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5 Tips to Help You Establish Performance Measurements in Dentistry, Optometry, & Veterinary Practices

Performance measurement is an important part of developing dentistry, optometry, and veterinary care teams. 

These give you objective criteria to help gauge how your employees are doing, and what changes you need to make. Perhaps even more importantly, performance measurements give your team members something to strive for. After all, the best employees want to do well -- and performance measurements provide the benchmarks for advancement.

It's important to set clear, objective expectations for your team and their performance. It not only helps them to excel at the roles, but also gives you objective criteria to rate unsatisfactory work or behavior. Here's how to go about understanding what is performance measurement and how to implement it in a way that ensures success.

Recommended: HR for Health Feature Spotlight: Performance Review Software

What is Per­for­mance Measurement? 

Performance management is sometimes described by what it is not. It is not your basic annual review. Performance measurement, therefore, is one aspect of performance management -- it's the numbers behind the expectations. It is a way of gauging, on an ongoing basis, the work of your individual team members.

This doesn't have to be a scary idea -- on the flipside, performance measurement metrics give you statistics you can transform into dentistry, optometry, and veterinary practice goals. This is sometimes an odd area for health care practices, since patient care comes first -- and it is sometimes hard to quantify patient care. But by following a few tips, you can develop effective performance measurements so everyone is part of the practice success.

5 Tips for Establishing Performance Measurements in Your Dental, Optometry, or Veterinary Practice

#1: Involve Your Team

Team members are more likely to engage with the process if they are part of its development. They also know better than anyone else what their job entails. Your dental assistants and hygienists have direct, one-on-one time with patients that affects the overall success of the practice. They have valuable insight into the kind of metrics you should look at. 

So start by asking for a brainstorming session or otherwise getting them involved in the process. You don't have to take all of their ideas, but use them as a jumping off point. If that's too challenging to arrange, try asking for feedback on some performance measurement metrics. Your team may have a few ideas to hone them into a program that improves the practice.

#2: Start With Big Picture Practice Goals

Performance measurements offer the chance for team members to make a difference. Often, in the daily stresses that are part of a health care practice, team members lose sight of how they are making lives better for others. These performance measurements are one way to make a direct link between daily tasks and practice success

Your receptionists, medical assistants, opticians, veterinary technologists, and others often spend more time with patients and families than anyone else. Their performance directly leads to patient satisfaction or disappointment. Emphasize this aspect of contribution, so the measurements are viewed as something positive, instead of a burden they must wrestle with as they complete their job duties.

#3: Break Down Specific Metrics for Your Practice

It is essential to have specific, measurable goals. That way the team members know exactly what results they need to see. For example, the practice may need to bring in a certain number of patients to meet a revenue goal. In a veterinarian's office, front staff may receive encouragement to sell pet food or other waiting room items to bring additional funds into the practice. Clearly outline these goals and task each individual with a relevant task connected to its achievement. This is about accountability, but also about empowerment. 

#4: Determine How You Will Track Performance

Performance measurements have little effect if they are not tracked. You can do so in several ways. You can utilize your HR software to track the data. You can also make it a bit more fun, with posters up in the break room that keep a tally of achievement. Friendly competition can help people stay motivated. Whatever route you choose, focus on the numbers and keep it objective -- that way no one will feel slighted or favored if they share an equally attainable goal.

#5: Review Weekly and Monthly to Keep Your Practice on Track

Once your performance measurements are in place, it's critical to have a regular schedule of check-ins and accountability. This helps with motivation and gives managers the chance to help team members get back on track. Regular reviews also offer the chance for self-reflection. If the team is falling short of its goals, what's the problem? Is it the goals, is it a lack of training or tools? Ask your team if there are adjustments you can make that ensure the program is successful -- not burdensome. At this stage, feedback from team members is especially helpful. Make them feel comfortable enough to say if they feel the goals are unrealistic.

How HR for Health Can Simplify Your Performance Management 

Performance measurements are an amazing tool -- especially if they are managed with efficiency. HR for Health is the ideal solution to help your set goals for your team members and keep an eye on how they are doing. Among the features of HR for Health include:

  • Electronic signatures, which make it easier for performance management programs to exist online. Use this to streamline the administrative side of your performance management. It's easier for team members to track what they've done, offer feedback, and sign off on important documents.
  • Performance reviews and development plans, to set overall goals for each team member and to narrow in on specific areas of focus. Use this as a tool for coaching towards a leadership role, or to help remedy some past areas of challenge.
  • Task management and scheduling, so each team member has a goal and a way to complete it. It's possible to view due dates and track progress towards a goal.

That's just the beginning. HR for Health is your preferred solution to support all aspects of team member performance management.

HR for Health Helps Your Team Be the Best it Can Be

The success of health care practices often comes down to all members of the team contributing as best they can. A little direction and motivation benefits this process. A performance management strategy that includes performance measurements gives team members an idea of what's expected. It also gives them a way to strive for excellence on the job.

As you are developing and honing your performance management program, HR for Health can support you with important tools. To learn how our solutions elevate your practice success, contact HR for Health.

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