We don't have to tell you how much practice owners need to juggle to operate a dental practice. In larger practices, the owner needs to create the vision, lead the leaders, evaluate operations, and more. In smaller practices, the owner often gets down in the nitty-gritty of details, leading each team member, in addition to handling ownership and operations issues.
For the doctor-owner, all of those duties are layered on top of the clinical care and continuing education requirements. That's a lot of work.
In fact, with many practice owners, they perform so many tasks that they lose track of what they do. And when they start to pay attention, they realize many of the tasks they actually perform can be eliminated, delegated, automated, or made easier through technology.
If that sounds like a positive direction, it's because it is. Even better, it's easy to get started, too. All you need is a little notepad. Here's everything you need to know.
Keep a Notepad With You for a Week
Carry a notepad and pencil with you for a week. During that time, write down everything you do for your practice, at home, on your commute (but don't write and drive!), in the office, and anywhere else you go. For this week, your notepad needs to be right by your side at all times. We highly recommend using a small, physical notepad, not technology. There's something about physically writing down tasks that makes it register with you differently.
No matter how small the task, write it down. Check your email first thing in the morning? Write it down. Answer a text after dinner? Write it down. Having a complete list of tasks is important because these are all the tasks it takes to lead your practice. If you don't list everything, you won't know everything you need to consider eliminating, delegating, automating, or making easier through technology.
Review the Tasks At the End of the Week
At the end of the week, review all the tasks you wrote down. Group as many tasks as you can into categories, such as answering emails, checking voicemail, ordering supplies, and so forth.
After grouping the tasks, create a master list of tasks on a new piece of paper. Include the groups you identified plus any tasks that don't fit nicely into a group.
Identify Tasks That Can Be Eliminated, Delegated, Automated, or Made Easier Through Technology
If you're like most leaders, a number of activities will immediately stand out as tasks an owner and practice leader should not be doing. Those are prime targets for delegating to a team member.
You will also see tasks that nobody needs to be doing. These could be tasks that waste time or tasks that don't make enough of an impact on your practice to continue doing. Consider eliminating those tasks.
And you will see tasks that can either be automated or made easier through technology. If you're doing a lot of manual reviews of patient files or treatment needs, practice management software can help. If you're spending twice as long on the phone with patients because you need to pause them so you can take notes, technology like our partner, Mango Voice's, call recording feature can save you a lot of time and ensure nobody has to worry about reading handwriting or misinterpreting notes. That's just one of many features that can be made easier using their dental phones.
When you've completed your review, it's time to get to work. Eliminate what you can eliminate. Delegate tasks others should be doing. And use technology to make everyone's life easier at your practice.
Are you ready to get some tasks off your shoulders?
Practice owners are so busy that they rarely even have time to eat lunch. How can they be expected to take a deep dive into practice operations to implement big changes? Using a simple notepad, they won't have to. It takes just a few seconds to keep track of what you do.
In just a few minutes at the end of the week, you can have a birds-eye view of all the tasks you perform and a list of activities for you to eliminate, delegate, automate, or make easier using technology, such as practice management software or dental phones by our partner, Mango Voice.