A dentist’s schedule is one of their most important resources. Planning out your week the correct way can help your practice grow, and planning it the wrong way can lead to open appointment times and cancelations. This is wasted time and money.
Consistency truly is key when it comes to running a successful dentistry practice. Things can get hectic when the schedule isn’t organized. It is important that everyone understands their schedule, and what their time is worth.
If you haven’t visited our courses section, you’re missing out. There, you can find the best training on all parts of running a business including how to schedule your day to increase your efficiency and productivity by Sandy Pardue of ClassicPractice.com. Here are three simple yet effective ways to get started.
1. Appoint someone specific to take on the schedule.
One person should be solely devoted to mapping out the day by appointments and daily goals. This way, everyone will know what each unit of time is worth. This will encourage your dental staff to fill open times in their schedule so that they aren’t missing out on opportunities.
Generate a report to see which patients have been seen in the last 12 months but also have unscheduled treatment. Those are active patients with active open treatment. And that’s high-potential for untapped revenue. Having someone in charge of scheduling will allow that person to dedicate their time to filling open appointments with reliable patients.
When confirming appointments it is common that the patient will have financial objections. Using the correct tone of voice will help the patient see that you want to help patients get the care they need and they will be much more likely to show up, too.
2. Stop scheduling unpredictable patients.
Patients with high cancelation rates or low credit history should be the last priority when it comes to rescheduling. This will make your schedule more predictable so you aren’t wasting time and money. Be aware of detecting future objections. If a patient seems unsure of a treatment plan, try to figure out the reason, like finances or fear. Then, go from there and try to ease their worries.
I’m sure you’ve had days where you are not very stressed, and the workday goes by like a breeze. Then, there are days when it seems like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. This leads to inconsistent production and collections. This can be fixed by the scheduler keeping statistics on patients to identify ones who are more likely to show up and move forward with treatment. It is important to have a scheduler to create the day. Automated texts and emails only go so far, you need to be in control of your schedule. Time is your most valuable asset and most limited resource.
3. Present treatment plans in simple terms to help patients move forward with scheduling.
Many times, we forget that not everyone understands dental terms. When scheduling a patient for treatment, it is important for your scheduler to use simple terms in which the patient can understand exactly what is wrong, and why they need treatment.
If a patient isn’t on the same page as you, they will likely push off treatment, not because they don’t want the best dental care but because they don’t understand how serious their issues are.
When talking about the care they will receive at the important, have your scheduler discuss how the appointment will help avoid something getting worse, which could end up costing the patient more money. When they’re in your office, it can be helpful to show them the issue area and point out the abnormalities like swelling and redness.
Are you ready to optimize your schedule?
Making sure your dental staff is on the same page when it comes to scheduling is critical to improving productivity. Your schedule has the potential to make or break a practice. These three strategies can help you maximize your potential.
If you're interested in more about scheduling, check out the full training, how to schedule your day to increase your efficiency and productivity by Sandy Pardue of ClassicPractice.com. And be sure to visit the Trapped in an OP and Dental Hub 360 Facebook groups today, where dental professionals from around the world encourage, support, and advise each other.