Generating leverage in your practice ultimately comes from a well-trained team and documented systems.
Without self-managing team members and clearly documented (and followed) systems, you’ll end up with an inconsistent patient experience, lack of trust in your team, you’ll struggle to delegate, and end up holding onto more tasks than necessary.
In order to build a practice that runs without you, you need to equip your team with the tools they need to do their jobs well.
Two such tools include Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and Frameworks. Let’s look at how you can build these quickly, easily, and effectively – and which activities require which tool.
How to build an SOP
SOPs are great for task related activities and checklists – where there’s a simple and linear sequence of steps to follow. It means that if one person follows the checklist, they’ll get the same result as the next person and so on.
1. Label with the name of the task, and mark with the date it’s created as well – as which version it is.This can be useful as information gets updated, new technology gets integrated, and for your own archives.
2. It’s also good to include references where necessary, like the infection control manual or any official documents for your team to refer to.
3. Then, of course, list the various steps that need to be followed.
4. In order to get uniform outcomes make sure your language is clear, avoid wishy-washy descriptions, include pictures or diagrams where necessary, and put steps in chronological order. Now is not the time for “je ne sais quoi!”
5. It’s also important to test your SOP’s so you can tell if they need reviewing or clarifying before it’s too late. Give them to a worker to test out and see if (without any external help), they can complete it and achieve the desired results. Better to know what needs correcting now, rather than when you’re on leave and your phone is blowing up because the SOP is missing a step!
Here’s a template that you can use to create SOP’s quickly and easily. Now don’t tell us we need to create and SOP to tell you how to use it…
How to build frameworks
If you’ve got a less linear task that requires more adaptability, critical thinking, and creativity, then a framework is going to be more appropriate.
For instance, as dentists we are inherently in the people-business. Putting your hands in another person’s mouth is an intimate thing, and your relationships and rapport with patients is going to play a huge role in retention, referrals, and case acceptance.
But, it’s a bit tricky to build an SOP around a conversation or for interpersonal skills, right?
That’s where we develop a framework instead.
When people are asked to follow a script, it can feel unnatural so it either has an uncomfortable effect, or they simply won’t follow it.
But you do still need a level of consistency so that patients receive reliable care and you can ensure your patient experience remains five-star.
In order to do that, we can break the conversation down into a series of steps with an example of the necessary questions/points, and then ask team members to find their own language.
It will get you from point A to point B, but allow your team to speak in a way that feels comfortable. Still replicable, less wooden.
We have a whole series of frameworks and templates around:
- Booking appointments
- Managing cancellations
- Dealing with complaints
- People just shopping around for prices
- Preferred providers
- Hygiene-only appointments
- Asking for referrals
- Asking for reviews
- Case presentation
- Creating compelling reasons to return
- Patient handover within the practice
- Patient transfer – passing and receiving
At the moment, these are client-only resources that are available to our Practice Max and Boardroom community.
If you’re interested in discussing membership options and getting access to these frameworks (and hundreds of other resources, events, intensive workshops, live online trainings, exclusive podcasts, discounts with industry partners, free and discounted tickets to events, monthly newsletters, and much much more!) – then reach out and let’s have a chat!
You can book your FREE Strategy Session right here!