As I travel around, the most common approach to appointment book scheduling that I see is to give patients whatever they ask for regardless of whether it is good for the them, the dentist or the practice.
Please let me give you three examples of poor appointment book management that I see frequently:
- Scheduling technically difficult work (such as molar endodontics) late in the afternoon. The dentist is tired after a big day and now, at 4.00pm, they have to sit down to an incredibly complex and demanding task.
- Scheduling restorative work on young children late in the afternoon. The child is tired and irritable after a big day at school and now they come to the dentist. Hello?
- Scheduling fillings one at a time to fit in with patient finances which makes it virtually impossible to do them profitably for the practice.
The good news is that these and many other appointment book faults can be fixed with a few rules and some proper verbal skills by the receptionist. More on those verbal skills in a future blog post.
Look at your appointment book and consider how you want it to look so that you can deliver good quality care to patients in a low-stress, cost effective manner. I'm not talking about pre-blocking which I don't like because of how it skews your diagnosis. What I'm talking about a rules based approach to make sure you see patients when it is best them, the dentist and the practice.
The Art of Case Acceptance and The Art of Efficient Dentistry.
In 2016 I will be presenting these two exciting topics in one day seminars. Case Acceptance is my flagship seminar and has received rave reviews from attendees. It is on in Sydney on 20 February and Melbourne on 9 April. Efficient Dentistry — learn how to increase your productivity while simultaneously reducing your effort and stress — will be on in Melbourne on 13 February and Sydney on 5 March.