Dental Practice Management Articles from Cambridge Practice Consultants CEO - Kevin Tighe
Tips to address dental scheduling issues to ensure smooth management of your practice:
1. Do your dental patients come in late causing the office to fall behind?
If this is the case then you start, for example, telling the patient their appointment is at 7:50 AM instead of 8:00 AM.
2. When you schedule dental procedures are there enough time units given to ensure that dentist will be able to finish in the allotted time.
For example: The office schedules crown preps for 60 minutes. From watching the time the patient walks into the operatory to when they are dismissed it is consistently 70 minutes of dentist time. The office scheduling needs to change to 70 minutes otherwise the schedule is going to run behind the entire day.
3. Staff members or dentists come in late in the morning or after lunch and thereby start the patient at a later time than scheduled causing the rest of the morning or day to be off schedule.
Solution: Get the doctor or staff member to show up on time to start the patient in the morning and afternoon. Otherwise you need to start the first patient in the morning and the first patient in the afternoon a bit later.
4 There is not adequate time allotted in operative procedures to do hygiene checks. This causes the doctor to fall behind.
Example: Crown preps are scheduled for 60 minutes of doctor time. The doctor has to do two hygiene checks during that hour plus complete the crown prep. It takes the doctor the entire 60 minutes to do the crown prep. The hygiene checks take 5-10 minutes. As the hygiene time is not incorporated into the scheduling template for a crown there's no way the office can run on time.
Solution: Add time to allow for hygiene checks.
The key thing to do in the situation is to find out why it is occurring and fix what you find. That is good dental practice management!
When you find the source(s) of why the office gets behind and fix the source of the problem then the situations will go away.