TIME IS MONEY PART III – The Dental Morning Huddle

If you’re running a dental office and you don’t believe you need to have morning huddles, then you’re an idiot!

If your office is not huddling then please do this for me. Take out your wallet, pull out all your Ben Franklins or John Monashs, hold firmly in both hands, then proceed to tear them up and throw them in the bin.


Failure to huddle is failure to plan. It’s failure to work with efficiency, in the first instance, and there are many advantages and no disadvantages.

A well-prepared team can huddle in five to ten minutes flat! Easy! And the amount of time it can save, by adequately forward planning, well that’s a no-brainer!!

Here’s how we morning huddle at Active Dental.


The huddle looks at

  • Each patient being seen this day, by both dentists and hygienists
    • Who are they?
    • When were they last in to see us?
    • How long have they been a patient of the practice?
    • What treatment they are having done?
    • Any special comforts/styles that they like/prefer during treatment?
    • Any flags, medical or otherwise, that we need to share?
    • Any specialists/referring doctors letters?
    • Is any lab/equipment needed and has it arrived?
    • What follow on is required for this patient
    • Is there any Secret Service we can share about this patient?
      • Any F.O.R.D. that may be useful information to know in advance?
        • Family
        • Occupation
        • Recreation
        • Desires/Dreams
  • Does the appointment book look balanced and well structured for a comfortable day for all patients and team members?
    • If yes, then congratulate and admire
    • Ask, has the template been followed?
      • Do we see any clashes with patients or procedures being put into less than optimal positioning?
        • If so, how can we handle the situation?
        • What are the likely scenarios that will occur as a result of this?
        • How can they be best managed?
        • How can we improve on this for next time?
  • Where are our opportunities to schedule patients that may call requiring same day appointments?
  • How does tomorrow’s appointment book look? And the rest of the week and next week?
  • Will anyone we see today be requiring/be suitable for an appointment tomorrow or in the next couple of weeks?
  • Are there any financial matters that need attention?

The purpose of the huddle is for each team member to know and understand fully how their day will pan out, who is in, and what needs to be done.

The huddle prevents that “Now who’s next and what are we doing for them today?” look.

A well-huddled dental office works more efficiently. Period.

This then reflects with

  • Happier patients who feel wanted, and respected. Patients will appreciate that you are prepared for them. Similarly, patients will also recognize when you are unprepared for them.
  • Happier team that knows in advance what’s going on.
  • A smoother day creating less stress for doctors and team
  • A more productive day, [meaning happier doctor]

Morning huddles are easy to do. They are also easy *NOT* to do. The difference, to a dental office, in terms of profitability and efficiency and harmony, is staggering.

I urge you, you *MUST* huddle! Daily morning huddle! Just DO IT!


“How to Structure and Organise the Best Morning Huddles” is just one of the many straight forward protocols and procedures that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report. Email me at david@theupe.com

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