Why Having A Cohesive Team is Important

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Eileen Gonzales

One question dentists or even office managers always ask is, “What makes a dental practice successful?” Some common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like productions and collections, accounts receivable, and others can tell you about the practice’s health. But another is the dental team.

A cohesive team is critical because it is the one ingredient that makes a dental practice successful. For example, let’s say you have two providers, one dentist, a hygienist, the assistant, and the office manager that day. On the schedule are two columns, one for the hygienist, with eight patients (one per hour.) On the dentist’s side, there are a total of nine patients. A perfect schedule that reaches the daily goal. However, some issues make it a little challenging: two of the patients the dentist is scheduled to see are not confirmed.

Some of the patients being seen are family members who have since moved. Also, there is a new patient who is not seeing the hygienist. The situation is an excellent opportunity to do “same-day dentistry” and give the best customer experience.

How do we make it a productive day? How do we make things work? How do we make sure we offer the best customer service? As an office manager, I don’t like the idea of turning patients away because I value the relationship. To me, it’s bad customer service. There is also a possibility that they might not come back. The answer is to have a cohesive team. The dentist, assistant, hygienist, and office manager need to work well together and be able to bounce ideas off each other.

Let’s return to the scenario where two of the nine patients are not confirmed. What do we do? What does the team do? We all agree that we don’t want to turn the patients away since they aren’t confirmed. What’s best? The dentist, assistant, and office manager ensure we are prepared to see them. We maximize the fact that the office has more than one operatory, and the assistant sets up for both treatments: the dentist and the assistant figure out what both patients need and which operatory is best to use.

Now, remember that there was a new patient on the schedule and two patients who moved and no longer live in the neighborhood? My dentist and her assistant went over what was needed for her patients. The hygienist was able to see one of the patients who no longer lived in the area, and I was able to call some of the scheduled patients and move them to a later time while the hygienist was able to see my dentist’s patient.

Remember customer service? Every day is an opportunity to go beyond. Patients do notice, and they will let you know, either by telling you or giving your practice a well-deserved review.

We have to ensure that we see them and give them the best customer service. It takes the right dental team to offer the best customer service. We all work together to make sure we accomplish our goals. It takes flexibility, understanding, and compassion on our part.

In the end, it all worked out because our cohesive team knew what the goal was.

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About the Author

Headshot of Eileen Gonzales

Eileen Gonzales, FAADOM, is the office manager at Ever Care Dental in New York City. She essentially grew up in dentistry, as her mother was a dentist. Eileen assisted chairside for her mom and eventually moved into practice management. She holds a degree in Business Management (with a minor in Economics) from St. Peter’s University. Eileen has been an AADOM member since 2018. She earned her AADOM Fellowship (FAADOM) in 2020 and has completed the requirements for her AADOM Mastership (MAADOM) Designation. Eileen will be inducted into the 2023 class of MAADOM in September.

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One thought on “Why Having A Cohesive Team is Important
  1. Avatar
    Teresa Harrell

    I’m so proud of your accomplishments in becoming a MAADOM this year!

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