By: Bridget Burris

I’ve been asked for more details about how to have a great morning meeting so, let’s get right to it!

  1. Doctor, decide if you will be part of the morning meeting or not – Your meeting, your culture and your practice should reflect you and your personality and your practice philosophy. If you want to know about everything and feel you need to control every detail, that is perfectly fine (and most orthodontists feel this way in my experience), you should be front and center at the morning meeting. Now, if you are going to be there and participate, doctor, it is vital that you show up on time and hold up your end of the bargain. You can’t be playing on your iPhone and not listening or otherwise detracting from the meeting process. If you’re going to be present then you need to be PRESENT! If you’re not going to be present and set an excellent example in terms of timeliness, engagement and attitude then you would be better off to let your office manager and/or leads handle the morning meeting and fill you in later.
  2. Put a sign at the front desk explaining that you are in a meeting and will be with patients directly. Some offices put a teddy bear with a sign that says “Bear With Us”. It’s silly but it’s fun!
  3. Make sure every member of the team is at the meeting and has their very own copy of the day sheet AND that they take notes on their copy for use throughout the day.
  4. Assign tasks to team members – There are many things that need to be done every single day at the morning meeting. These tasks will vary by office and this is not an all inclusive or complete list. It is simply a list to give you some examples of what some teams do at their meeting. A specific person needs to be responsible for each item on the morning meeting agenda and if he or she is not present there needs to be enough information available for someone else to cover temporarily.
    • Lab work – someone needs to check the schedule for any and all delivery appointments and then verify that the lab work is completed and ready to go and in the correct office at least two days before the delivery appointment. This should be reported on daily and any problems noted so that corrective action and/or rescheduling can take place.
    • Overtime patients – someone needs to account for any patients who are past their estimated treatment time or getting close and a plan needs to be made to finish those cases ASAP.
    • New patients – some info about them, where they go to school, how they got to us, any family in the practice, any friends in the practice, etc.
    • Special needs – some patients need a little extra TLC. Identify them and make a plan.
    • Special occasions – birthdays, births, deaths, weddings, accidents, etc all need to be handled as a team and by individuals. You are part of your community so pool your resources and ask everyone every day if they see anyone on the schedule with something going on.
    • Future appointment dates – the OM or a lead should be looking ahead at the next ten weeks (or however long your appointment interval is) and making sure your schedule is even. What I mean is that you don’t want one day with 30 patients and another with 100 patients. If you schedule by columns instead of rows and pay attention to the daily patient load then this person can give dates that the team should use that day for 2 week, 4 week, 6 week, 8 week and 10 week appointments in order to keep the schedule even. This is one of the more difficult things to accomplish and it takes a special person to make it happen.
    • Problem patients or parents – you know who they are. Talk about them and make a plan.
    • Patients we upset – we all make mistakes and sometimes our mistakes impact people negatively and make them justifiably upset. Identify these folks and make a plan to make them happy and make their day!
    • Patients who are behind on payments – Make sure someone is letting all team members know about patients who are behind on patients and how each will be handled. All team members should be taking notes on their copy of the day sheet.
    • Depending on how you do things and what software you use, you may want to have someone track and report upon which patients are due for a pano, which patients are due for a cleaning or other things.
  5. Talk about goals for the day – Many offices track referrals out to PCDs, ask fors, compliments, complaints, hero moments, etc.
  6. Quote, joke or story of the day – time permitting this can be one of the most fun and inspirational parts of your morning meeting. Have something good on hand (or have your OM or lead do so) and use that if no one volunteers to share but it is preferable that a team member shares something that happened to them or something they heard.
  7. Some offices do a cheer or some kind of fun team building exercise before starting the day. This is highly specific to the doctor and the office culture.
  8. Have fun! – Gang this is supposed to be fun. We all have to work so we may as well work in a fun place with happy people. Decide it will be so in your office and set about making it happen!

6 thoughts on “Have A Great Morning Meeting Part II

  1. I think a lot of people pay a lot of money for such good free advice
    It was worth reading. Thanks for sharing

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