The secret behind successful dental practices: tactical scheduling with dental appointment software
With the right structure in place, scheduling can play a major role in increasing production and revenue growth. The opposite is also true: a practice without a strategy will find it difficult to meet production goals throughout the year. The trick is finding the right tool to execute effective scheduling for your practice. Investing in a comprehensive, industry-specific dental appointment software is a good place to start.
1. Steady daily workflow
For any dental practice looking to improve yearly production, a consistent daily schedule is essential to filling more seats. It will help keep appointments in order, lower stress levels, and maintain a specific framework moving forward. Utilizing a dental appointment software tool will make it easier for staff to work within guidelines and set appointments during the most effective times of day.
Have you created a daily scheduling strategy to stick by? Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Finish the biggest procedures in the morning.
- Schedule minor procedures in the afternoon. They have a higher chance of cancelation.
- Bundle identical procedures together to maintain flow and focus.
2. Easy for the entire staff to understand and use
Your scheduling coordinator (or front desk receptionist) will handle the bulk of appointment tasks. With typical software tools, she will need to develop a method for setting or changing appointments. Why is this a problem?
You and the hygienists won’t know how to handle the system. If it’s necessary for anyone else to jump in and schedule an appointment, there will be a lot of confusion and possible mistakes.
With a dental appointment software, tailored for industry professionals, everyone can learn how to use the system. Plus, the user experience will be exceptionally simple and controllable.
3. More effective at meeting production goals
Filling seats is the most important factor to meeting production goals on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Learning how to fill those seats in the most efficient way will directly increase revenue and profits.
What most business professionals (yes, dentists!) don’t realize is how minor scheduling errors build over time. Thirty minutes of underutilized time a week can lead to serious workflow issues in six months. Think about it: 30 minutes multiplied by 26 weeks equals 13 hours of lost production. Can your practice afford to waste valuable time?
No appointment is ever the same. The receptionists take notes for the hygienists, the hygienists take notes for the dentists, and so forth. Communication is key to solving issues in the right way and giving the best patient experience possible. Streamlining those efforts in one place will ensure clarity, so everyone is on same the page.
You won’t have to worry about telling your staff to write notes in legible penmanship. If the patient cancels a cleaning and reschedules for a different procedure, the receptionist can place a note within the dental appointment software. The cleaning appointment can be rescheduled, and the client won’t fall behind on their treatment plans. Everyone will be better informed.
5. Better prepared to meet the unexpected
As you know, patients cancel and reschedule appointments all the time. Without the right organization tools, things can get messy. So you need a system that’s easy to update.
With state-of-the-art dental appointment software, your staff will be able to reschedule procedures into appropriate time slots. Instead of spending ten minutes on the phone, scrolling through a calendar in difficult text-based formats, now your fixing the issue fast.
A few features that make pesky patients easier to deal with:
- Click, drag, and drop appointments into new slots.
- Assign providers to patients and update changes instantly.
- Color-coded tabs and specific icons for the type of procedure scheduled.
Scheduling is your bottom line
There cannot be enough importance placed on the structure, strategy, and efficiency of your scheduling efforts. Should you try to squeeze in more work every hour of the day? No. Overloading will lead to mistakes, bad service, and high-stress levels. But steady workflow and effective time blocking will increase your bottom line returns. After 365 days, the little things start to add up.
Do you have an effective scheduling strategy in place? What questions do you have about Umbie’s cloud-based features? Let us know in the comments!