DEBRA MILLER | DIRECTOR OF COACHING
Most endodontic practices have an Office Manager, or at least a senior administrator who is charged with more overall responsibility. There can be a wide range of different tasks that the Office Manager is given, and these can vary significantly from practice to practice.
In some practices, the Office Manager may only oversee the administrative team’s tasks. In other offices, they are the right-hand of the doctor (management-wise) and may have a role in managing the entire team, handling confidential HR information and procedures, and the practice’s financial recordkeeping and accounting.
Often it is a question of trust, longevity and capability that determines how much the doctor delegates to the Office Manager. For practices with a more limited Office Manager role, Endo Mastery helps to expand their duties with training and accountability so that doctors can benefit more from a highly-trained team leader supporting them. For some doctors, this can dramatically simplify their day-to-day practice life.
Most Important Task
However, regardless of whether your Office Manager has a limited role or a fuller one, there is one vital task that every Office Manager must do on a daily basis. That task is to continually be aware and focused on optimizing the doctor’s schedule and productivity.
Ideally the doctor moves smoothly from patient to patient without being unnecessarily rushed or unnecessarily idle. A great day for the doctor is, as they finish one patient, the next patient is ready for them. The doctor is focused on what they are legally required to do in patient care, and they are surrounded by a highly trained team that handles everything else.
This opens the door for a high productivity schedule, but it requires thoughtful attention to the practice schedule. In Endo Mastery-coached practices, scheduling templates are carefully developed with the entire team choreographed around patients and the doctor. The Office Manager has primary responsibility to ensure the schedule is appointed with patients according to the template.
But that’s not everything that is involved. Endo has a high percentage of emergency patients that often need to be seen on the same day. Even when the template has times reserved for same-day emergencies, what happens if these are filled up and there is another emergency? The Office Manager, through continual communication between the administration and clinical team, is always prepared make adjustments on the fly when needed to squeeze in an emergency case. Maybe a patient can be asked to come a little earlier or a little later to open up space.
Likewise, the Office Manager pays attention to those days when the schedule template isn’t getting filled up. If there are openings, how do you get the day back on track? Can a patient scheduled tomorrow be brought in on short notice? It’s better to move someone and fill today’s schedule (buying 24 hours to fill in tomorrow’s schedule) than to let today fail to meet the practice’s goals for productivity and patient care.
Court Sense In the Moment
In basketball, they talk about a great player having court sense. In the middle of all the action, they intuitively know where everyone is, what openings can be created, and how to take advantage of opportunities. That’s your Office Manager … your MVP for offense and defense of the doctor’s schedule and productivity, everyday.