The Single Most Important Hour of Your Week

 In Featured, Office Protocols

When asked what I believe are the most important habits for building a successful practice, I will typically rattle off 3 or 4 key elements that I adhere to in my own clinics and teach my chiropractic consultant clients to follow religiously in their practices.

One of those key habits that is always included in my impromptu response is the Monday morning staff meeting. It is my opinion that this is by far the most important hour of the week. There is no more concentrated time when everyones mind can be focused on what is important and exactly what needs to be done to reach your weekly goals.

Without this meeting it becomes an interjection of a random thought to one staff member now and then, and then a Band-Aid on some issue when it pops up, and so on.

Without this meeting it becomes an interjection of a random thought to one staff member now and then, and then a Band-Aid on some issue when it pops up, and so on. You know what I am talking about! We have all been there where at the end of the week you look back and realize that you just spent all that time going through the motions, without a crystal clear path to follow.

Without this meeting it becomes an interjection of a random thought to one staff member now and then, and then a Band-Aid on some issue when it pops up, and so on. You know what I am talking about! We have all been there where at the end of the week you look back and realize that you just spent all that time going through the motions, without a crystal clear path to follow.

I find that most clinics fit in one of three categories when it comes to staff meetings.

1.  They used to do them, and they worked great but they got busy and stopped doing them (even though they acknowledge that they should have continued them)

2.  They have never done them because they either don’t know how to properly conduct one, or they don’t see the immediate need

3.  They are doing them incorrectly so it ends up becoming a forum for staff to complain
So before I address those issues, and how to conduct a proper weekly meeting, let’s first consider the timing of the meeting. I have spoken to clinics that conduct their meetings just after shutting down for a ½ day, say Thursday afternoon. There are also those that do it at the end of the work-week such as Fridays. But, these are not good options in my opinion because the focus moves away from what our goals are and a set plan of action to accomplish them to ‘this happened and that happened this week so let’s spend our meeting time figuring out a way to deal with these issues.’
Instead keep the schedule 100% free from patient visits during the first hour of every Monday – no exceptions.

” If you make exceptions to Monday morning as your meeting time, it will be hard to convey the importance that you are placing on this meeting with your staff.”

Now, by far the most important structural element of the meeting has to be CONTROL. By this I mean, you have to not only have at least somewhat of an agenda but you have to constantly direct the meeting to ensure it flows in a productive direction. That direction has to be forward looking, positive and must stay as far away from the negative and complaint tendencies of those few staff members that we have all had at one time or another.
Only at the very end, if time allows, is anyone allowed to chime in about issues that are not goal and results oriented. And even then, if those concerns are random rants in nature I will say to that person “I don’t think this is the time, so you and I should talk for a few minutes right after the meeting…”
When you follow this protocol, what is left is a pliable but positive platform on which everyone (at a minimum all key employees must attend this meeting) should primarily focus on how to hit the goals for the week.
Here are the general items that you should try to include in every meeting. Add or subtract from them as suits your practice but this is a very good starting point for most clinics.

 

OUR 8 POINT OUTLINE FOR MONDAY MEETINGS

1) Statistics for the previous week. Discuss the previous week statistics such as new patient numbers, missed appointment numbers,and whether you hit or missed the goal and why.
2) Goal status for month thus far. Number 1 automatically leads into current statistics for the month thus far. Based on where you are, you can modify the goals for the current week. For example, if you are behind your goal, then you will discuss and have a plan to make up the

3) New patients from the past 2 weeks.  Assess where they are in their treatment plans and compliance. In this exercise we go over each new patient one at a time and discuss what is going on with them. By including this simple step you will be able to prevent patients from falling off the books early on.

4) Future promotions/marketing that is upcoming. Discuss the planning and execution for when people call, etc. You may be a marketing wiz but if someone calls or comes in from a particular promo and your staff doesn’t know about it, your potential new patient will lose confidence in you quickly.

5) Recall and reactivation status. You often have to keep up on staff regularly to make sure they are not falling behind on whatever your patient recall and reactivation system is. Consistent focus on this his step will ensure this activity doesn’t go on the backburner, which is all too

6) Particular patient issues. This is where you can discuss problem patients, disgruntled patients, as well as super satisfied patients who must also be catered to and marketed through! Note: This is different than the ‘staff issues’ that I mentioned earlier.

7) Customer service reminders. Review the common sense ways in which the staff must interact with patients. Role playing examples is sometimes required to explain or re-explain how a particular situation should be handled to ensure maximum efficiency and customer service.

8) Referral communications. Make sure everyone is sticking to their established protocols regarding remaining in contact with professional referral sources, i.e., attorneys, other physicians, companies, and any internal referrals you may have between various providers in your office.

While your meeting may deviate in one direction or another based on conversations that arise on various topics, the main point is that you’ve got to have an outline or master plan to follow in each meeting so that you cover the essential elements that are going to get you on track for a productive week. It takes relatively little time and yet will be the most important hour of the week if managed appropriately.

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