CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 4 • Issue 6

37 Issue 6 | 2017 | S upporting Y our P ractice  Dentist Dr. Sree Koka is a prosthodontist in San Diego, California, and former chair of the department of dental specialties at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Change for the better A bonus system with patient satisfaction as the centrepiece. Staff at Dr. Koka’s practice earn a financial reward when two criteria are met: (1) if patients are satisfied that they received excellent care, on average, and (2) if the practice made a profit. “I instituted the change because the bonus systems in most places, especially dental offices, are not based upon how well we take care of our patients,” says Dr. Koka. “They’re based upon how much money we made in a given month. And I see this as a fundamental mismatch; our bonus is based on a financial metric, but what we’re really there for is a human metric, how well we take care of our patients.” The ratings system used in Dr. Koka’s practice allows patients to evaluate their overall experience—not the behaviour of individual employees—in order to foster teamwork.  Payoff “This change is all about how we do as a team in providing care to our patients and ensures we are all on the same page. I think there’s a lot of behavioural research that shows when employees feel their jobs have meaning, it has a tremendous positive impact on them. We all feel like we’re part of something that’s bigger than us. And so making patient care the centre of our efforts, not just in words but in actions, allows patient-centred conversations to come to the fore and it really does breed teamwork in our experience.”  Advice “Be completely transparent with the premise for the bonus system and continually allow your employees to see how they’re doing, especially on the patient satisfaction rating. Perhaps at every staff meeting, the patient-centred data is what is presented first. Financial metrics can be discussed after patient-centred metrics have been shared.” a Have youmade a change for the better in your practice? Share your story at An employee bonus system centred on patient satisfaction AChange for the Better To watch the full interview with Dr. Koka, visit 2016/10/26/lbs-2