Do's and don'ts for making hand-offs smoother

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Anywhere that several people work together as a team, each employee has certain assigned tasks. Everyone's efforts merge to achieve the desired results for the organization. There are inevitably transitions from one area of responsibility to another. These hand-offs are critical points. For the sake of office efficiency, productivity, and patient satisfaction, hand-offs must be as smooth as possible.


For a seamless operation, check the seams. Transition points are where bottlenecks, confusion, friction, and failures are most likely to occur. Your practice should evaluate each of these areas separately. This assessment could be done by the full team (based on the premise that good ideas come from everyone on your team) or a more targeted group, such as the specific staff members involved in the hand-off plus a supervisor. The designated group should identify any problems or potential areas for improvement and then brainstorm ways to make transitions as seamless as possible.


Don't cling to the status quo if it's causing trouble. Sometimes, hand-offs seem fine from one side's perspective but not from the other side. It may be tempting for the already content team member to keep things the way they are. However, it is better to actively seek ways to improve hand-offs from both sides' perspective while keeping the transition smooth.

Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit or email

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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