The most important system in a dental practice is scheduling. We are selling time to our patients and during that time they receive something tangible. Scheduling your perfect day includes proper timing of your procedures.
Most dental offices who retain our services are not efficient with scheduling patient appointment times. Most offices will say they are “busy” but when analysed they are not efficient. There is a big variable between being busy and being profitable. One important aspect of scheduling your perfect day is the timing of your procedures.
To thoroughly understand how much time to block in your schedule for various appointments means taking time to analyse how much time is spent on specific procedures such as a crown prep, implants and even scaling and root planing in the hygiene room. Chances are if your hygienist doesn’t have at least 50 minutes of dedicated patient time for a full quadrant to scale and root plane he or she will run behind. This type of procedure normally takes 50 minutes by the time you administer local anesthesia, scale, root plane, use antimicrobials, ultrasonics, as well as provide post-op instructions and then turn over the room.
Many dentists allow for sixty minutes for a crown prep when in fact it is over sixty minutes by the time the patient is dismissed and the room is turned around and ready for the next patient. (See video message in the picture)
BENEFITS OF AN EFFICIENT SCHEDULING SYSTEM:
- less stress
- patients can return for treatment in a timely manner
- production is increased dramatically without raising fees or altering the mix of the practice
- the practice becomes productive every hour no matter what procedure is being performed
Most people and especially children will perform (and respond to life in general) earlier in the day especially when scheduled for major dental treatment. The rest of the day becomes much easier for all when smaller procedures are scheduled. When you adhere to a blocked schedule, you are most likely guaranteed to produce your target production number for each day.
Take time to have one employee or your dental consultant analyse how much time is truly spent of at least three services that are completed daily. For example, have someone time a crown prep appointment. Start the stop watch from the time the patient is seated until they leave out the door. It may be a great idea to time at least one hygiene appointment from start to finish to see the reality of what even your hygienist needs per patient and for the various types of patients he or she sees each day. Is the child prophy really only 30 minutes? What does the provider really need to provide valuable patient care?
Without a strong scheduling system in place, the schedule will become like a clogged artery. When you plan to schedule your perfect you will experience productivity and profitability.
Do you have a schedule that works like a well-oiled machine? If you answered “YES” please let us know how you have accomplished this success.
ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS founded Dental Practice Solutions in 2000. Debbie has a strong background in academia working as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She also wrote the accretitation for a dental hygiene program in Portland, Oregon in 2008.
Debbie has been known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants for 10 years in a row. She has spoken at most of the national dental meetings and serves dental practices worldwide through her proven systems proven to sustain dental practice profits for a lifetime.
Please contact our office for a complimentary Discovery Call today or email us today and take your practice to that next level AND without working harder!