A morning huddle can be the single most important meeting that you can have with your team because it encourages efficiency and high performance within your practice. It sets you on the right path, helps everyone to avoid obstacles, and sets the tone to deliver high quality care. The key lies in the purpose of the team huddle. A good huddle reviews the previous day and current days schedule, identifies problems, and determines the course of action for unexpected issues. Often, many surprises can happen in a practice, which can create frustration and stress, use your morning huddle to avoid these curveballs.
So how can you make your morning huddle outstanding and highly effective for your patients and your team? Here are a few things you need to consider if you want to run the most effective morning huddle.
Your goal is to check in with team members about what your day should look like, how you can improve, and how everyone can help one another be successful. An effective morning huddle is a chance for your team members to share information with each other and arrive on the same page for the day. The doctor should be present for the entire huddle because he/she is the leader in the practice and thus can set the tone for the entire day. It is also essential that all team members participate, staying mindful that a positive attitude and ‘can-do’ work ethic are essential to a successful huddle.
Keep the huddle short and to the point. Keeping in mind that the purpose of the team huddle is to engage with your team. It is so that team members can communicate with each other, pull together and know what is going on with each patient for the day. The shorter your team huddle, the better. Keep it under 15 minutes, but also allow each team member to touch on all the points you’ve decided to include in the meeting. If the practice sees their first patient at 8am, the huddle should start around 7:40, ending at least five minutes before the first patient appointment.
Find a good time that works for everyone on the team. It’s best to have a regularly scheduled meeting time and a dedicated meeting place that is already set up and ready for action. All team members should be present and involved in the morning huddle. Vocalizing patient updates and information in front of the whole team will lead to greater commitment and accountability from each team member.
Here are some ideas of what to share during the huddle:
- Upcoming appointments
- Doctor schedule
- Daily production numbers (previous day and current day)
- Hygiene and Doctor chair opportunities
- List of new patients
- Emergency patients and available openings
- Family members without appointments
- Hygiene schedule
- Repeat no-shows, cancellations, and late patients
- Patient medical alerts
- Personal patient details
- Unaccepted treatments
- Upcoming appointments, lab cases, and materials
- Billing, balances, and copays
- What went well yesterday and what can we do better
Review your morning huddle process regularly to ensure that it’s still fulfilling your team’s needs. After a while, you might find that as your practice and team have evolved and you may want to add new things you’d like to communicate during your huddle.
When your morning huddle breaks, everyone will know exactly what needs to be done today in order to provide a positive patient experience and a healthy work environment.