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January 2018 Newsletter
                              developing clinical excellence
In This Newsletter
Welcome to 2018!
Performance Planning Sessions...aka Reviews
Upcoming Meetings and Events

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How Andrea can help:

· Sterilization review, design and implementation

· Basic and advanced chairside duties

· Clinical training system and manual

· Indirect bonding

· Clinical coordinator

· Verbal skills to encourage compliance

· Reduction of emergency visits

· Personalized clinical manual

· Inventory control

· Instrument set ups and organization in the operatory

· Implementation of your treatment plans

· Reduction of patients beyond estimated completion date

On the web

Welcome to 2018!   I hope your New Year is off to a great start.
Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018?
There have been some dramatic changes in the orthodontic industry this year and going forward. Some of the major areas to watch closely are the expanded use of digital technology, the prominence of the DSO business model, and many other changes that are impacting our everyday world.
What goals do you want to set for yourself? Here are some tips for those goals and making them happen.
Step 1 - Create realistic goals. Don't start trying to take over the world. Break your goals down into smaller ones. You can more easily reach your goals if you share them with people who are important to you, and this makes you accountable. I make it a point to write down my goals, and I visit my list often to keep me focused. Sometimes my goals change as events arise, so my list changes but it only gets better.
Step 2 - Each goal has to have a plan. Make a roadmap of how you're going to achieve your goals. Believe in yourself and don't talk yourself out of reaching for your dreams. You won't always get what you go after, and that's OK. The lessons you learn will be valuable, and you'll get there next time.
Step 3 - When you achieve a goal, reward yourself! It's hard work to stick to a plan and make things happen, so celebrate your success. You are the most important asset you have, so treat yourself to something fun.
Whatever your goals may be, I think 2018 is the time to get serious about where you want your practice or career to go. What do you want out of our profession?
This is one amazing time to be in the orthodontic profession!   I want you to jump on the bandwagon, go after your goals, and make things happen!  
2018 is moving in fast. Where do you want it to take you?
Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

Performance Planning Sessions...aka Reviews

Most doctors will tell me that they really do not like giving their team member reviews.  Most of the team members I work with tell me that they really want feedback from their doctors.  I have worked with many teams implementing a system that will give both parties tools that will help them with the process.

I prefer to call this process a performance planning session as opposed to a review.  I want to look forward to planning the future and not review everything done wrong the last year.  This positive take makes these meeting an open format to discuss where a team member is and what changes they could make (or need to make) in the upcoming year.

The purpose of the performance planning system is to evaluate employee performance and plan for future advancement and training.  The evaluations are performed annually or semi-annually with decreased time spans between reviews during a training period.  Time spans can also be decreased during a period when specific improvements are required from an employee.  This system is meant to help determine areas of strength as well as areas of developmental needs. 

Employees are to be given the evaluation form two weeks prior to the scheduled review. This will allow the employee time to thoroughly analyze all areas of their current position.  The doctor, office manager, or clinical coordinator will fill out the same form prior to the scheduled evaluation.  During the evaluation the completed forms are reviewed together.  This will help generate a productive discussion as the evaluation forms will be from different perspectives.

The evaluation process provides appropriate job expectations and standards for each position.  Should there be areas of improvement you and your orthodontist/clinical coordinator/office manager will design a plan and timetables to improve the performance level.  Both parties will sign the form and they will then become part of the employee's permanent record with your office.

The form lists basic office requirement as well as specific job-related task statements (front office, TC, clinical, etc.) and allows the team member to rate their performance in each area. 

Basic office areas may include:
1. Uses time efficiently for office concerns
2. Takes personal responsibility to see projects through to                   conclusion without prompting 
3. Is conscientious in not taking care of personal matters during  
    office hours
4. Attendance is reliable and punctual
5. Accepts criticism and benefits from it
6. Consistently behaves in a professional manner when patients or
    other staff are present
Clinical team would have more clinical areas such as:
1.    Accurately enters treatment in computer/on chart
2.    Anticipates doctor's needs/assisting doctor chairside -                      instrument passing
3.    Preparation for procedures - all supplies ready
4.    Relay of information to Doctor
5.    Impression taking
6.    Non-patient job duties are completed on time
Every team member should have some strengths they bring to the practice.  Every team member probably has some areas that need improvement.  During a clinical consult, team members often tell me "I really want to know if I am doing something I should improve or change".  If it is discussed in a positive environment both parties can be open to these ideas. 
Ask your employee to list:
1.    Employee's three major strengths are:
2.    Employee's three areas needing improvement are:
I also encourage open ended questions to allow ideas to be heard from them team member.  Team members often have great ideas based on the challenges they face in their own specific areas.  You may also find out that you have a great team member that would like to explore another position in the practice.  This can't always be accommodated but if a position becomes open in the office they may be able to move into a different position.
1. To contribute at a higher level of patient service how would you change your current job description?
2. What system, equipment, or team changes would you like to
see in the next year?
3. What are your personal workplace goals?
4. What steps will you take to reach your goal?
5. What support/training will you need to reach goal?
These planning sessions may seem like a lot of work but the benefits will help increase the overall effectiveness of the employee and the team as a whole.

Upcoming Meetings and Events
Spring meeting time is upon us. I hope you and your teams are able to take advantage of the information at these meetings. The financial impact when sending a team to these meetings is great, but now is the time to evaluate your systems, gather information and implementing changes.
I hope to see you at one of the following meetings that I will be attending and speaking at this spring:
360 Summit meeting - January 18 - 21, Atlanta, GA
Texas Orthodontic Study Club   - January 19 - 21, Houston, TX
The Forum 2017 - February 14 - 17, Palm Desert, AZ
Ortho2 User's Group Meeting - February 22 - 24, Savannah, GA
ASO - March 8 - 11, Sydney, AU
AAO - May 4 - 8, Washington DC
There are some great lectures for your team at these meetings and many of the vendors offer special savings during. With today's economy, I urge you all to take advantage of these promotions.
Here is to "developing your clinical excellence" in 2018!

Thank you for your continued support of my clinical newsletter.  I hope you and your team find the information useful.  Please visit my website and feel free to email me with any comments or questions. 

Andrea Cook
Andrea Cook LLC