As dentists, we're used to examining people's mouths. We know the importance of checking people's mouths to their overall health. We know many patients don't enjoy their exams and make a point to Deliver WOW to ease some of that anxiety.
But at the end of the day, we know people need mouth exams just like they need general health checkups. Here are three reasons we should give our practices checkups just like we do for our mouths and bodies.
1. Organizational checkups identify hidden problems.
We know regular dental exams catch issues people might not see or feel themselves. For example, we take x-rays to spot cavities between people's teeth. We spot and remove plaque people don't notice themselves. And we measure the depth of spaces between people's teeth and gums to check for gum disease.
We walk systematically through a series of steps to examine, clean, and treat anything that needs immediate care. In the end, our patients know exactly what's going on with their mouths, even the hidden stuff they can't feel or see.
Organizational checkups do the same things for our practices. They walk us through a series of steps to examine exactly what's going on in our practices. This is especially helpful for identifying hidden issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
2. Organizational checkups keep small issues small.
We know cavities can lead to further decay, pain, infection, or greater illness, and even death. That's why we fill cavities before they lead to further decay. And that's why regular exams are important. They can help us spot cavities before they become serious issues.
Regular organizational checkups do the same thing for your practice. For example, you might learn that the person responsible for ordering supplies isn't checking your monthly goals. They just order based on past use. If you decided you would triple your monthly goals for a procedure that might leave you without enough supplies.
With regular checkups, you would discover that issue before you completely run out of supplies. You might dip into your extra inventory but wouldn't completely run out. Without regular checkups you might completely run out of supplies and have to scramble.
Dipping into extra inventory is a very small issue. Running out of supplies is a much bigger one.
3. Organizational checkups help hold everyone accountable.
We all know how important it is to keep everyone in our office accountable. Organizational checkups help. For example, one way we hold people accountable is by preparing an accountability chart for each team member. Each person's chart includes all of their responsibilities.
We then ask each team member to constantly update their chart as they complete their tasks. During your organizational checkup, you would check each person's accountability charts. You'd make sure they are are all clear, complete, and updated. When you don't check everyone's charts regularly, you may go weeks or months without reviewing whether people are completing their tasks. When your team knows you conduct regular checkups, they're reminded to keep their charts updated and double check that all of their tasks are performed.
If someone isn't performing their tasks, organizational checkups help get them back on track. And if they don't get back on track, your organizational checkups let you know when it's time to move on so both you and they can find a better fit.
When is the last time you gave your dental practice an organizational checkup?
Conducting regular organizational checkups is the simplest way to ensure you lead your practice well. It ensures everyone is working together. It ensures your systems are clear and being followed. It makes sure you're hiring, reviewing, rewarding, and firing around clear core values. It confirms your marketing, vision, and operations are all aligned. It helps you keep everyone working in the right role. And it helps you ensure everyone knows what's expected of them (and why their work matters).
If you haven't given your practice a checkup, it's time to check whether your team is working together and working toward your goals and vision for your practice. If you want more help, visit our Leadership Track inside Dental Profit Academy. There you'll find the exact training we give our Inner Circle Mastermind members, including a lesson specific to organizational checkups.
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.