Your kids have been begging you to take them to Disney World, but you just can’t bear the thought of a day out of the office. Not because you have anything against Mickey, but because you know a simple truth. Every day you’re out of the office, you don’t make money.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
At NextLevel Practice, we believe that the responsibility for production doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders. That’s why we train you and your entire team in accountability. When working correctly (and with enough advance notice) your practice should be able to continue forward without a drop in numbers, no matter who isn’t in the office that day.
Daily Primary Outcomes (DPOs)
Accountability for production starts at the beginning of the year when you decide on your yearly goals for the practice. Once you know how much profit the practice should make for the year, you can reverse engineer that number and see how much needs to be made each month, each week, and each day. We call that your Daily Primary Outcome, or DPO for short.
It’s important to note that the DPO isn’t just on the shoulders of the provider. In order to meet DPOs, everyone needs to be working together. The front office should be scheduling appointments to meet DPOs. Hygienists will have different DPOs than doctors, and so forth.
When you calculate these DPOs, it’s crucial that you build in days off for providers. In other words, if you want to take a 2-week trip to Orlando with your kids, your DPOs should be calculated off of 50 weeks of work instead of 52. That way if you hit your numbers the rest of the year, you’ll be on track to meet your goals, even with two weeks away.
Ideally, you would bake your days off into your DPO planning at the beginning of the year so you can proactively plan. Of course, life doesn’t always work out the way we planned it months in advance. If you find yourself (or any provider on your team) needing to take time away, the more advance notice you can give, the better. We suggest the practice owner/doctor give a minimum 3 month advance warning of time away.
This way you can empower your team and your team leader to plan for your absence so that the practice continues to run and hit its goals while you’re away. You’ll need to sit down with your team leader and come up with a plan about how the practice can work together to approach your absence.
Transfer Production to Other Providers
One thing you can do is you can take the amount that the doctor would be expected to produce on the days they’ll be gone and redistribute it over the remaining providers that are going to be in the office during that time.
For example, if your daily primary outcome is $3,000 and you’re going to be out for 4 days, there needs to be $12,000 of production done in your absence on top of the already expected DPOs of the other providers. If you have several hygienists and associates, this may be a feasible option. If you, however, only have one hygienist and are the only doctor, this option will not work as well.
Front-load the Schedule
You could also work to spread the missing DPO out over several weeks or months before you leave. For instance, you could make a game where in the months leading up to this vacation, you challenge the front office to schedule an additional $200 to $300 a day for you. Using the same example as above ($12,000 DPO to be covered) In two months, with $300 extra a day, you would cover the missing days.
Front-loading doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to add an extra patient every day–just that the procedures you provide are worth slightly more.
Create a Promotion
Another option would be to create a promotion where you provide additional services to the already scheduled patients that will compensate for those $12,000. Perhaps you promote Invisalign and Perio Protect trays and encourage patients to schedule their treatment and get it done ASAP. That way you’ve got as much production as possible coming in with that vacation, and the team can collect on it when you’re out.
Work on Collections
If none of the above options seem feasible, a final thing that your team can do is to plan to work on your accounts receivable when you are out. Get all hands on deck to work on your past-due accounts and your aging insurance report. You’ll find that many people will pay off their balance with a simple phone call. And, with extra downtime, your team will be able to address rejected insurance claims. Often insurance companies request additional information, so this is the perfect time to get them the necessary information so you can get payment on those claims.
The biggest goal is to continue to collect even if there is less production happening that week.
Overall, it IS possible to take time away from the office without derailing your goals. The key is to communicate and start to plan 2 to 3 months out so that you have the opportunity of winning your game before it’s even too late to start. That way, you’ll actually get to enjoy your time off, knowing that everything’s going to be taken care of while you’re gone.
Need help figuring out your DPOs? Want to learn how to talk to your team leader? Not sure how to get your team on board with yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals? NextLevel Practice can help! Our Launch program will help you make and learn how to achieve goals for your practice…in just two laser-focused coaching sessions. Learn more about our Launch here.