Okay, now that many of you are back to work and even though things might not be completely back to normal, you are having to fill the schedule in the most productive way possible. The Dentrix appointment book right now seems to be the most vulnerable piece of the puzzle. You have a full day scheduled and then, with the blink of an eye, you have five openings you must fill. Also, you have the task of making sure you do not have the schedule booked too tight or have too many people checking in and checking out at the same time.
Before you read this article in full, I would recommend you read the latest article I wrote for DrBicuspid.com on perfect day scheduling. This will ensure that you have your appointment book mapped out in the best way possible before you start to use the tips in this article to fill and keep your schedule full.
Having your appointment book mapped out will also be the first step in having an appointment book that is ready for online booking. When you are comfortable for patients to be able to book their new patient visit or next recare visit from the comfort of their own device, your appointment book will already be ready for launch.
Now let us talk about filling your schedule and keeping it full. There should be two things in place for your team to manage a productive schedule. One is having your production goals outlined in the Dentrix software so your team, both clinical and admin, can monitor progress throughout the month. The second is having a routine for working the four scheduling reports. Three of the four scheduling reports need weekly attention, and this means someone on the team is actively making calls and following up with patients who are not scheduled.
First, let’s review where you can monitor the production goals in your Dentrix software. It is important that everyone on the team is actively involved in making sure the practice is booking to goal and patients are receiving the care they need. Once you have your daily production goals for your doctor(s) and your hygienist(s), you can calculate what their monthly goal is by how many days each producer is working for the month. Add the goals into the software in the Practice Analysis section of the Office Manager. You will be able to see your production goals on the appointment book and on the Daily Huddle Report.
On the appointment book, I recommend creating a view for the hygienist so he or she can manage the production goal from the workstation … and same for the doctor. If the clinical team can see the daily and monthly production goals from their computers, they will be more actively involved in the process. The admin team can create views on their workstation to view all providers to see the total office goal and then separate views for the hygiene department and the doctors. This really helps with learning productive scheduling because it gives you a visual to work toward.
Each day, you can go over the Daily Huddle Report with your team and discuss where you are at for the month, what you still have scheduled, and where you should end up by the end of the month. By monitoring your production goals on the appointment book and the Daily Huddle Report, you can work to create a more stress-free and profitable practice.
Filling and keeping the schedule full is the second management system that needs to have a very systematic routine if it is going to be effective. My recommendation is that your admin team have their own morning huddle to map out time each day that they can work these important scheduling reports. You cannot just sit back and wait for patients to magically appear in your schedule at the right time for the right procedures. You need to create it.
Instead of my rewriting the same information, I recommend you read my blog on the three reports that need weekly attention. CLICK HERE to read. This blog post from last year is still relevant and contains verbal skills your team can use to help fill and keep the schedule full. You create your own destiny with strict guidelines and effective systems.