Training & Support for Dental Business Excellence

28
Mar

0

Daily Audits are the Golden Ticket

A surefire way to increase the value of your team, your practice and yourself.

What you’ll learn…

  • Daily Audits audits create staff development and skills improvement
  • Audits improve office systems and reduce unnecessary tasks
  • How to measure and forecast practice growth to become the practice guru

Managers within a dental practice work to create or adopt systems that organize and support the function of the practice. It is the lifeblood to any successful organization and the glue that can make or break the success of the business. Many practices look to the numbers to measure success. They tell a great story, but do not tell whole story. How do you know when your systems need tweaking, or staff members need additional training? Do you wait to see a decline in your goals to make changes? Audits are a proactive approach to support office systems, staff, and are essential to practice health and growth.

Each day, staff members enter the office with renewed spirit to fight the day and WIN! What often happens is a whirlwind of activity through phones, emails, cancellations, emergencies, lengthy insurance hold times etc… These necessary but intense tasks can derail us from completing projects and put us in survival mode each day, especially if there is a small team sharing many hats. You are probably thinking, how can I possibly add one more process to my daily routine? “Cheer up Charlie!” When adopted, auditing should replace or reduce time spent on many of the tasks that you are already doing.

Are you regularly running reports for procedures not attached to insurance claims, reviewing new patient referral visits, unscheduled treatment lists, or backtracking to obtain vital patient information to add to their file? Are you pulling your hair out trying to understand where your team still needs training? Wonder why despite implementing solid communication methods, no one seems to be on the same page with the systems you work so hard to create and maintain? Are you racking your brain at the last minute to write an employee review and list improvements and success for each employee?   Let’s review how daily audits can replace certain processes, reduce stress, and highlight how leaders can be the Everlasting Gobstopper of their teams.

The audits times and frequency listed can be altered and adjusted to meet your schedule and are purely an example of time that should be spent throughout the day performing various system checks.

8am-10am- Review the treatment plans for appointments completed the day prior.  
(30-60 min daily for review and completion of audit)
  • Ensure treatment plans are signed, scanned or filed, and patients are appointed.
  • Review that fees are correct on treatment plan according to patient insurance, cash, discount, or membership loaded in patient file,  and notes attached for completion of services.
8am-10am-  Review new patient appointments scheduled for the following two weeks.  (10min-30min for audit completion. This can be done once or twice per week)
  • Check to ensure that patient notes including the reason for their visit, vital insurance information , contact info, and referral information is placed in the appointments.
  • If you have a system for sending patient a welcome email and link or attachment of new patient paperwork this should also be verified that it has been sent.
  • Make a list of items or appointments that require additional information or review, and use this list to address and train with particular team members that scheduled the appointment. This provides real time feedback to your employees and prevents future issues before the patient arrives. It also ensures that every new patient experience is the same before they even enter the office.
  • Analyze next available new patient openings to forecast when additional days or providers are needed to handle new patient capacity.
1pm-2pm Review the schedule for the following two days. (60 min daily for review and completion of audit)
  • Spot check the appointments to ensure that timely confirmations have been completed.
  • Make sure that any openings in the scheduled are being worked on and that asap lists are being called on.
  • Choose three to five  appointments on the schedule to confirm that their insurance has been verified and is correct in your patient file.
  • Ensure that history and frequencies have been checked on the same three to five appointments and that all eligible services are listed on the appointment. (An example of this would be if a patient was due again for Comp exam and pano or FMX)  
  • Address any appointments that need correction, confirmation, or history that needs to be verified with staff so that patients can be properly served prior to their appointment.
3pm-4pm- Office Communication Review (15 min daily for review and completion of audit)
  • Confirm that all patient messages, emails, and specialist requests have been emailed or followed up on by staff.
  • File away or assign email and voicemail cleanup to staff members to ensure an organized communication inbox for the following day.
4pm-5pm Analyze all appointments completed same day for claims submission & collections(60 min daily for review and completion of audit)
  • Review the appointment ledgers/accounts  to ensure that insurance claims are batched, attachments and clinical notes are included.
  • During ledger claims review check that patient balances have been collected for services that day.
  • Spot check that hygiene patients have been re-appointed.

One last constant daily task should be listening to your team as they navigate their day. How are they communicating with one another? Are they handling treatment and insurance conversations appropriately? Are new patient calls handled with an upbeat supportive tone answering all patient questions? How are patients greeted when entering the office? Make it a goal to listen to the communication style of the entire team throughout your day and work week.

When implemented, the daily audits should also reduce the weekly and monthly strain of playing catch-up. Lengthy reports for missing patient referrals, unscheduled treatment plans, and overdue hygiene appointments should start to dissipate with a more proactive daily approach. Having a pulse on every system on a daily basis will make you a confident, supportive, and valuable leader

We welcome your feedback! Please comment or send an email to Praxes Dental with audits that you find most helpful, challenges, and or successes that you encounter each day.

Nichole Sietsema

praxesdental@gmail.com