Pick your head up and see the game
Our family is deep into basketball season. My husband is coaching my 6th grade daughter’s team and my son is also on a team – so our Saturdays are spent watching lots of recreation-level basketball. At this age, most of the kids dribbling a basketball keep their head down to watch exactly what they are doing. So, kids that can pick their head up to see the game are stand-outs. Superstars. They can look around and see who is open, where to pass. They see all their teammates and they can actually understand the game and make good decisions. After watching 3 games last Saturday, I realized that basketball is a great analogy for dental office management – office managers and clinical leaders that can pick their head up and see the “game” in their office are also stand-outs.
Every manager is busy. There are always patients to check in/out, phones to answer, the daily deposit to balance, the list is never-ending. To run a successful practice, you need more than hard workers, you need someone who can pick her head up and see her teammates and what’s going on. Hopefully, this describes you, as the manager in your office. A stand-out manager sees not just what her team is doing now, but what position each person should be in. She also knows all the tasks that need to get done, and she makes a plan to get there. And, just like in basketball, she is able to anticipate future needs – so she is developing her players and she may even need to recruit new ones.
So, how do you pick up your head in dental office management?
Dental Office Manager Training
#1 – Take a step back from doing something – and make a list of everything that needs to be completed. Start with a blank piece of paper and just start writing.
Here are a few ideas to get you started with your list:
- Call on outstanding insurance claims
- Send statements
- Make collections calls
- Fill the schedule
- Call your recare list
- Post on Facebook and Instagram
Once you finish your list, now you have to figure out who will do what when. So, this can look like:
- Call on outstanding insurance claims – office manager / make calls to insurance carriers every morning 10am – noon while receptionist covers front desk solo
- Send statements – office manager / print all statements on Tuesday – and have all staff help fold/stuff
#2 – Look down your list to see what tasks need to be done daily, weekly and monthly. And, look to see which of your team members you’re thinking about assigning to each task. If you write each person’s name at the top of a clean sheet of paper and then write the tasks you need them to tackle each day, week and month – then you can meet with each team member to discuss these tasks. Now – you are managing!
To be clear, I’m not saying that you should delegate every task on the list while you relax all day long, but my experience is the opposite. Most managers work extremely hard and rarely delegate – and then they fall farther and farther behind.
If you feel like you are sinking and no matter how hard you work, you just cannot catch up, then it’s time to pick your head up and see the game. Give yourself a time out and make a plan.
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If you’re managing a dental practice and want organized systems for easier dental staff training, then check out my Collections System and how to Set Up a Recall System. Once these internal systems are in place, you may want to focus on marketing with a system for New Patient Referral Tracking and handling patient complaints.
And, if you’re interested in a comprehensive approach to run your dental practice and train your team, visit Dental Staff Training Levels.