If your dental staff costs are higher than what you would like to see, consider looking closely at four parts of the day. First, when your team clocks in, do they start work or do they take care of personal items? If your team clocks in, makes breakfast, and finishes getting ready for the day before starting their work, you need to review your expectations for what happens when they go on the clock.
Next, what does your dental team accomplish during the day? Staying busy is different from being productive. If team members are struggling to get things done, meet regularly with them to discuss how they prioritize time. How much focus is put to the most important tasks of the day? How many extra projects do they get, often from the doctor, which adds to their workload? Also, the more you cross train your team, the better they are at helping each other when days get busy.
When the team has downtime in between dental patients, how do they use that time? Some people are actually less productive when they have time pressures lifted from their schedules. Again, they can look busy without accomplishing anything. Talk about how to prioritize time during lulls in the day.
Finally, when the team finishes the day do they follow a similar path as the morning, completing personal business before clocking out instead of after? While you certainly want your team to interact and enjoy their time together, sometimes reminders are needed regarding when to clock out. Also, make sure they are not leaving tasks until the end that could get completed throughout the day.
You can go a long way toward controlling dental staff costs by helping your team utilize time effectively. By making the team more efficient, you often improve their follow up with patients, which makes the overall patient experience even better.