Updated: Sep 13, 2021
Does your team meet every morning for a morning huddle before the first patient shows up in the practice?
If not, I would highly recommend you do - especially if there is more than one practitioner in your clinic.
The morning huddle creates a unified start and direction for the practice today.
The meeting gives everyone in the team an overview of the day's activities.
Having a daily morning huddle brings a greater degree of calm to the clinic during the entire day.
In my last blog post, I mentioned the need for a strict framework and effective workflows. The morning huddle is one of the elements in this framework. It enables us to create days that run much more smoothly than the usual chaotic days in an average dental office.
Daily roadblocks in a dental practice
Just think about how a single emergency patient can blow up the entire day, if the patient is schedules at the wrong time. It creates a chain of bad events. We build up a delay that we will never be to catch up with. This will annoy our loyal patients and affect their interpretation of our practice in a negative way.
It is possible to attract a lot of new patients by being able to see emergency patients on a very short notice. But it really doesn't make any sense, if our efforts to attract new patients push existing patients out the back door.
Set up for succes
The morning huddle enables us to set ourselves up for succes. By planning the best spots for emergency patients as a TEAM. We communicate in a way that everybody on the team knows when, who and why we are open for emergencies.
In the same way we will be able to easily reach our financial goals, diagnostic goals, treatment goals, etc. There are always patients coming to the practice with unscheduled treatment. They are best served when we are 3 steps ahead of them and prepared ahead of time by knowing what needs to be done, how we should address the dental problems in regards to the other stuff that is going on in the lives of the patient. And how we can help them fit the dentistry into their lives. This will all come a lot easier when we know what patients we should be prepared for. That gets very clear during the morning huddle.
The morning huddle
A morning huddle should not last more than 5-10 minutes. To emphasize that it is an effective meeting, I recommend that all participants stand up around a screen with the day's appointment book open.
It is compulsory for everyone in the clinic to attend.
It is not a forum for small talk or a detailed review of each patient.
It is short, fast paced and to the point.
If there is anything that needs to be discussed to be solved. It will be noticed by the leader of the morning huddle or a secretary. Who will add it to the agenda of the next team meeting.
Leader of the huddle
I suggest you let your receptionist run the meeting.
Make sure you have a set standard for the morning huddle. This enables the receptionist to manage the morning huddle consistently each day.
The receptionist oversees the day and is the person responsible for booking patients according to our guidelines and production goals. This requires that our receptionist knows the goals of the practice owner. To be able to deliver the best results, our receptionist (and every one on the team) should know and have ownership of our vision for the dental practice.
To make sure the receptionist meets our standards. We need to meet with our receptionist once a month to review the goals and the practice performance. In collaboration with the receptionist, we let the receptionist work out plans to achieve and exceed the goals.
If you would like a pdf file with a sample agenda for a morning huddle, please email me. And I'll send it to you right away.
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Many kind regards
Jesper Hatt DDS
T: +41 78 268 00 78