A dental production schedule template is a great place to start when you want to improve the efficiency of your dental restorative schedule. A dental production schedule template also creates team harmony. Everyone on the team can help to create the ideal schedule and keep it on track!
Every dental practice needs to create their own template. And it’s important that your template fits your practice needs. When I was a young girl, I remember my mom saying, “Now, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Yikes!! That sounds absolutely horrifying! But I always knew what she meant. There is more than one way to do anything.
Create A Template You Love!
Absolutely every dental practice is as different as night and day. Your patient base is widely different from the patient base of the dentist just down the street. The dentists and the teams are all very different. This is great for patients as it gives them choices. And competition is good for the team too! Competition makes us better!
Your dental production schedule template will be unique to your office. But there are some similarities. For example, you will want to create your daily production with major blocks. But what those major blocks look like are unique to your practice. And what major procedures you do most will be unique to your practice. So, let’s take a look now at just how to get this set up.
Here is a basic dental production schedule template. As you can see, there are major blocks that are available for crown, bridge, dentures, etc. Whatever procedures are the most productive are scheduled in this spot. In this particular example, there are 2 major blocks in the morning. And there is one major block in the afternoon.
Know your production goal first. Because you will want to meet daily production goals with the major blocks. So, create whatever you need in these major blocks to meet that goal. It can be very helpful to generate some reports first. Numbers never lie. You might be surprised to see where most of the office production generates.
The first column only is for major and basic procedures. However, we can also schedule a consult in the first column. Even though this is not a major or basic procedure. It does require the dentist’s full attention. The procedures that require most of your dentist’s time are placed in the first column only.
In the second column, place procedures that are assistant time. Or schedule doctor time here that is opposite a major procedure’s assistant time. It is absolutely necessary to know where the dentist and assistant are during all appointment types. You definitely don’t want to schedule anyone to be in 2 or 3 places at the same time!
Hopefully you have a third operatory for overflow. This is especially helpful for those times when you run over. It happens. A dental procedure can go in a direction you weren’t expecting. A patient doesn’t get numb. An extraction takes longer than scheduled. A crown turns into a root canal. Or maybe you have an emergency that just needs to get in today!
Even though you have set blocks, you will need to adjust them. You might schedule a shorter high production appointment in one of those blocks. For example, let’s say you schedule an impression appointment for 2 implant crowns and abutments. You have that in a block of 12 units. You don’t need all 12 units. Let’s say you use 6 of those units. You now have 6 units left over.
Flexible Yet Firm
Make a decision how to adjust the schedule. This takes some skill. And some experience. But it does come in time. You have to decide if you want to use those remaining 6 units for additional major services or use it for something else. Some of that decision will be based on what else is scheduled that day. And also consider what patients need care now.
There might be a patient who needs immediate care. And you have them on your ASAP list. Or you might have a new patient you would like to get in soon. It really just takes some thought and judgement. But don’t be so rigid in your blocks that you are not caring for your patients well. Production goals are important. You have to keep the office open to provide dental care for anyone. But you also have to have patients who want to see you!
Balance is so key in business. Especially in healthcare. Understand the business of dentistry is caring for people. The idea of the dental production schedule template is to allow the dental front office to easily reach the production goal. When the production goal is easily met, caring for the patient can be the focus. One very successful dentist I worked for often said, “Take really good care of your patients, and they will take really good care of you.”