ABCs of Dental Office Organization: Part 2

The ABCs of dental office organization tell us how to prioritize our time, energy, and resources so that we can provide the best care possible. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the definition of the three main ABCs: administrative tasks, behavior tasks, and clinical treatment.

Read on for how to implement an understanding of these principles into your practice efficiency protocol:

Dental Office ABCs: Prioritizing

How can you get better at organization and adherence to the ABCs? Here are three steps – 

  1. Ask each team member to list all possible administrative tasks. This includes tasks they do not need patients to be present for or where they need uninterrupted time for maximum efficiency. You should generate your list as well.
  2. Next, have them create a list of behavioral tasks.
  3. Finally, have your team members delineate their clinical processes. This should lead to discussions on tray/room set-up, treatment preparation, and efficiency.

These lists can be developed by each person in the office prior to a staff meeting. Then, in a team meeting you can discuss each person’s “top 3” and consider periods in the schedule throughout the week where each team member can carve out A – B – C times.

A Productive Daily Conversation

For example, our business associate at my dental practice sets aside Thursday morning for uninterrupted “A” time to catch up on delayed insurance claims, payment calls, etc. This means our relationship coordinator/primary chairside rotates to handle incoming calls and our assistant chairside rotates to chairside duties. Everyone loves the cross-training and variable challenges.

The coordinator answering the phone does not need to be under pressure. If a call comes in for the business associate, they simply state, “Sue is busy right now. May I have her return your call in an hour?” or some such reassurance.

When done well with open respect of each person’s priorities, this can evolve into a daily conversation. For example, the relationship coordinator may ask for uninterrupted time to call a certain patient about emotional support or a referral to a specialist. The business associate may request time to call an insurance company.

Have fun with it. Your approach will evolve and remember that mistakes are the fruit of great progress. Celebrate/laugh at them. Keep at it and the ABCs will change your practice.

Bill Gregg DDS

I attended South Hills High School in Covina, Denison University in Granville, Ohio and the University of Redlands in Redlands, California prior to dental school at UCLA. My post-graduate education has included an intensive residency at UCLA Hospital, completion of a graduate program at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education ; acceptance for Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD); and in 2006 I earned the prestegious Pankey Scholar. Continuing education has always been essential in the preparation to be the best professional I am capable of becoming and to my ongoing commitment to excellence in dental care and personal leadership. I am a member of several dental associations and study groups and am involved in over 100 hours of continuing education each year. The journey to become one of the best dentists in the world often starts at the Pankey Institute. I am thrilled that I am at a point in my professional life that I can give back. I am honored that I can be a mentor to others beginning on their path. As such, I have discovered a new passion; teaching. I am currently on faculty at The L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education devoting 2-3 weeks each year to teaching post-graduate dental programs. In other presentations my focus is on Leadership and includes lifestyle, balance and motivation as much as dentistry.

Bill Gregg DDS

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