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By Dr. Lee Ann Brady
What do you consider to be the most valuable period of time spent in your dental practice? For me, I don’t hesitate to say it is the fifteen minutes early in the morning when my team meets to discuss the day ahead.
The primary reason behind the morning huddle is that working in a team environment requires everyone to be fully present. Meeting for a short period of time to go over our thoughts is a powerful tool for focusing energy and attention to maximize efforts.
During the huddle, any team member can bring up personal apprehensions or concerns. By stating outright a distraction they may be dealing with in their personal life, we can then support them in clearing their mind or pitch in the rest of the day to make up for it.
Oh, and did I mention it can’t go over fifteen minutes? If it does, it’s a telling sign that we’re unprepared or unfocused.
The huddle can have a lasting impact on how your practice as a whole interacts with patients. A united front demonstrates efficiency to the people who walk through the door. Improving relationships with team members naturally extends to improved relationships with patients, which isn’t a far leap to a practice that patients trust for more of their complex cosmetic cases.
During those key fifteen minutes, we focus not only on ourselves, but on how we can better interact with patients. In my practice, every team member must come to the morning huddle with a knowledge of their patients for that day and the positive or negative history those patients represent.
In the past, we’ve used the huddle to deal with small issues, such as a patient who disliked the office’s music and asked to have it changed for every appointment. Now, we discuss this ahead of time so that the music is different when he is in the office.
This can extend to more significant concerns. I often find it useful to discuss patients with incomplete treatment plans and identify where we can work together to become a more efficient practice providing a better level of service.
Morning huddles work on a variety of levels, the most important of which is that it truly feels like everyone becomes a team. By taking only fifteen minutes at the start of the day, you can reduce stress and conflicts while creating a more comfortable environment for your patients.
How do you conduct your morning huddle? Comment below!
CMS Director of Education Dr. Lee Ann Brady lives in Phoenix, Arizona and owns Desert Sun Smiles Dental Care, a private restorative practice in Glendale, Arizona. Outside of her private practice, Dr. Brady teaches, presents at meetings internationally, and writes a clinical dental education blog on her website at www.leeannbrady.com.
To learn more about Clinical Mastery’s approach to improving the quality and quantity of restorative and cosmetic dental cases, go to our website at www.clinicalmastery.com.
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