You come into the office in the morning, boot up computers, turn on lights, and start the coffee machine. Before unlocking the door and officially starting, you take a quick look at the schedule hoping to see a full, productive day ahead of you. Instead, you see gaps here and there. These are times when you’ll have no income but still have to pay your team and the bills. Every now and then, a slow day isn’t harmful, but consistent inefficient patient scheduling can greatly affect your bottom line. What can you do about these holes? Check out these three scheduling tips that can help your team be more productive today!
Before the appointment begins, it can be helpful to look up each patient’s file. Did you diagnose a problem or consult on an issue last time you visited with this patient? Has the patient failed to schedule the treatment or follow-up? Take time at some point during the appointment to discuss the importance of the treatment with the patient and hopefully get the work on the schedule. Depending on the procedure, you may be able to treat today, which is likely more convenient for your patient than coming back another day.
Look at Family Members
Even though a patient may be coming in for their checkup and cleaning today, it doesn’t automatically mean that their entire family is up-to-date with these appointments as well. Take a quick look at their family members who are also patients of yours to see if they need routine visits or have treatment to complete. You can take this opportunity to get in touch with them and get the work scheduled while their loved one is in your office. In fact, if that overdue family member is with the patient, and if you have room in your schedule today, you may even be able to take care of it right away!
Have a Solid Checkout Routine
One of the best ways to retain your patients and make sure they return is to schedule their next appointment as part of the checkout process. Even if they do not require a follow-up or additional treatment, you can always look ahead and get their regular checkup and cleaning appointment on the calendar before they leave so that you can avoid having gaps in your schedule in the future. Just be sure to call or send a reminder when their appointment is coming up!
Some unproductive times are unavoidable, but by putting in a little extra effort and doing these things, you can fill in holes more efficiently and make sure your schedule is full. As a result, you can bring in more revenue and continue to grow your practice.
About Dental Support Specialties
Dental Support Specialties has provided remote administrative services for dental practices around the country for more than a decade. In addition to taking incoming calls and filing insurance claims, DSS team members have the training and ability to perform chart auditing to see which patients still have unscheduled treatment or who is overdue for routine visits. If you would like to learn more about DSS services, you can contact us by clicking here.