Orthotown Jan/Feb 2013 - (Page 8)
wired for // success
Goals for a New Year
by Alan A. Curtis, DDS, MS, Editorial Director, Orthotown Magazine
It is the beginning of the year, which means it is
a great time to reflect and at the same time look
forward. Review where your practice has been and where
you are headed. I recently heard a quote regarding goals:
“Measure it and the value will change.” Whether it is
your bank account or your practice’s number of newpatient starts, measure it, track it, report it and discuss
it as a team.
Step 1: Set up a spreadsheet.
Most of us already have some type of spreadsheet. I
have recently switched to using Google Docs and Google
Drive to have my data at my fingertips on my smartphone. (Thanks for the tip, Dr. Scott Law!) This has
also allowed me to share the statistics in real-time with
my office manager and TC. The essential categories
you should track are: exams, starts, production and collections. Over the years, my spreadsheet has grown to
include many more statistics gleaned from my practice
management software (Dolphin Management).
Step 2: Review your past statistics.
After having collected statistics about the direction of
your practice, take a moment to review what statistics
you are excited about and what stats you wish to move.
Review the months that, for you, are the best months and
which ones are the ones where you should consider cutting back your clinical hours and focus on staff training.
Step 3: Set realistic goals.
We have set goals to dramatically grow our practice.
Using the same spreadsheet, we plug in growth variables
to the numbers from the prior year. For example, exams:
last year we had Y new patient exams. This year’s goal for
that same month is Y+10. Last year we had X starts. Our
start goal this year is X+7. For financial goals we typically
set goals based on percentage growth. For example, we
had $K in production last year. Our goal this year would
be $Kx1.2 for 20 percent growth. The specific equation
is not that important, what is important is that you have
an equation and it is realistic yet a stretch for you to
achieve. It is important that your goals be based on the
prior year’s achieved statistics, taking into account the
total number of clinical days in the schedule.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2013 // orthotown.com
Step 4: Discuss your goals.
Discuss your goals as a team and get an agreement
that they are goals that every member of the team can get
behind and support. While you may feel uncomfortable
discussing all of the statistics with your team, understand
that without their help it will be difficult for you to be
able to reach your goals.
Step 5: Incentivize the team.
Leeann Peniche recommends periodic incentive
games. These are not standing bonus programs, they are
games that are played during specific months and can
be stopped and changed on a month-to-month basis.
When it comes time to put that last exam in at 4:30
p.m. or the patient who wants to get bonded on the day
of the exam, you need the staff to be begging you to do
it rather than looking at the clock and rolling their eyes.
It is important that the staff have direct control over the
variable for which they will be compensated (bonus).
For example, the financial coordinator should have
games associated with collections while the TC should
have ones that involve starts and production.
Step 6: Plan specifics.
Reaching your new patient goal will not occur spontaneously. Develop a plan to invite parents of current
patients to schedule free orthodontic screening appointments. Plan early morning and late afternoon appointment slots into your template during those months
where you know the phone will be ringing off the hook.
Step 7: Monitor your progress frequently.
Dr. Rodger Levin recommends morning business
meetings (not huddles) with the purpose of reviewing
the progress of goals together with the challenges and
opportunities of the upcoming schedule. A goal that you
set on day one of the month will not come to fruition on
the last day of the month without having it on top of
mind throughout the entire month.
Measure it, track it, report it and discuss it as a team.
Now go online and share your (blank) tracking
sheet on Orthotown.com. See mine there now (search:
statistics tracking)! ■
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Orthotown Jan/Feb 2013
Wired for Success: Goals for a New Year
Referring Doctor Letters
Indirect Bonding Message Boards
Recall System Message Boards
You Should Know: Solomon Orthodontic Systems
10 Strategies for Transforming Anxiety and Fear into Success and Achievement
You Should Know: Chessmile
Townie Poll: Marketing and Social Media
13 Marketing Resolutions for 2013
Your Exit Strategy
Industry News/New Products
Welcoming Adult Patients into Your Office
Orthotown Jan/Feb 2013