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How long has it been since you made a checklist? There’s something so satisfying about ticking off boxes or crossing out lines of to-do items. In the dental practice, you can increase productivity by using free time to make your work more efficient and more successful with a targeted checklist.

Many dentists have adopted a ‘4 days on – 3 days off’ style of being in the office. Some even do less. It’s all about where you function best, but either way you’ve likely got a brief period in between the ‘on’ days where you can refocus and consider what areas need optimizing.

Here is a simple, easy-to-follow checklist you can use to get your ducks in a row at the end of a work week to maximize dental practice productivity:

1. Check-in with your team

Though your morning huddle allows you to stay connected with how your team members are feeling about the current state of the dental practice, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have brief personal check-ins with individual members.

Alternately, you could hold mini-meetings separately with individual departments, such as front desk, hygiene, and assistants.

2. Review upcoming patients on the schedule

Make sure you are ready for any treatment planning presentations or large cases that are coming up. You might have to review chart notes for larger cases or finish treatment plans. It’s nice to be able to visualize the week from a technical perspective and prepare for the extent of dentistry you will be completing.

3. Handle your inbox before the weekend

Emails are a pain, yet they keep you connected to a variety of important business contacts. Respond to any queries you’ve been delaying, reach out to mentors you may have been neglecting, and get that inbox as close to zero as possible so you can have a fresh start on Monday.

4. Ensure all items are sent to the lab

You likely delegate sending cases or other information along to the lab so you can focus on more important matters. Still, that’s not an excuse to assume everything is running perfectly. Quickly review what items have recently been sent and which are planned for shipment or electronic transfer.

5. Reach out to specialists

During the work week, it can seem like there is absolutely no time even for a 5 minute phone call. Once your final patient has left the building on Wednesday or Thursday, you can take a deep breath and get specialists on the phone.

It’s imperative to discuss ongoing cases and understand how patients you have referred (or received from a referral source) are faring.

6. Call upcoming new patients

This one might shock a few people, but it’s extremely powerful! Pick up a phone and call new patients scheduled for the next week. Beforehand, check who referred them and any other important information.

Convey how excited you are to meet them and touch base for just 2-3 minutes. Patients are way less likely to cancel and will be amazed at the personal touch from their new dentist.

7. Carve out 30 minutes for education

A stagnant brain is no good for dental professionals. You must stay updated on current trends, technology, materials, and techniques. Spend just 30 minutes reading a blog, article, or other web content in an area that intrigues you.

8. Review practice numbers for the month

Where are you at based on your monthly production? Reviewing practice numbers is a great opportunity to determine financial health.

Checking off these 8 items will keep you engaged, motivated, and committed to providing the best healthcare possible on an ongoing basis.

What tasks do you always complete at the end of the week?