Obstacle #3: There Is No Accountability

Out of all the obstacles, this one might just be the most ‘in our face’ on a day to day basis.  When there’s no accountability, things fall through the cracks. These can be little things like running out of cotton rolls or they can be big things, like a patient showing up for their crown delivery appointment and the crown’s nowhere to be found.

We’ve all been there, right? It’s embarrassing, frustrating and it can makes us look bad in the eyes of our patients.

Being accountable is knowing who is in charge of a certain job or task and then that person carrying it through to completion. When you agree to be accountable, the buck stops with YOU.  Now, you don’t have to complete every part of the task personally but you are responsible for making sure it is complete and accurate. To create more accountability in your practice, here a few things to implement:

1-Create an action list during every team meeting.  Assign each task to a team member and agree to a date on which it will be done. This is the What, Who, By When. I recommend using a piece of 3M Post-It flip chart paper and put it on the wall of your meeting space. This way,  you can check things off when they’re done and go back to items that haven’t been completed to find out why.

2-Utilize trackers!! Tracking your progress is imperative. In fact, many consultants have seen that tracking alone increases productivity by 10% or more, without implementing any other changes. When you’ve implemented something new, whether it’s a new marketing strategy or perio program, using a tracker will allow you to see what’s working and where you need to make adjustments. If your hygiene team is presenting the perio treatment but it’s not showing up on the tracker as completed, then you know you need to look at how you’re admin team is presenting financial arrangements or if the schedule is allowing those patients to be cared for quickly.

3-Assign ongoing tasks. Being very clear about expectations is one secret to success as a leader. Create clear, consistent accountability by assigning one person to be in charge of OSHA, another in charge of the supply budget and inventory and another in charge of patient confirmation, for instance. Try to choose folks that are good at that skill. The person in charge of the supply closet should be an ‘organizer’ at heart.

In a couple weeks, I’ll share a bit about training. I bet you know what I’m going to say… 🙂

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