Reaching Dental Production Goals Each Month
Reaching dental production goals is one of the many goals of the dental team. A huge piece of this responsibility falls on the dental front office team. Dental office production goals are important. This goal gives the team something to work towards. It is a number that identifies financial health for the practice. But how do we get there and stay there?
Let’s start with the assumption that you have a goal. Your dental office has a set production goal. The dental front office has been told what that monthly goal is. Now it s up to the team and especially the front office to make it so.
Here are 5 steps to achieve and maintain monthly dental office production goals. If you are missing your mark each month, you could be missing on one of these key steps. Chances are good, you are missing the tracking step. As the schedule master, the dental front office team really needs to have their own tracking and reporting systems.
Keep it simple. Tracking might seem like an extra step. Just make it part of your daily routine at the front office. Even if you are the only one who looks at it. These numbers will help you to understand where you are doing well. They will also show you where you might be missing the mark.
It’s all good information. You can only fix what you are aware of. Numbers never lie. You can be wrong if you are making assumptions on what you think might be going wrong. Numbers will help you to analyze and focus on a weak area of your dental practice. As you build up one system, you improve the entire system.
Step 1: Turn Monthly Goals Into Daily Goals
Each month might be different though! Hopefully, you have your doctor’s scheduled time off, vacation days, etc. in advance. It is much easier to create your daily production goals when you have this information. You can still create your schedule without this info. You just might be going back later to make some adjustments to your schedule.
Count the number of days your dentist is working. Take one month at a time. This is why one month might be different from another. If your dentist is off for one week in a month, those aren’t production days. Some months, you will need to schedule differently to keep production consistent.
Divide the total production number by days worked. For example. Let’s say your dentist’s production goal is $90,000 a month. She is working 16 days next month. You want your daily production goal to be $5,625.00. The following month, your dentist is working only 12 days. Your daily production goal is going to be $7,500.00.
Hopefully, you can schedule bigger cases on those shorter months. Which is why it helps to have your holiday schedule set in advance. You may also need to adjust your block scheduling those months to avoid scheduling less productive procedures on shorter months. And of course, you’ve got to have the treatment being presented to schedule it at all.
Daily Tracking To Reach Dental Production Goals
Step 2: Tracking Treatment Presented vs Treatment Scheduled
You can only schedule treatment presented. Scheduling close to 100% of the treatment presented is optimum. But you’ve got to know what you are working with. That is why I recommend tracking treatment presented vs. treatment scheduled. Having something to work with is the first step.
Print a daily schedule. This will be a great place to jot down notes you can later convert into a spreadsheet. Print a schedule of all patients scheduled, including hygiene. When treatment is presented you can make a note right on your schedule under that patient’s name. It could be something as “P=$1218.00.”. (Which would just stand for “Presented”. Then next to it you could write “S=$1218.00” (This would stand for “Scheduled”)
Convert this into a spreadsheet at the end of the day. Keep a running spreadsheet on your computer that you can add to daily. Try to add this information daily. It’s easier than trying to back track and enter a lot of data at the end of the month. I’ve got a download for you to use as a template here.
Track these numbers each month. These are great numbers to review with your dentist. Keep your daily schedules in a separate folder or binder. At the end of the month, attach these to your final numbers. Your dentist can then review exactly what happened day to day. The total dollar amount of treatment presented each month, should actually exceed the total production goal. If not, adjustments need to be made.
Reaching Dental Production Goals With Block Scheduling
Step 3: Set Up Your Blocks
Scheduling blocks are chunks of time set aside for major treatment. You will need to identify the most productive procedures performed in your dental office. Then you will also need to know how much doctor and assistant time is needed for these particular procedures.
Use enough blocks to meet your production goal. These blocks will be used to meet your daily production goal. Everything else added to the schedule is gravy! It’s so much easier to meet your goals like this. You will not only meet your daily goals, but exceed them! Your dentist may prefer certain procedures at specific times of the day.
Flexibility is also a plus. Be able to move things around in your schedule to accommodate your patients and your dentist. Flexibility always wins! If you are too rigid, it will be more difficult to meet goals.
Major cases trump all scheduled blocks. When scheduling a major case that involves several hours, just delete your blocks that day. You have met goal with this one case. That’s why these are great appointments to schedule on those short months.
Reaching Dental Production Goals Confirming
Step 4: Confirm Restorative Appointments Well
Confirm major appointments with attention to detail. You need to know that those patients are coming to their appointments. You also need to know that they are prepared. Try all of their numbers until you are able to reach them. Remind them of their out-of-pocket expense for their upcoming appointment. Also, make sure they know how much time they will need for this appointment. People have busy schedules.
Automated confirmations are not enough. Although they are fabulous, they are not enough. Call text confirmed appointments too. Start the conversation by letting your patient know you just wanted to make sure they didn’t have any questions about their appointment. Then you can go into the reminders you have for them.
Send a text asking them to call. If you are unable to reach by phone, send a simple text. Ask them to call you to review preparations for their scheduled appointment. Then you can tell them you need to be sure they don’t have any questions, etc. It’s also great customer service! Checking in one more time before a major procedure will build more trust with your patients.
Even great patients confuse appointment times! They might know their appointment is on Tuesday, and for some reason, get the date mixed up. It’s easy to do. Confirmations are so critical. It’s a step that the dental front office team can partially complete, and think it is good enough. Good enough is great appointment confirmations.
Strong Call Lists
Step 5: Create A Strong Call List For Short Notice Reschedules
Patients are going to re-schedule. You are going to feel like your day just fell apart. You need a plan. Create a strong short-notice call list to support your restorative schedule. Ask every patient that you schedule if they would be available for a short notice appointment. Encourage your patients to be available for short notice appointments.
Avoid the word cancellations. Instead, let them know that you might have a schedule change. If that should happen, you would be happy to move their appointment forward. Then be sure you have all of their best contact info. You’ll want their cell phone, work phone, and email address. Ask if it is okay to text them with appointment openings.
Lighthouse has a great feature for open appointment times! I love Lighthouse! They can automatically text appointment openings to patients! It’s fabulous. And a huge time saver. Especially when you are tied up with something else when an appointment time opens. Lighthouse will tell you they noticed an appointment time opened. They will then ask if you would like text messages to go out to patients that this time is available.