Dentaltown June 2019 - 96

Scheduling

Dentists: It's up to you
But these results take time and effort.
They don't happen on their own, which leads
to my next big point: This is an area over
which we, as business owners, have complete
control. If we aren't satisfied with our team's
performance, it's very likely our fault.
When things go wrong, the natural
instinct for most of us is to blame external
circumstances. It's the easy way out because
if it's something we can't control, we have
no responsibility for the outcome. We may
have the tendency to think, "Why doesn't
anyone do their job? People just don't have
a good work ethic anymore."
Let's shift our mindset, though. Let's see
how we are responsible for what's happening
in our practice and can take control of the
situation.
If you're not happy with your employees,
it's likely for one of the following reasons:
* They haven't been properly trained
and don't understand expectations.
* If they have been trained,
they haven't been followed
up on and likely reverted
to old habits.
* If they've had both training
and follow-up but still aren't
performing, they need to be let go
and replaced.
A common complaint in dental practices
is that the schedule isn't as productive as it
could be. That could be the result of several
things, but let's consider two: scheduling
and case acceptance.

96

JUNE 2019 // dentaltown.com

As far as scheduling, lower production
could be the result of holes in the schedule,
appointments scheduled for too long or too
short, cancellations, etc.
The first question to ask is whether the
staff has been properly trained on these
principles. When we find ourselves frustrated
at the way things are going, our first question
should be, "Does the staff know how I
want things done? Have I done my part to
train them?"
If not, arrange a time you can sit down
with any staff members who are involved
in scheduling patients and share with them
that you want to discuss scheduling.
An appropriate way to begin would
be, "Things are going well! Thank you
for your hard work. I have some ideas for
making the schedule better and would like
to discuss them. I'd like to hear any ideas
you have as well."
The way you carry yourself should show
that you are in charge, but also that you are
willing to listen to your employees. There have
been many times I've been impressed with
ideas I've heard as I've listened to my staff.
Establish some guidelines/rules. Here
are some examples in my office:
* Appointment times: When offering
appointment times and the schedule
is wide open, only the first or last
time slot in a block should be offered.
Offering it in the middle will make
it more difficult to fit in other
appointments of varying lengths, and
has a higher likelihood of resulting in
holes. If there is already an appointment scheduled (should be either at
the beginning or end of the block),
only offer the time adjacent to the
other scheduled appointments.
* Appointment lengths: You should
have something your team can refer
to in order to estimate the time
needed for different procedures. Each
procedure will need to include at least
two numbers-one for the length of
time needed to do a single procedure,


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Dentaltown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2019

Dentaltown June 2019 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2019 - 1
Dentaltown June 2019 - 2
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