Keeping track of finances at your dental practice on a daily basis is a constant pain. You are already busy checking in patients for their appointments, scheduling new appointments, following up with patients who missed appointments and handling payment collection.
For this reason, it is wise to have a monthly finance meeting to review your practice's performance over the last month and compare it to your goals. You and your staff can celebrate goals that you hit and find any goals you fell short of and brainstorm how to fix them. We teach you how to run a productive dental staff meeting for finances that your staff will enjoy.
Running Productive Dental Staff Meetings: Finances
Essentials for a productive dental finance meeting
The purpose of a dental finance meeting is to review production during the last month of operation at your dental practice and compare these results to your goals. Ideally, a dental finance meeting is held once a month during the 1st week of every month. These meetings should last at most one hour. Encourage all staff members to attend to stay transparent about your practice's finances and the impact on your team.
Using an agenda is optional for the finance meeting. By leaving out a rigid structure, there is more time for questions, group brainstorming, and responding to any financial outcomes that fell short of your goals. A few days before each finance meeting, distribute a copy of your practice's financial report for the upcoming meeting to each member of your staff. Have each team member use one color to highlight monthly goals that were met or exceeded and another color to mark production that fell short of expectations.
Celebrate accomplishments and milestones!
Finance meetings are often dry and tedious. Instead, you can energize your staff by celebrating their accomplishments and highlighting your practice's milestones during the last month. Your long-term goals take short-term achievements, so provide context for milestones as they relate to the larger financial success of your practice.
Highlight team members for their great individual performance. They'll feel happy and be appreciative of your support. Creating a reward system can motivate your staff to produce at even greater levels. Possible rewards include inexpensive items such as gift cards to Starbucks, a popular restaurant, or a movie theater.
Review practice statistics from the previous month
After celebrating accomplishments and milestones, the next and longest step is to go over your practice's production during the last month. One suggestion is to create a scoreboard to track monthly progress. It can be a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheets that tracks monthly goals against current progress.
Every practice will have a unique set of financial data that they will want to review to have a productive dental finance meeting. Here are statistics that are typically used to make dental staff meetings work well.
- Patients: number of new patients, total payments for treatments presented, total payments for treatments accepted, number of patients who missed their appointments, etc.
- Accounts Receivable: total accounts receivable, total collections, total percentage of collections, total adjustments and discounted services, etc.
- Overhead: total employee expense, total cost of new dental supplies, total cost of dental supply maintenance, utilities, rent, etc.
- Hygienists: total production for all hygienists, number of days worked, average production per day, number of hours with no patients, etc.
- Dentists: total production for all dentists, number of days worked, average production per day, number of hours with no patients, etc.
Deciding how to split up your hour of meeting time to cover some or all these numbers depends on your goals. Focus on any trends in your data, whether positive or negative. You'll be highlighting your results that fell short of their relevant goals for the next section of this post.
Develop action plan to correct areas of concern
Start the diagnosis process for goals that were missed by asking your team for feedback about a specific financial outcome. Then, you can open the floor for group brainstorming. Having an open mind during this period in your finance meeting will create an environment where your staff feels comfortable sharing their opinions.
To record your staff's ideas, you can create a shared Google Doc and take notes on your laptop. Encourage your team to review the pros and cons of each option to decide on a single, detailed action plan for each missed goal. In the end, you and your staff will have a better understanding behind the decisions of their office manager and dentists.
Running a productive dental staff meeting for finances takes preparation, review, analysis, and action. ou can also get inactive patients to schedule an appointment. Let's quickly review how to have an effective finance meeting at your dental practice.
What We Learned
Remember that a well-run dental finance meeting celebrates accomplishments, diagnoses missed goals and develops a detailed plan to solve financial shortcomings. When your practice's finances are in order, your staff will be happier and motivated to provide an even better experience for your patients.
Another way to improve the patient experience is with less time spent waiting at your dental office. With online patient registration forms, your new patients can quickly register with your practice wherever they want. Learn how online patient registration forms can reduce patient no-shows by up to 85%.
What strategy have you used to run smooth finance meetings at your practice? Share your insights in the comment section below.