I spent time yesterday finishing my presentation on systems for the Cerec 27.5 meeting in Las Vegas. As I put my head to the concept of systems I thought about the countless hours that I spend developing, working on and changing the systems in my dental practice. I would venture to say that not a single day goes by without multiple systems being discussed or altered. Given this I was struck by a question: Why? I’m not sure I have the “how” down, although I have worked over the years to create a process around systems, but in answer to why I first came up with “because I have to”. Not a good reason and not very empowering. After a nice cup of coffee and a run the answer came to me.
“Well designed and executed systems optimize quality and profitability.”
I have personally been in many dental offices that run without much time or energy put into systems, other than when catastrophe strikes. They manage to survive, but they don;t manage to thrive and that is the difference. In previous blogs I have discussed the concept of dental practice being 51% healthcare and 49% business, and systems help create and support that in reality. As we follow a process of working our systems we can know we do it with purpose.
One truth about human systems that I learned is that they are never static. Human systems have a lifespan of between 18-24 months. With this in mind plan to tweek, change, improve or alter every system in your office routinely. If you don;t the system and people charged with it’s execution will change it for you, and sometimes not for the better.