Episode 472: How to Calibrate Your Hygiene Team

dental a team podcast Jan 13, 2022

Dr. Dave Moghadam joins Kiera to discuss getting your hygiene team on the same page and at the same point of understanding. He shares his approach, and goes deeper into the following:

  1. Gather all information and establish a flow of procedure

  2. Hold a longer meeting for your hygiene team to review and add their own ideas

  3. Allow a period of follow-up for questions

  4. Transition into monthly or quarterly meetings to continually update

Dr. Moghadam utilized the Dental A-Team’s hygiene course to help him come up with this approach to calibrate his hygienist team.

About Dr. Moghadam:

Dr. Moghadam was born and raised in Morris County, New Jersey. After completing his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University in New Brunswick he went on to obtain his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) in Newark. During his time at UMDNJ, Dr. Moghadam received extensive recognition for his outstanding leadership, academic and clinical aptitude, and dedication to the profession. Some of his achievements include receiving the William R. Cinotti Endowed Scholarship and the American Student Dental Association Award of Excellence, as well as induction into the Gamma Pi Delta Prosthodontic Honor Society.

He then chose to complete a general practice residency at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick where he received advanced training with an emphasis on comprehensive restorative treatment, endodontics, and implant dentistry. Dr. Moghadam is also an active member of the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Dental Associations, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has had the honor of serving as a member of both the board of trustees and the board of delegates for the New Jersey Dental Association. Dr. Moghadam has attended numerous continuing education courses and strongly believes that furthering his knowledge and expertise is essential to providing his patients with the level of care and respect that they deserve.

Episode resources:

Check out Dr. Dave Moghadam’s practice

Listen to episode 439, How to Merge Small Practices Into Large Ones

Sign up for the DAT hygiene course

Reach out to Kiera

Subscribe to The Dental A-Team podcast

Become Dental A-Team Platinum!

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey, everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have traveled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I could help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.


0:00:51.8 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you guys, I am so excited to bring back on one of my favorite guests, one of your favorite guests, somebody who is in the real life with you guys. He is a practicing dentist, rocks our office. I've known him for quite a while, and he's a man that creates systems, implements and executes, and today I'm jazzed to bring him back on. Dr. Dave Moghadam, how are you today?

0:01:13.4 Dave Moghadam: I'm wonderful, Kiera. Thanks for having me back, I appreciate it. It's gonna be a blast as always.

0:01:17.4 KD: Yes. It's gonna be great. If you guys have not heard his other one's, we've talked about... We've gone from acquiring practices, bringing on associate doctors, we've talked about team quarterly calibrations, and now we're gonna dive into something that you started... I actually think you started it, maybe COVID, maybe you were doing it pre-COVID, but it's gonna be diving into hygiene calibration, which I think is so relevant. Right now, hygienists are like more... Harder to find than unicorns, in my opinion, they're like real, real tricky. But we just know that they're real, so I think it's a great time, actually, to bring this in. So Dave, kinda walk us through... Like I said, you're a practicing dentist, this is your real life, this is what you're doing really in your practice, which is why I love having you on the podcast, so kinda take us away on this hygiene calibration, how you even got the idea for it. What spurred that? I'd love to hear.

0:02:08.2 DM: Yeah, so I think as far as how did this come about, what was the situation, everything like that, some of the key things that were happening were, I had focused a lot on a lot of the rest of the practice, a lot on systemize this, do this, let's grow and everything else was just really just taking off, but the one thing, year after year after year, that was just kind of fairly consistent, not really like, "Oh my God, we're really growing," was the hygiene part. So I started to look into things, you know, how can we just improve and I always feel like if we improve some of the other basic stuff, the numbers follow. So I think a lot of the things that I was looking to do was just getting some consistency, make sure everybody's on the same page. At that point, we had gotten... Yeah, this was about two years ago, so we had just gotten a new hygienist to join our team who's been with us since then, we had another hygienist who was only there a day a week at that time. So it was kinda a little difficult to try and get everything all buttoned up, so the way I went about it was, one, I first took the big chunk of...

