Want to get a tangible idea of your practice’s performance — and what you could be doing better? It all starts with keeping score.

SCORING, IN ORDER to compare one product or service against another, has probably always been a part of human nature. (Indeed, in our private moments, we can all surely admit that we even use scoring, after a fashion, for our interpersonal relationships.) In recent years, abetted by the spread of social media and comment sites online, scoring has seeped deeply into just about every aspect of our lives.

We all use scores and rankings every day: to make decisions about where to shop, where to eat, where to travel, whom to vote for, which of our sports teams is break-ing our heart — the list is endless, and we’ve so internalized the habit that most of us likely don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Scoring is so prevalent that it has even made its way into the medical professions. It’s not just about patients giving you a good or bad review on a site like Yelp or your Facebook page, however: Dentists themselves can make use of a number of performance metrics — patient service, productivity, team synergy, case acceptance, patient growth and more — that will help them develop objective analyses about whether they’re falling behind, treading water or truly thriving.

We all gauge our own behavior qualitatively, and none of us is our own most dispassionate critic. Even taking that into account, though, once you get comfortable with the idea of scoring (and what you’re looking to score in the first place) you can translate your interpretations into a quantitative 12-point scale. (You also chart where you’d like to be, giving you tangible operational awareness and an action plan to use going forward.)

Scoring has been shown to drive dental performance, boost team morale and break down staffers’ resistance to change.

Scoring is designed to work for practices at any place on the continuum. Are you anxious that your growth seems to have stalled, for example, and frustrated that you’ve tried new solutions that haven’t worked? Or is your practice instead growing in increments sufficient for you to maintain the lifestyle, both personal and professional, that you long for? Whichever is the case, scoring helps put it all into functional perspective.

Regardless of a given dentist’s circumstances, scoring has been shown to drive performance, enhance team morale and break down resistance to change — all critical for practice-wide forward movement that enables you to navigate your way to a prosperous, fulfilling future.

As a dental-practice development coach, my overriding goal is to make your workplace the best it can be. This entails helping you score yourself, with an eye toward simplifying your business decisions, enhancing patient experience and communication, and making sure that you’re focusing your time and energy where they’re most needed.

Intrigued? To get started, just call 800-345-5157, e-mail or visit — the Web site of my company, Transitions Group North America — to get a complimentary Dental Practice Scorecard. Once you’ve completed it, a practice-development expert will review it with you, and you can decide which subsequent steps you feel are right for you. Want to win the game? As in so many other areas of life, you’ve first got to know the score.

LISA PHILP, RDH, CMC is the president of Transitions Group North America, a
full-service dental coaching company.
You can reach her at 800-345-5157 or