How to run effective office meetings

Dental practices interested in boosting team building and communication should attend a couple of key lectures at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco Sept. 8-10.

Chris Scappatura, who is dedicated to promoting personal and office development through humorous and thought-provoking seminars and coaching, will lead two lectures on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Moscone South.

Dentists who are interested in improving their office meetings can attend Scappatura’s “Elements of a Great Office Meeting” morning lecture. Attendees will learn how to set up and run a more efficient meeting, which will help create a positive experience for all staff members. Scappatura will go through the steps to create a productive meeting, discuss the “elements” and provide attendees with a template for success. Some of the topics covered will include structure, topics of interest, communication skills, crisis management, how long and when meetings should be held and more.

“For a dental office to have an effective meeting, there are three elements that need to be considered: structure, an agenda and proper communication,” Scappatura said. “These aspects are not mutually exclusive; if there’s no communication it becomes a ‘doctor meeting’ not an ‘office meeting.’”

Without good communication among dental staff, the patients suffer, according to Scappatura.

“It starts with a positive office environment before you can create a good patient experience. If you don’t know how to articulate the core values of the practice then you won’t be able to create the proper environment to attract patients,” Scappatura said.

The lecture will dive into who should run the office meetings. And the answer may surprise you: Scappatura says the dentist should almost never run the meeting, unless the topic is one only he or she can address. Further, the person running the meeting should rotate, which will empower each team member and highlight the value of showing up on time.

“When you run a meeting and people show up late, your expectations for yourself change,” Scappatura said.

In the afternoon of Sept. 8, Scappatura will lead a lecture titled “Secrets of a Dental Office Revealed.” In this lecture, he will answer questions about moving a practice from software integration to the policies and procedures that support the chartless office. Topics will include security, paper-to-digital migration, employee acceptance and technology, such as computers, sensors and scanners. The lecture will outline simple steps to take a practice from paper to a high-efficient digital office.

Scappatura says he sees new dentists run into trouble when they have inherited a staff from a previous dentist who had not yet moved toward digital.

“A lot of resistance comes from being intimidated by technology, so it becomes about how to best communicate with team members about the need and benefits of digital technology,” Scappatura said.

Dentists should take the right approach communication-wise about how patients now prefer email and text messaging for appointments, etc. Scappatura says it is about how you present it to team members, which then goes back to office meetings.

“Use your staff meeting to keep them up to date about what is going on, and don’t open up with a negative tone. Your staff is going to react the way you talk. Bring it in positively,” Scappatura said.

In this lecture, attendees will learn how to maximize their office system, such as scheduling, recall and data management; gain an understanding of the many components relevant to creating a digital dental office, from hardware to office policies; and enhance their knowledge of digital communication and marketing, including social media, automated email/marketing and websites.

For more information on these lectures and CDA Presents, visit cdapresents.com.

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