Speed and Delegation


To get more done clinical work done during the day requires an increase in speed.  Speed does not mean that one makes the patient feel rushed.  It doesn’t mean cutting corners or being rough.  It means working efficiently.  Look at all the routine steps the office performs daily and see how they can be rearranged to do more than one thing at a time.  For example, while waiting for anesthetic to take effect the preliminary impression can be taken that will be used to make a temporary crown.  Another example is to use retraction paste with a compression cap instead of packing cord.  Another  is to have the patient read the consent form while at the same time putting together the treatment plan for same-day treatment. 

The true metric to determine if an increase in speed is being achieved is to measure the amount of production per hour.  Tally up the number of hours worked for the week or month and divide that into the production.  Get a baseline and work on improving from there.  Cross Timbers Dental uses a dashboard where each doctor’s production per hour is tracked.  It is helpful in spotting trends and seeing if there is a problem.  This also gives an incoming associate some target to shoot for.  It will be a factor in determining if they are a good fit in the office.  This isn’t the only measure we use in determining an associate’s fit, but it is an important one.



State boards regulate what duties are permissible to be delegated to assistants.  Fully utilize those rules.  Tasks such as making a temporary crown, placing sealants or taking alginate impressions can easily handed off to an assistant.  Some doctors have a hard time with this because they feel they are the only ones who can do it right.  With training and patience your staff can do it well.  The payoff for the dentist is more time during the day to do other things.  Hopefully that extra time can be spent doing productive procedures or taking care of other patients to keep the schedule running on time.

Pivot Dental Company has several resources to help staff learn how to do these procedures.  We also hold in-house workshops to teach these skills.