0:03:23.5 DM: We had in our operations manual, such as protocols, expectations, standards, record-keeping, like all that stuff. And then the other thing is, I contacted you and I said, "Hey, what do you have for this?" Because we're all gonna be sitting on our butts for a while when the world closed down for a little bit, so we went through the hygiene course, I took some pearls from there, I tried to organize things a little bit more, we did a little bit of coaching with Tiffany as well, virtually then, so we basically... The outline for this is basically protocols, standards, what... Record-keeping, what if you encounter some hiccups with patients as far as those types of situations, what's the appointment flow like, what's the communication, like what are the key points that we wanna hit on, teeing up the doctor, pre-teeing up the doctor, which I'll get into in a little bit, and then a lot of this is kind of reviewing our... Basically chunking out our route slip, which is very detailed, and that kind of highlights a lot of this stuff. And then we get into some basics of treatment planning, incorporating some bundles, which is a concept that you guys helped us incorporate and bring in, and then just talking about some of the other basic stuff, like how do we talk about fluoride, why is it important to ask for referrals? And then financial discussions, which basically means just don't have the financial discussions, don't bother talking about them. [chuckle]

0:04:58.0 KD: Right, yes, I love it. Well, and I love that... Something I wanted to point out is I feel like there's actually a ton of opportunities all around us, it's just are we willing to see them and then actually execute on them? So you saw COVID as a time we're all hanging out, we've got nothing to do. This is the area that I haven't spent any time on, so let's make this rock solid, and I think there's so many opportunities like that, hopefully not another pandemic shut down, but they're all around us all the time. So Dave, let's actually deep dive, if you don't mind, on a lot of these topics, I know that's kind of what we came today for, just so people get an idea of how you calibrated your hygiene team on this. You gave the resources. Yes, guys, if you wanna get our hygiene course, we're constantly updating it, it's getting ready to move to all videos. Once you purchase the course, you have it for life, so definitely...

0:05:43.3 DM: You're kidding, right? I wonder who gave that suggestion.

0:05:46.3 KD: [chuckle] That was Dave, which is great, 'cause I gave him a steal of a deal, and said like, "Give me honest feedback," and then I felt bad, your team was going through it as we were rampantly updating it.

0:05:56.2 DM: That's awesome. That's really gonna button it up. [0:05:58.4] ____ and stuff, it's gonna be awesome. Yeah, that's great.

0:06:00.9 KD: Good, good, so we're working on videos, working on audio, but we're constantly updating and innovating it and asking for you guys' feedback, so if that's helpful for you, fantastic. Like Dave said, we did do virtual calls with his hygiene team, very spot-specific, but kind of walk us down through this, of like, What exactly does this calibration look like? You listed those items, kind of deep dive with us on it.

0:06:19.2 DM: Yeah, that was just a lot of verbal diarrhea there, I just kinda threw it out there, so we'll break it down, we'll go section by section. Yeah, this is what happened. So basically, as far as protocols and standards and things like that, that's just kind of the basics of like, What are we expected to do? It's kind of like, if you think of like onboarding, it's repetitive, it's a review, but kinda like, What do you expect to do in the morning, during the appointment, at the end of the day? Kinda going through making sure everybody knows what all that looks like, making sure that they are very clear on what is expected for the end of day sheets, that they take pictures of and turn in every day, all that stuff.

0:07:00.2 DM: Record keeping. How often are we doing probing, how often are we taking X-rays, what kind of photos do we expect? And then as far as hiccups that relate to that, we... I think of it in a positive way. Half our patient base is 60 and above. I love it. It's really a wonderful type of practice. But in over the past five years of initially earlier on transitioning and taking over a practice like that, and then taking in other practices like that, we had a lot of stuff where people think that the X-ray head is gonna melt their faces off. And because of that, it's kinda like, Well, let's figure out a way, what's gonna be our kinda standardized way of how we're gonna address these concerns, what are we gonna go ahead and do?

