Dr Mark HassedIn almost every practice I visit I hear the same thing said to new patients:

“Your appointment is at 2.00pm but come 10 minutes early so you can fill in the forms.”

Unfortunately, most patients forget the “…come 10 minutes early…” part.

The end result is that the new patient writes “2.00pm” in their diary and arrives at that time. Then they fill in the forms, which takes 10 minutes, and so the dentist gets to start work 10 minutes late.

One practice I know well sees a lot of new patient emergencies. They allow 30 minutes for treatment but because of the problem outlined above you never get more than 20 minutes to actually do the work.

It keeps happening month after month, year after year yet they never fix the problem.

Wouldn't it be so much better to say to patients: “Your appointment is at 1.50pm.” Stop saying 2.00pm but “…come 10 minutes early…”.

That way they will arrive on time and the dentist can get the full 30 minutes for treatment.

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