Stop Measuring Success with Production

dental files

With an industry that measures success in the terms of "production" what I'm going to tell you might be a bit of a paradigm shift.

How many of you have had carrots dangled in front of your face or chased "the shiny pennies" that the dentist promises if a certain production goals is reach... only to have a bunch of "no shows" and other factors occur that are out of your control.

The truth is we can't control production at all. We like to think we can. We can't. Yes, we can influence it. But we can't force anyone to do anything. Ultimately, even with our best efforts, there will be patients that don't want to filling they absolutely need or the electronic toothbrush that would make ALL the difference to their oral health.

Instead, let's measure success with out efforts. Efforts can be controlled. Outcomes unfortunately cannot.

I'm not saying a "just try your best" attitude is enough. Although, I wholeheartedly hope every person does in fact try his/her best. I'm talking about very calculated efforts following certain tried and true principles.

There are studies that when patients are appreciated, they are more likely to return. You can't physically make a patient come back (unless you kidnapped them, which we don't recommend!) But you can follow the principle of writing thank you notes and expect to get the desired outcome. For example:

OUTCOME BASED GOAL: "Have 10 patients schedule re-care."

EFFORT BASED GOAL: "Today I'm going to write each new patient a hand written thank you note." or "I'm going to ask and encourage each patient to schedule their next 6 month appointment. If they don't, I'll write a postcard to be sent out 1 month before they are due to be sent as a reminder."

A non-hygiene example:

Outcome Based Goals: "Lose 30 pounds."

EFFORT/SYSTEM BASED GOALS: "Exercise Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week."

Here are a few more dental examples.

"Today I'm going to point out treatment to each patient that needs it before the doctor walks in."

"Today each patient will leave with either a new product or an idea how to improve his/her oral hygiene."

"Today I'm going to offer fluoride to three patients (Notice: It's not give three patients fluoride.)"

I shouldn't put such a bad taste on productions. I honestly beleive it can be an instruments to review and see if your efforts are giving you the outcomes you except. The beauty in the above examples are that if you aren't ever getting the desired outcomes, it's completely acceptable to keep adjusting your efforts and approach.

Put laser focus on implementing systems and fee successful. Every. Single. Day.