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Creating Leadership and Accountability in Your Dental Practice

Part of building a great business or a dental practice is having high performing teams. And part of having high performing teams is creating a system of accountability for each function in the organization. It's a hard thing to do in dental practices as each team member is very busy, says Don Khouri of Fortune Management. 

6 Department Leaders

Begin by delegating leadership for six departments. Fortune Management helps dental practices organize a leadership process that will share accountability with their teams and hold the team accountable. Fortune recommends structuring around six departments (functions) within the dental practice. Each of these departments has a key leader, reporting to the dentist. The six departments are:

  1. Operations 
  2. Hygiene 
  3. Administrative 
  4. Hygiene Reactivation
  5. Treatment Reactivation
  6. Marketing

3 Practice Accelerators

Fortune Management refers to Hygiene Reactivation, Treatment Reactivation and Marketing as the three accelerators that will make the practice grow.

Hygiene Reactivation: “Did you know that, on average, a dental practice is seeing 35% of their active patients in their hygiene program? Dentists didn't go to school to take care of 35% of their patients,” says Khouri. “So how you drive that number up is by reactivating them, is by getting on the phone and saying, we miss you, we care about you and let's get you on the schedule.”

Treatment Reactivation: When it comes to treatment reactivation, there are two types of patients, those patients who have accepted treatment but not finished it and those who did not accept recommended treatment. In the first case, “Something got in the way. Maybe it's money or fear or time. Whatever it is, let's get on the phone with them and ask what got in the way. ‘Let us help you work that out so we can finish your treatment.’” In the latter case, Khouri urges you reactivate them in the hygiene chair. Khouri says you will need to be crystal clear about who has outstanding treatment when you review that day’s patients in the morning huddle.

Marketing: Marketing is all about bringing new patients into the practice by having a clear brand, effective internal marketing which is about providing a wow experience to your patients, and external marketing. If you can bring all of these together with your digital marketing and mastering the new patient phone call, “You’ll get a great flow of new patients,” says Khouri.

6 Five-Minute Meetings per Week

Weekly one-on-one meetings drive the accountability process and success. The dentist doesn’t like to micromanage, and team members don’t want to be micromanaged says Khouri. “So, if we can structure it around those six departments, then that's how we hold them accountable.” An important part of the accountability system is having the dentist/practice leader spend five minutes every week with the department leader to answer four questions:

  1. What is working well?
  2. What could be better? 
  3. What actions are being taken to make things better?
  4. What can the dentist/practice leader do to support the department leader in these efforts?

5,300 Improvements per Year

“Think about that,” says Khouri. “Just do the math on that for a second. If we ask those four questions and improve one thing per week in six areas times 50 weeks, that’s 5,300 improvements. This is the science of success.” 


About this Industry Leader:

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Don Khouri

Executive Coach, Fortune Management

Don Khouri is an Executive Coach who helps dentists gain clarity about their vision and inspires the whole team to be responsible for it. Following the unique Fortune Management System, Don takes an integral approach to business and life planning. Don’s dental knowledge and coaching expertise help dentists become more productive. Doctors and teams who go through the program find increased success both in their personal and in their professional lives.

With over 20 years of technology experience in the financial services sector, Don has a track record of guiding highly complex, corporate-wide technology programs from inception to completion. Working as a Vice President at Fidelity Investments for 21 years, his leadership responsibilities included software development, quality assurance, program management, and market data systems. In addition to building high-performance global teams stretching from Dallas to Bangalore, Don has led programs with budgets of up to $50M.

Don’s professional credentials include co-founding The Coach Forum, an organization of coaches committed to developing their own coaching competencies, which he led from 2004-2007. He was an influential steering committee member of Fidelity Investments Technology's Mentoring Program, a program pairing over 500 technology associates interested in personal development with senior leaders. Don previously served as Organizational Advisor at the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate. In this role, he consulted with the Institute's Directors on organization, was responsible for coordinating volunteers, and implemented a project management discipline. The Institute is building the scientific foundation for the practice of coaching.

Don's professional and academic credentials support his extensive and unique work experience. He holds a PhD in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University, an MBA focusing on organizational behavior from Boston University, an MA in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University, and a BS degree in MIS and Quantitative Methods from Babson College. Don received the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching (GCEC) from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and is a graduate of Legacy Learning Coach Training (the successor of FranklinCovey). Don is certified in the following areas:

• Certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment Administrator
 • Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (DISC Profile)
• Certified Getting Things Done (GTD) internal trainer
• Certified Linkage Leadership Coach


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