This is where our week-long discussion of value roles ends, and it's appropriate that we finish with the Provider. This is where all the effort comes together; when the patient has their “open wide” moment and there is nothing left but to have the dentist or hygienist perform their diagnosis and clinical treatment at the highest possible level. This is where the rubber meets the road in terms of practice productivity.

But this is also where it all starts, because Providers are in an important position of leadership.

The hygiene provider doesn't just provide hygiene care. He or she has a powerful influence on a patient's perceptions and awareness of great dental health. They're advocates for the doctor's recommended treatment and they work with other team members to promote optimal patient retention.

And the dentist, aside from being a clinician and inspiring patients with his or her vision for their ideal care, is responsible for setting the tone and pace for the rest of the team.

Dentist must have a clear understanding of each patient's treatment path and communicate it to the entire team. This is the key to ensuring that dentists have the support of their team in communicating the value of their treatment plan to patients.

The Provider's value declaration is: I make sure I keep my facility and myself current so that I can offer the highest level of care to my patients. I communicate their treatment options in a way that motivates them, and I give the team around me all the information and tools they need to support my recommendations and achieve ideal results for our patients.

And that is really the over-arching message of what “value role” thinking is all about. It's about interdependence and genuine teamwork.

Working in the same place, in the service of the same patients, does not make a group of people a team—even if each person is really good at their specific job.

The real significance of understanding these value roles is when you move beyond focusing just on what you do, and start to think about why you do it.

When people can really understand their purpose in their job and can communicate that purpose clearly, they are more likely to do well. That's when they start to realize what job fulfillment feels like. That's when they feel the gratification that comes with being part of a real team. That's performance with a higher purpose.

Make this a beginning

I hope this series of articles has inspired you to take another look at how you and your team approach your roles in the practice. I think this is a vitally important topic – one I'm going to explore in greater detail in an upcoming online course and e-book.

In the meantime, why not organize a meeting with your team and review these value role profiles. Talk about the objectives behind each one and determine who should be taking the lead in each. I think you'll find that an honest evaluation of how your existing job roles can be incorporated into higher-level value roles will invite some enthusiastic discussion.