Typically, the entire operation of a dental practice is handled by a single office manager, who is responsible for the overall functions of the office on a daily basis. Due to having to juggle all of these responsibilities, there is a possibility that your office is prone to making mistakes and miscommunications during scheduling. This can lead to problems.
In many dental offices, the front office is understaffed, which means scheduling is just one of the duties carried out by a few staff members who are also responsible for managing the staff, billing patients, processing claims, and scheduling appointments.
There are a few ways to boost productivity and ease stress in your office if you are experiencing scheduling difficulties or miscommunication. Working on a strictly monitored schedule is the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
Simplify Your Scheduling
By following the steps listed below, you can simplify your schedule and help your front office staff be more productive and efficient.
- Time management-time appointments to determine the duration of each procedure. The front office staff can use this tool to schedule various treatments, procedures, and cleanings. Ensure that you include time for cleaning and setting up between patients.
- Maintain a consistent schedule-Make sure your days are evenly spaced out. As a result, each day should consist of the same number of appointments rather than having very full days and very empty days.
- Communication- Ensure that hygienists provide specific notes to the front office staff when scheduling follow-up appointments and future appointments. Communicating well with patients for appointment reminders is also essential in order to reduce the number of no-shows.
- Waiting List-If you do not already have a waiting list program in place, we recommend implementing one. If you get a cancellation, you can reach out to patients who are waiting for treatment for a longer period of time. Ensure that your staff is aware of the newly available time slot and how to match it to treatments that take a similar amount of time.
As consultants, we believe that following the above scheduling tips is one of the most effective ways to manage your time efficiently. Maintaining open communication between yourself, your staff, and your patients is also imperative. Contact our office today if you have questions about changing your schedule or would like to speak with a dental consultant. Our firm specializes in dental practice management, dental business consulting, and other dental consulting services.