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Dental practice management articles on dental office scheduling from Cambridge Dental Consultants and guest bloggers.

Dental Consultant Full Schedule Tips

1. Make sure all patients have an appointment when leaving, except those on your "no fly" list.  2. Keep short/ASAP/Will-Call lists. 3. Offer targeted discounts to schedule hard-to-fill time slots, such as in a pedo practice.  4. All NPs should be scheduled within a week, two weeks max. 5. Only allow well-trained employee(s) to schedule patients, especially NPs.  6. Keep a well organized morning huddle.  7. Have phone answered within three rings during business hours.   Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue...
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Dental Practice Consulting: Block Scheduling

Your practice will be rushed, hectic and stressed without a schedule that is well designed. The purpose of blocking scheduling  is to decrease stress, keep production on an even keel from one day to the next while maintaining or increasing production. These are the steps for implementing with guidelines:   Time Study Over two to three weeks get accurate times of every procedure.  All staff can help. Create an index card for each patient that comes in. Note the following on the card:  The time the patient arrivedThe time the patient is seatedThe time the procedure beginsThe time the procedure ends At the end of...
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Dental Consultants Tip: Types of Patients Who No show

Dental Consultants Tip: Types of Patients Who No show
An engaged dental team can start to predict which patients will cancel or not show up for their dental appointments. . Your  scheduling coordinator should be able to identify these patients so that the dental team can confirm their appointments directly. The practice cannot just send a postcard or text message and assume these people will show up. Many dentists find that these types of patients often cancel and no show:1. Those who have previously broken an appointment—Feel free to dismiss these patients. Or you can put them on a short list after the third no show or cancellation, or put them...
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Dental Consultants Top Tips To Reduce No Shows

Dental Consultants Top Tips To Reduce No Shows

Keeping no shows and cancels at 10% or less comes down to having having a scheduler who takes 100% responsibility for ensuring your schedule is full which includes not being too dependent on automatic reminders.

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Dental Practice Consulting Analysis

Plan Implementation. Implement The Plan

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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long.  A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices. 

Systems

New Patient Phone Call

Insurance Processing

New Patient Experience and Patient Education

Financial Arrangements

Scheduling

Confirmation

Unscheduled Treatment 

Reactivation

Daily and Weekly Checklists

General Policy Manual 

Staff Accountability

What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.

Leadership

What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply. 

Questions To Ask 

  1. Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?

  2. Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.

  3. If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.

  4. Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.

  5. The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.  

 

Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant

Shane Blake DDS Coudersport, PAMy name is Kevin Tighe. I am Cambridge's CEO and Senior Consultant. Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually owner.  Contributing writer to Dental Economics/DIQ, JADA, AGD Impact and Dental Town Magazine.

  

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