0:07:44.7 DM: So we made a little pamphlet, basically, that shows some examples of things, why we take x-rays, what did we miss, all that stuff, very simple, very straightforward, has a little chart that we just kinda found somewhere on Google about radiation in the mouth, things like that. And they kinda have their set kinda like, Hey, we go through all that stuff, and if it kinda becomes a push versus shove moment, they have to come grab me, which I don't really love, but it is what it is, and then we kinda go from there. So that's... Not to get sidetracked, but that's kinda one of those things. When we have situations where things may not necessarily go smoothly, doesn't matter what the actual answer is, everybody just has to know what the answer is.

0:08:23.3 KD: Right, right. No, I love that. And I was gonna say, Dave, based on our last podcast we did, if they've gotta come get you, maybe throw that into your calibration roleplay of, what do we say to these patients? [chuckle] But I really do like...

0:08:37.0 DM: Yeah, I don't necessarily wanna encourage that. I like to do dental treatment and sit at my desk and drink coffee.

0:08:44.0 KD: No, I definitely... I agree. And that's what I feel like most dentists feel. So, I like that. So with that, and I like that you do that, so how does this kind of hygiene calibration look? Do you do it consistently? Is it once a year that you do it? Did the hygienist help create it with you? They brought up the issues that they are coming with? Kinda break it down. If I'm a brand new office, I don't really know... I wanna do this, I'm hearing you do this, what are kinda the steps to be able to actually get this into my practice and start running it?

0:09:10.6 DM: Yeah, so I think the big thing is, I think you gotta just deep dive into it, do it once over... Whether it's one really long appointment or maybe a couple weeks of... A couple hours. I think it's a lot to try and just be like, "Oh yeah, you're gonna remember all of this stuff, even if we do every three months," stuff like that. And right after we did it, we were doing weekly hygiene meetings. So we kinda will chunk out little pieces of this to kinda get a little bit more granular, or kinda talk about how we improve. Doing weekly meetings is a lot. This was...

0:09:43.3 KD: Agreed.

0:09:46.0 DM: And we were just being very, very inconsistent with it. So I was just kinda like, Oh, it's Tuesday, and yesterday was Monday, and Monday was really hard, and now I'm really tired, and Dr. Seth's not here today, and I'm running around all morning. So you know what? I just feel like not doing this at lunch. That's what would happen. So now we basically have at least one scheduled each month, and a second one that's kinda floating, where... So that one, we're gonna, no matter what, kinda go through some of this, and then if there's another topic that we kinda wanna dive into a little bit more, that's at the second one. It makes it a lot more manageable to go ahead and do things that way. I think when you chunk it out like that... And these are not long meetings. 20, 30 minutes.

0:10:27.4 KD: Sure.

0:10:27.6 DM: You know what I'm saying? After everybody's kinda had some time to relax before we're gonna start to see our patients again. But I think the first thing is really making of a... Let's get all the information organized together, let's go through it all, let's make sure somebody's all on the same page. I would assume, as we're gonna hopefully be onboarding... Well, finding and onboarding another hygienist over the next several months, it would be something that would be a big chunk of the onboarding process.

0:10:57.1 KD: Totally.

0:11:01.4 DM: But I think... And we'll get to it. There's a lot more to go through, but I think having done this for a while, and I realize sometimes when you kinda have this, even if somebody... If they've helped you make it and you're kinda just driving those points home, sometimes, like we talked about in the other podcast, things will get stale, or there's a way to do it better. And I really have felt that over time, if I've... In the times that I've tried to really ask for feedback and listen in an environment that doesn't seem so confrontational, that... Hygienist, and all my team members, really, sometimes bring these just amazing, wonderful ideas that I never really would have thought of about. And that's really how I think it really kinda starts to really grow and evolve.

