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. 8 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)! ■ http://www.Orthotown.com http://www.orthotown.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Orthotown Jan/Feb 2013

Orthotown.com Highlights
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

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