“It’s like Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Avoid this fate by taking precautions so you are prepared in every situation.” - Jordann Killion
Picture this. It is 4:06 pm, your busiest time of day in orthodontics. You are the Treatment Coordinator for growing orthodontic practice, and you pride yourself on your ability to make genuine connections with your patients. Your last exam, went over 6 minutes which is just late enough for you to make a snap decision to start pictures a
nd begin the meet and greet for your next new patient instead of prepping your consult room. You tell yourself, it will be fine. I will just quickly pull up thequestionnaire when the doctor comes in for the exam. No worries right? Wrong!
I am sure at some point as a Treatment Coordinator you have been here too. You tell yourself you can save a few minutes by cutting out one of your preparation steps. In your head you think now the patient won't have to wait, the clinic, in turn, won’t run behind, and you get your patient to start. Win-win! Although I understand this thought process, I actually call this type of thinking the Danger Zone… When we start to think that we can predict the future, without fail this is when things go wrong.
Fast forward through the meet and great. Things are going perfectly. Mom is giving off all the right signals, and they even have a mutual friend in the practice. Orthodontic gold is what you have in the chair in front of you! The doctor enters the exam room, and everything is going perfectly. Better than perfect in fact. As both you and the doctor “assume the position” to begin the intra-oral exam, you might even find yourself elatedly singing the lyrics to “Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer in your head. Right?
Then you sit down at your desk to load the exam questionnaire…
Now I know you can all see this coming at this point but haven’t we all be victims of hindsight? Surprise, surprise, your questionnaire will not load! In your head, those MC Hammer lyrics quickly fade and are rapidly replaced by panic! You scramble to pull to out a paper copy of the questionnaire while sporting your best "this is supposed to happen" face to the patient. But its too late, you are already completely thrown off your game, and your doctor by default is now also in a tailspin because of that 3 minute ‘find the paper questionnaire’ blunder.
Though in many cases you are able to get the appointment back on track, it is uncomfortable to think that the loss of a start could have been the fault of that darn questionnaire fiasco, or other disasters that may befall you because of a lack of preparation.
This is where I come in! Helping Treatment Coordinators avoid situations like these is exactly why I do what I do. As a consultant, I love to set our practices up for success with a beautifully choreographed new patient exam from start to finish. I am a details
queen and I love to watch the magic of a perfectly executed consult. I help to create the structure within a new patient exam that ensures you will be able avoid "The Danger Zone" while also exuding confidence that can only come with preparedness. I live in a world where no question is a dumb question, and innovative thinking is a bonus. Need some help with your New Patient Exams? Contact us! I can’t wait to meet you!
Jordann Killion-Practice Operations Consultant