0:11:47.8 DM: And that's hard, because a lot of times, every team member is different, and we have some that are a little touchy about things. And a lot of times, I try and explain that everything that we're talking about here is not like, "Hey, you did a crap job at this." It's kinda like, "Hey, I wanna try and see how we can make this a better situation for our patients, for you, for me. Is there a way that we can maybe try this to see if this is better, or what suggestions do you have? I wanna make sure overall... " That's the thing. Because I always am that type of person that's like, "Let's make this better, better, better," sometimes people think it's like, "Hey, you're doing a not good job." It's like, "No, you're doing a great job. I just don't sit still, and that's kind of a problem. I'm sorry it comes across that way."

0:12:31.6 KD: Yes, exactly.

0:12:33.8 DM: So I've gotten my office manager a little bit more involved as far as she's in the meetings as well, and asking some more of these questions. And I think it's led to a little bit less of a confrontational... Not that it's confrontational, but less a heated kind of environment.

0:12:49.1 KD: Sure.

0:12:49.8 DM: And we've had some great ideas come out of things here, do we?

0:12:54.0 KD: Well, I think it's because you're also...

0:12:55.8 DM: And we can get into that.

0:12:57.8 KD: Yeah, you're also calibrating with them. And so it becomes more of a learning versus a dictation. And that's where I think the freedom is, the freedom to come up with ideas, the freedom to give that feedback when it's coming together to calibrate and to connect versus judge and critique. And so I feel like you did a good job of spinning it, getting everyone there. So if I'm breaking this down for an office, it sounds like, one, gather all the information of the flow of the procedure. What is it? What's involved in that? Thinking of... Dave gave you a really great checklist real quick, of those items. And then from there, it sounds like, set up a time, maybe over lunch, maybe do a longer one to two-hour meeting where you have the outline of it, go through it all. I did this with an office that I was consulting with, and I literally gave them about an hour and a half, they went through the whole process, looked at everything, added pieces in, and then the next day we followed up, it was very short, just to make sure what questions did they have. And then they can roll into monthly meetings on this, or every quarter, just calibrating, reviewing, checking to see.

0:13:56.7 KD: But I thought you also brought up a good point of making sure that once it is solidified, which again, done is better than perfect, because guys, it will never be perfect, it will constantly update it, so don't spend your next 365 days trying to perfect this darn thing. Get it done, so it's at least something for when you onboard people and then continually update it as well. Dave, you had said there's more that you wanna dive into, so take it away, I'm not gonna stop you. Give some examples.

0:14:19.5 DM: Yeah, yeah. No, for sure, there's a lot. So we talked about protocols, standards, record-keeping stuff, any hiccups in that, so making sure everybody knows what the expectations are, what to do if there's pushback there. The next thing we will dive into is the flow of the appointment. Every office is different in how they wanna go ahead and do things. I always feel, and I'm not the best at this, even though I preach it all the time, that if you wait until the last five, 10 minutes of the appointment, and you say to somebody like, "Hey, you have all this stuff that's wrong inside your head," they'll just run out the door.

0:15:01.2 KD: Right.

0:15:01.5 DM: So I always feel that in the first 20 minutes, everything should be... All record should be all gathered together, hygienist should start reviewing everything that they potentially see as a problem, warming things up in a sense with the patients there, and the doctor, and sometime in that next 20-minute window, ideally somewhere between 20 after or 30 after, can get in there, talk about what the situation is, and then this time the patient has more time where they can ask questions, go over things, the front office has a heads-up if it's something that's involved. Although a lot of times, honestly, if it's more than... They've moved more towards this, if it's more than a couple of things and somebody is gonna be, in a sense, spending more than 5000 bucks, you may wanna set up even a small appointment just to re-review things with the doctor or somebody up front or something like that, 'cause it's a lot to take in. And honestly, a lot of times, five, 10 minutes doesn't really do the justice that some people need to really understand what the problem and the situation is, and really own that.

