If I were to die today….

If I were to die today, could the dental office that my husband and I own continue running like a well oiled machine? (These are the things I think about while trying to sleep at night. Am I the only one who worries about things like that? Anyway….)

If you would have asked me that 15 years ago, I would have said, “NO WAY!”.

But, if you were to ask me that today, I firmly believe that our dental practice would easily continue to run without me if I croaked.  And you know what, at this stage in the game, I believe that this office SHOULD be able to run without me. It shouldn’t matter who is working here either. What should matter are the systems that I’ve put in place for others to follow. As long as the systems are written out and allow for accountability, then the office should be able to function without a manager micromanaging things.

Many years ago, when were were a smaller office, it was much easier for me to do it all. I never even asked anyone to clean the bathroom or vacuum the floor, because I would just do that, too. There’s no way we could function like that now.

Now, let’s understand that I do a lot for our office, and it’s not like I have a death wish or anything, but I do need this office to not rely on me for every little thing. Looking back now, I realized that I was creating an environment that didn’t encourage everyone else to pitch in with anything. But it’s not like they wouldn’t help, it’s just that they didn’t know what to help with.

I was also exhausted.

It really does take a village…you know? There are patient needs, employee hiring/training/issues, supplies to buy, equipment to maintain, bills to pay, marketing to handle, etc. There’s a lot there and one person should NOT have to handle it alone.

In the past, I would chase our employees down and ask them to do certain things (chores, maintenance, etc) around the office to help out. If I got busy with something, then I didn’t have time to chase them down and then those things wouldn’t get done. I was still running myself ragged and employees didn’t always know what needed to be done and when. So if I were to drop dead, this office would get really messy and behind on things pretty quickly.

That’s when I realized that I didn’t have a good system in place for this problem. One again, the problem was ME and not THEM!

But no worries, I figured it all out.

I started by making a color coded calendar through the icloud website.  On the calendar, I designated specific colors and responsibilities so that everyone in the office always knew what needed to be done and when. I no longer had to chase people down to ask if they ran a spore test strip or if claims over 30 days have been followed up on.

Here’s what it looks like, and here’s a video I made that explains a little more.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.14.12 AM

 

 

 

 

The beauty of this calendar is that I do not have to micromanage the day. If it’s on this calendar, then it needs to be done on the indicated day. Not only is this calendar on our office icloud account,  it’s also printed out and in multiple places in the office so that everyone always knows what’s going on. I don’t have to be a broken record and that’s a huge load off me. The calendar is easy to make because categories can be color coded and events can be easily repeated.

I wasn’t done yet. I also went on a “Checklist” rampage. I started making checklists for everything. There’s one that gets used by our team in the morning to start the day and two to shut down the office at the end of the day. We also have a weekly one that we use to restock our operatories. Our front desk has a daily checklist, too. Each one of these serves a different but REALLY important purpose. Each form allows the ENTIRE team to know what needs to be done, what has been completed, and what still needs to be completed. I do not have to be the “bad guy” who runs around double checking and asking people to do things. These checklists get handed in to me (daily or weekly depending on the checklist) and all I have to do is look at it and acknowledge that everything has been checked off. I don’t have to be a nag anymore! Things just get done! By initialing the checklists, I can also see who is doing what and I love that accountability. Not only do things get done, but the good doctor is also happy because he can rest easy knowing that his office is being properly maintained.

Here are some of our checklists.

Keep reading!

This gets completed first thing every morning and gets handed in at our huddle.

This gets completed first thing every morning and gets handed in at our huddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front desk completes this the day before and presents it at the next day's morning huddle.

The front desk completes this the day before and presents it at the next day’s morning huddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have two End of Day checklists. Things get initialed off and handed in before employees leave.

We have two End of Day checklists. Things get initialed off and handed in before employees leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have two End of Day checklists. Things get initialed off and handed in before employees leave.

We have two End of Day checklists. Things get initialed off and handed in before employees leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there are you go. Manage systems, NOT people. Thanks to all of this organization, things just get DONE around here. I don’t have to do it all by myself and I can be confident that things will get done in my absence.

I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, but maybe I WILL take a vacation one of these days, and I can be confident that it will be business as usual at the office!

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