It’s Monday and you’ve just come back from an awesome seminar excited to put everything you learned to use.

Monday comes and goes, so does Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., and you realize that you haven’t implemented a single thing you’ve learned—you just don’t have the time!

And as time moves forward, you forget some of what you learned and get frustrated.

This happens across the industry, regardless of the class.  Failing to use that “implementation” muscle makes it weak and that knowledge becomes all but lost!

But it doesn’t have to be! It doesn’t take much in the way of time to create a plan of action, or really to implement.  It all boils down to how you approach things.

Successful implementation is a requirement for excellent results, so it’s sort of the name of the game at MGE.  And we do quite a bit of implementation work with clients during the 600 hours of practice management education they get on the MGE Power Program.  (Learn more about the Power Program here).

And with that in mind, I wanted to share some of the successful implementation actions our clients use during their training.  You can apply these actions to pretty much any change or idea you want to implement in your practice.

1. It only takes a lot of time and effort from you if it’s not organized well

If you’re trying to implement something new or make changes and it’s done haphazardly without a plan, it’s going to eat up a lot of your time and be chaotic. You’ll spend time trying to handle all the logistics yourself, explain everything to each staff member, answer their questions, interrupt staff (or be interrupted yourself) at odd times when they should be busy with other things, etc.

(Related: Top 4 Organizational Mistakes Dentists Make)

But things will go a lot smoother if you just take an hour, in the beginning, to create a realistic plan, write out the steps, and introduce it to the team during a regular staff meeting. Also, a key point:  have an employee responsible for seeing each of the steps through. Then all you need to do is follow up (and troubleshoot as needed) on progress periodically until it’s done.

Here’s how this would go:

Implement things step-by-step

In dentistry, when you do a procedure, you get everything done all at once.

In business, it doesn’t always work this way. Most of the time, the things you want to implement or the projects you want to get completed have a few stages—and that’s okay! That’s why it’s best to implement things step-by-step.

In fact, there is a specific way you can break down a plan to make it easy to implement and delegate. It goes as follows:

Grab a pen and paper and write down what your goal is. Maybe it’s to get all staff trained so they are 100% confident on the job. Or maybe it’s simply to hire another receptionist. Or maybe it’s to implement something you specifically learned at a seminar. Whatever it is, write it down.

(Related: Implementation: Making New Ideas Stick in Your Office)

Under that goal, you can break it down into projects and steps.

So, let’s use the “get all staff trained on a new system” goal as an example. Here’s what it could look like:

Goal: Get all 10 staff trained on a new system.

  • Project 1: Research and find any courses or seminars they should take.
  • Project 2: Get each employee started on their training.
  • Project 3: Have each employee complete their training.

Breaking down your goal into projects gives you a roadmap of what to do next. You can also assign each project to a specific person if needed.

Next, you’ll want to list out all the steps in each project. This will help whoever is carrying out that project to know what to do next and actually get the project done.

Let’s continue from the above example:

Goal: Get all 10 staff trained on the new system.

  • Project 1: Research and find any courses or seminars they should take.
    • Step 1: Layout the courses or training materials the staff need to do.
    • Step 2: Get each course or seminar approved by the owner of the practice.
    • Step 3: Pay for the courses/seminars.
  • Project 2: Get each employee started on their training.
    • Step 1: Get any online accounts for online courses set up for each employee.
    • Step 2: Talk to each employee individually to learn their schedule.
    • Step 3: Create a schedule for each employee to do their online courses and seminars.
    • Step 4: Estimate how long, based on the employee’s schedule, it will take them to get through their training. Give them this estimate.
    • Step 4: Coordinate and schedule any in-person seminars.
  • Project 3: Have each employee complete their training.
    • Step 1: Weekly, check in with each employee on the progress of their training.
      • Conditional: If an employee is stuck or is having a hard time, help them get back on track.
    • Step 2: Ensure each employee is implementing what they’ve learned.

This is just an example and can vary from office to office, but it gives you an idea of what it would look like to break down the goals you have for implementing things in your practice. It can make a project that once seemed overwhelming into a project that is easy to follow and carry out.

2. Hold “executive meetings”

Another thing I recommend doing when you’re implementing new things into your practice is to hold consistent “executive” or “management” meetings.

It’s important to hold these meetings on a regular basis anyway, as this is where you would typically review the numbers from the previous week (production, collections, new patients, etc), finances, personnel issues, planning, and any problems that may need to be addressed. You don’t need to get the whole staff together for this. In a smaller practice, it would just be the owner and the office manager. In a very large practice or group practice with multiple locations, you may have several executives there (partners, office managers, junior managers, etc.). We also have a YouTube video all about weekly doctor and office manager meetings, you can watch it below:

These meetings don’t have to be long, but if you have projects that are being delegated to different staff members, it’s extra important to hold meetings so you can get a report of how things are going.

This is where you’ll notice if a project is running smoothly or if it has bugs that need to be worked out. And if you notice a project has some snags, don’t get too concerned. Sometimes you don’t foresee everything when you create a breakdown of each goal. For example, there may be another step that is needed that you didn’t think of before.

(Related: 4 Meetings You MUST Be Holding In Your Dental Practice)

Executive meetings help iron things out and make sure everything is going as planned. These meetings can be done as often or as little as you’d like, but I’d recommend holding them at least once a week so you can stay on top of each project.

3. Follow through

This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked, especially because everyone gets busy.

Executive meetings help with this, but it’s important to follow up frequently on each project to ensure they stay on track. So you may have the office manager be responsible for running it on a day-to-day basis and reporting back to you in the meetings.

Don’t depend on an employee to come to you as soon as a problem comes up. They know you’re busy and probably won’t want to bring it up to you right away. So, whether it’s you or the OM, it’s important to follow up frequently.

I hope these tips help! And again, this is covered more in depth on the MGE Power Program. And of course, you can request a free consultation with us here anytime.

Until next time!


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