0:16:10.7 KD: Right, right. Well...

0:16:11.7 DM: It comes across as like, "Oh my God, they want 10 grand from me, I don't even know what the hell's going on."

0:16:18.9 KD: No, you're exactly right. And I think, something I love that you just talked about on that is you actually helped your team make better decisions without you always having to answer it, by saying, "Hey, I want a consult, if it's over 5000," this is where we should be setting up a consult. I literally just had an office ask me, "Hey Kiera, when do you recommend setting up a consult?" And I'm like, "Oh, it's doctor-dependent." Because some doctors are presenting 30, 40, 50,000, and they're like, "Those are fine, it's just laissez-faire." Other dentists are saying, "No, over five grand, 10 grand, let's bring them back for a consult." But by having this just expectations and helping your team know the parameters, they can then make a lot smarter decisions moving forward, independent, and feel confident.

0:17:00.9 DM: And that's gonna vary.

0:17:02.2 KD: Yeah.

0:17:03.6 DM: There may be other people out there who are very slick and can get somebody to give them $30,000 in three minutes, that's just not me. [chuckle]

0:17:10.7 KD: Right, right, exactly. Exactly. So I love that.

0:17:12.7 DM: But at the end of the day, I wouldn't want it to be like that. The way we do everything, it's like, "Let's really make sure somebody understands something, feels comfortable with the decisions that they're making," because I would much rather not do anything if somebody doesn't feel comfortable with it, than do it and have an issue.

0:17:29.7 KD: For sure. Absolutely.

0:17:32.1 DM: So I think that's a newer thing that we're moving towards. I think we ballpark in a sense. Sometimes, it's not even a financial thing, let's say somebody has been going to the same dentist for a long time and they show up and then it's like, "Oh my God, there's like 16 services [0:17:46.2] ____." And it's just like, "Okay, well, yeah, this is not gonna be a two-minute conversation," this is like, "Hey, I see a lot of things going on, let me highlight them for you, but let's have you come back and let's really talk about what the options are." And if it's something really involved, I encourage them to bring a friend or a family member, a second set of ears, somebody that they can rely on as well, because it's a lot of information, it can be overwhelming.

0:18:11.7 KD: Sure. Right, exactly. But I think over-arching big picture on this is, you got your hygiene team calibrated with you, you got them, because at the end of the day, I feel like hygienists tee up so much for the doctors, they're the ones who spend so much time with these patients. Doctors run in, run out, like you said. I also love that for you, and again, this is doctor preference, some doctors don't like to do exams when they're not polished and clean. But I like your... I actually really love your thought process on it, of, you're right, if you come do an exam lastly, right before that patient leaves, there is no time for them to ask questions to anybody but the front desk. And oftentimes, if they have a lot of questions, they're out the door if they plan to be there for an hour. Whereas, if that exam can be in the middle of the appointment, they can ask questions to that hygienist, that hygienist can re-emphasize treatment as well, helping them see like, "This is why, can you feel this catch with my instrument here? This is what Dr. Moghadam was talking about."

0:19:08.1 KD: So I really love that philosophy, and I love that... Again, I think what I'm pulling from this that I hope a lot of other offices are hearing is that you are giving them confidence to make decisions independent of you that are in aligned with the direction you want the practice to go. And when people have confidence, they know how to win the day, they've helped co-create it with you, they know how to give the patient the best experience, that gives team members freedom, that gives team members so much, just help and greatness that they can do. So, I really, really love that you brought that up and how you calibrate your hygiene team. Any other thoughts you have on it, Dave?

0:19:45.6 KD: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business, sometimes I just think, there's got to be a better way to do this and so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well. I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through.

