

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