0:20:06.7 KD: When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seems like the perfect fit. So you guys, right now, we have a few spaces open in our Platinum Consulting, that is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice. We help you get systems implemented. We don't just tell you what system to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you.

0:20:32.0 KD: Guys, it is one of the best investments I have ever made, is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it, and that's what we and the Dental A Team do, we literally physically fly to you. So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our Platinum. I'd love to have you I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard, so join us in the Platinum. We'd love to have you.

0:21:05.3 DM: The other thing that I would mention that it's kind of beneficial, if I actually get off my butt and show up at the time that I'm supposed to is let's say somebody has something that's not like, "Oh my God," over-the-top, but taking out a tooth, grafting in place of an implant, restoring it, a lot of steps in that, and we have [0:21:23.3] ____ codes in Open Dental, but somebody still has to kinda organise it and then I always want them double-checking, what are we anticipating that their insurance may help them with? All that stuff, kinda doing the breakdown, so a lot of times, if it's something a little bit more involved, we don't need to bring somebody's back, I'll just walk up front and just say, "Hey, we're doing this, this, and this for Mrs. Jones. Just make sure you have that ready," so it's a much quicker, easier check-out process and just immediately get them scheduled. Anything beyond a couple of things, I usually make an effort to walk up there, give them a heads-up, and sit at my computer for a minute or two before I go back to my patient.

0:22:02.0 KD: For sure, I love it. And again, I think it's important like... Guys, Dr. Dave here is telling you this is what he prefers. This is his style, this is his flow, this is the vibe he likes to have, and he's been able to create it in his practice. I will tell you from a team member's perspective, end all, be all, I want my doctor super happy. That's literally what makes me so happy, so if I know that Dr. Dave wants to go drink his coffee and wants me to take care of everything else, and he's given me the parameters of what to do, awesome. I'm gonna take it on.

0:22:29.4 KD: If I know Dr. Dave's a dentist who doesn't wanna let go, I'm probably gonna push him a little bit and remind him he should let go 'cause I got this for him. But at the end of the day, I'm gonna do what I can to make him super happy because I know when my doctor's happy, that's one of what I'm there to do as an assistant, as a front office. I'm there to help my doctors' lives be so simple and easy, and also to give our patients the best experience.

0:22:50.0 KD: So I just love... You looped it all together, you gave the parameters, you co-created with them, and then you... Now you get to have the life that you wanna have. Go drink your coffee before seeing your patients, whatever is needed because then you also probably have a much smoother day that you look forward to. You probably enjoy dentistry a lot more, which means you're probably going to be a better diagnoser. You're probably gonna be better to our patients, probably do better clinical because you are happier. You've got it set, we're able to all flow and gel, which is how the whole practice can move smoother.

0:23:20.6 DM: Oh, definitely and not to sidetrack us... I'm gonna forget if I don't mention it now.

0:23:26.3 KD: Say it.

0:23:27.1 DM: We could set something up another time to talk about scheduling protocols, as far as how to remember to put orders together for bigger procedures that are multi-step. And even also, actually creating a schedule where everybody's gonna be capped because there's the concept of block scheduling but there's also the concept of what we started doing, and I mentioned this to you a little while ago where we schedule based on the types of procedures that we wanna do, not necessarily financial values and stuff like that.

0:23:54.5 DM: And just like with most things that I do, that's not something that I learned myself or created out of thin air. It was something that I heard in other podcasts that I love. They call it, in their terms, they call it "priority scheduling." Creating priorities for the types of dentistry that you wanna do, which in my mind, is way better. I always geared towards things of like how do we wanna go ahead and make things a better experience for our patients? How do we wanna do more of the types of dentistry that we wanna do rather than we're chasing this magic number at the end of the day? Because for myself, for my team, I know that doesn't really push the needle. But when we do talk about all the steps of what's going to get us there, all the stuff that the... The numbers go up, and it's good, and we keep the lights on and we continue to grow, and we help more people and employ more people.

0:24:41.7 KD: I love it. I love it and I'm so glad that you said that, and I agree. I think that would be a really fun podcast to dive into because again... Scheduling, and I love hearing it from a doctor's perspective 'cause I will harp on this all day long and say, "A schedule that you want is actually the best schedule for your patients," 'cause you're happier. You deliver better dentistry, and when you guys have those boundaries in there, it's so much happier for everybody, so I definitely wanna dive into that. I also wanna dive into our IT podcast, as well, which will be a real fun one. But to wrap up on hygiene calibration, how often, Dave, do you recalibrate with your hygiene team?

0:25:20.4 DM: So it's not something that we've done, it's just mostly because we do our meetings, so we kind of loop around on areas that are falling through the cracks a little bit and then expanding on other teams, and a lot of times, we'll get a... Because of what we're talking about where we have these discussions, we'll incorporate some other great things. So we kinda, at certain times, were... Things were getting a little bit lost in the shuffle, as far as consistently doing probing at the times that we want to or basically having the appropriate codes in for when we're checking the patients out, and something gets lost in the shuffle of the hand-off and this and that, so one of the hygienists thought of a great idea, well, why don't we create, just say, a dummy code for probing as well, and then when they're...

0:26:05.2 DM: Then we talk about how when you're creating your next appointment, put everything in that's gonna be there, put in the probing, put in whatever X-rays are necessary, put it all there, and then when you're doing... You're basically... You're setting up for the morning huddle, in six months, it's very easy, all that stuff is basically there and then we can start focusing on some of the stuff that I wanna go focus more on a... As far as this stuff that actually relates to the patient, what's going on with them, their lives, because everybody can read a schedule, so if that part is not important, yeah, yeah, side note, I don't really love our morning huddles, that's something we're gonna work on.


0:26:41.0 KD: That's the next calibration one there, Dave, so don't worry, I got lots of tips on morning huddle that I've revamped those many times in many practices, but...

0:26:50.1 DM: But...

0:26:50.2 KD: I like the...

0:26:50.7 DM: I think...

0:26:51.0 KD: Go ahead.

0:26:52.4 DM: Yeah, I think getting back to some of the other things that we talked about aside from appointment flow and everything like that, a lot of what we want, the... That I'll talk about... We have a nice route slip that kind of... Who goes over, these are all the things we're checking, so that makes teeing up the doctor pretty easy there, for the most part. What I wanted to mention about pre-teeing up the doctor is, let's say you get another doctor in the practice, and it's the first time, it's the second time, it's the third time, whatever time it is, people are gonna be like, "Who is this human being that is just walking in the door?" So I think really taking a second and making sure that the hygienist know, when they know it's gonna be that doctor doing the exam, they know what to say. So what we kinda scripted out here is we've been fortunate enough to continue to grow as a practice, to make sure that we spend enough quality time with each patient, Dr. So and so has joined our team, we're happy that we found another great doctor who shares our philosophies to join us and help take care of our patients, I'm so excited for you to meet them.

0:27:58.5 KD: I love it.

0:28:00.2 DM: Something like that, ahead of time is disarming, it sets everything up, it shows that we have confidence in this other person who's joined our team, that it's not a second rate situation, and they're being pushed to the side.

0:28:12.5 KD: Yeah, right. I love it.

0:28:15.7 DM: And then, yeah.

0:28:17.5 KD: Well, and something else that I wanna point out is, Dave, you have this all on a PowerPoint, you actually shared it with me, which I appreciate a ton, and something I love about is you've got pictures in there, you've got verbiage in there, you've got links in there and you update it, but that's a very quick, easy onboarding packet, as well to give a new hygienist joining your team, it's also very quick for you to update it, and then there's no question of, what is that? And I also love that you guys use the route slip, I think that's a pro tip. If you guys aren't doing that, Open Dental, this is only for our Open Dental offices, there might be some others, Dentrix and EagleSoft, sorry, Charlie, you're out. But you can actually edit your route slips and you can put these questions in there, so a lot of the things, I'm big on not depending on human memories, I think the human brain is brilliant, I also think a lot of times in practices, we try to implement new behaviours, but it takes quite a while for that new behaviour to actually take off, so constantly thinking of if you want this to be hygiene checklist, how could you make a quick checklist? If you can't put it on your route slip, you can create a laminated checklist that they check off for you for every patient.

0:29:22.0 KD: Some offices who work in Dentrix and EagleSoft, they literally have their hygiene checklist printed on one piece of paper and then on the back side of it, that's where they print their route slips, so lots of ways to get creative with this. But what it sounds like you've done, Dave, is you went through the philosophies with your hygienists, you had them help co-create it, you've given them the parameters so you have a great schedule, and then we also put into play a way for them not to forget, and that's, I think, a key piece to success. And then you're continually talking about this in your quarterly meetings, so I would say for offices wanting to do this, one, just start, to start, write down every piece, get information, learn, get your hygienist together and get it all put together.

0:30:00.0 KD: Again, Dave, I love that you put it in a PowerPoint. Two, make sure that everybody's aligned. Three, add to it, have a set cadence of when you'll do it. Are you going to do it on a quarterly calibration? Are you going to do it once a year where you review it and make sure it's up-to-date, but that's where, oftentimes, these great systems, these great protocols come into play, but fall off the bandwagon because we don't have a set cadence to do it. So Dave, I love it, I love you guys breaking it down, and I'd say for all those offices wanting to do it, go for it. Reach out to Dr. Dave, he's awesome. Start though, he gave you a really great list, re-listen to this podcast, write it down, he gave you a lot of step-by-steps. I know that's hours and hours of work that he put into this, lots of resources, lots of time that you guys already have a jump start. So take what he's given you, execute on it and have a really calibrated hygiene team. So Dave, any last thoughts? I love what you've done. Thank you for sharing. It's always fun, you have so many great ideas that you'd love to share.

0:30:56.0 DM: I think there's a lot more that we could dive into. I think some of the other key takeaways is working with somebody like yourself or other people that can give you some more of these ideas, who wouldn't have thought about bundling procedures, things like that, trying to make things a little bit more clear overall, other key things, as far as new patient blocks, a lot of these key principles, all these other things, incorporating them and making sure that everybody's on the same page, 'cause we started to do that, didn't really have a discussion with the hygiene team, they started just not regarding or understanding and then putting things, and then it's a whole big to-do, in a sense, to try and re-organize the schedule there too. So, one, if you're gonna continue to learn and grow and incorporate new things, one, I encourage and you should, but you should probably talk to everybody and not forget to do that like I did.

0:31:50.0 KD: Amen. I do it all the time, guilty, guilty. People are like, "Kiera, you forgot," I'm like, "Oh yeah," and there's seven other people attached to this decision, and I forgot to share with all of you. And Dave, thank you for that. Agreed, if we can help you guys, I know, Dave, you reached out to us for resources, we also did virtual training with your team, we come to your practice, so if there are ways, this is something that you guys want help getting kicked off the ground, by all means, please reach out to us. You can email us at [email protected] This is literally what we are made to do, this is what we love to do, it's where our passion lies and just kinda being that outside, think outside the box, giving ideas to make your life easier and more efficient. So Dave, as always, I appreciate you. Thanks for being on our podcast today. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

0:32:32.3 DM: Absolutely. Thank you.

0:32:32.4 KD: You're just a wealth of knowledge, so thank you. Alright, guys, that wraps it up. Go execute, don't just take this knowledge, think it's a great idea but actually execute, stick it in your planner, in your schedule, on your calendar, wherever you need to, so you actually make it happen because you are always just one decision away from a completely different life. Alright, guys, as always, thank you for listening, and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.


0:33:00.6 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk to you next time.



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