Daily Dental Administrative Schedules Outlined
Daily dental administrative schedules help to keep the train on its tracks! Our dental front office business systems definitely lay out for us how to complete our necessary daily tasks. But additionally, we need a schedule to guide us on when to get it all done. Otherwise, we may just procrastinate ourselves right into a terrible train wreck! Statements never do get sent. Unscheduled hygiene patients never do get those calls. And we have the best of intentions! Just never enough time…
Time is a funny thing. We have the same amount of it every day. It’s one of the constants we have in our lives. But it’s up to us how we manage it. I’ve met people who manage time very well. And I’ve also met those who don’t. I’m a predictably punctual person. So I appreciate others who are as well. Dental Front Office Weekly Management Systems will support you in the busiest of days. And you’ll find those systems within your Dental Front Desk Membership! Sign up now!!
Be sure to download my Dental Front Office Daily Checklist! If you haven’t got it yet, do it now! You can certainly create your own too. And maybe just use this as a springboard to help you create a daily checklist that works best for you. Each dental practice is so unique! And so is each administrative position within the practice. So, grab the checklist now and let’s run through it!
Daily Dental Administrative Schedules : Early Morning
- Check all voicemail messages first. You definitely want to know if anyone needs to reschedule an appointment. Or if they need to get into see the dentist with an emergency. Then do whatever you need to do to solidify your schedule. Return any calls you need to take care of. And let the games begin!
- Previous day balances. What do I mean by that? I mean that you have closed your previous day financially. All your money balances, adjustments are correct, and nothing more needs to be done there. This is important before we send patient statements.
- Send patient statements. This happens every morning! And honestly, it’s no big deal when we do it every day. If the front office team collects payments at the time of service well, this won’t be a big deal.
- Fill any open appointment times for today. Of course! And our first 3 items on the schedule don’t take much time at all. So you will be very ready to move forward with your schedule early in the day. Today’s schedule is always the priority and trumps everything else!
- Re-confirm any unconfirmed appointments for tomorrow. Tomorrow is our next most important schedule to master. We want to be sure all appointments for tomorrow are confirmed and that there are no open appointments to fill. If there are open times, fill them now.
- Review patient charts for tomorrow’s schedule for updates needed to medical history forms. This is also a good time to double check patient balances. Is there anything you need to speak with a specific patient about? Insurance issues? Any outstanding dental claims they need to be aware of? If you have any claims over 30 days you have been unable to get paid for, talk to your patient. Keep your patient in the know of what’s going on. And enlist their help
- Double check continuing care settings for hygiene patients who are on tomorrow’s hygiene schedule. It’s important that the continuing care settings are correct. Maybe you call them something else in your practice. But the bottom line is that your dental team needs to be able to see at a glance when the patient is due for hygiene, x-rays, exam, etc. And that the correct hygiene procedure code is attached to your patient.
- Print visit forms for tomorrow’s schedule. Or routing slips, or whatever it is your practice needs for tomorrow’s schedule. Perhaps you are in a paperless office, and it’s unnecessary. You may also be in a practice that still uses charts, and you’ll need those too. My schedule has always been to be ready for tomorrow early in the day before. So let’s get tomorrow set by mid-morning in the current day.
Late Morning – Early Afternoon
- Confirm all appointments 2 days out. And before I make a call, I double check the patient balance. If I need to talk to a patient about a balance, I will do that when I confirm. I will also confirm if a patient needs to bring payment for a procedure that day. Another thing I like to do here, is look 2 weeks out. I like to know what’s coming up. And does everything look okay? I often find something on the schedule 2 weeks out that I’m glad I caught early!
- Send insurance claims for the morning. I like to give the clinical team time to double check their charges. Sometimes an x-ray was posted that wasn’t taken, or just the opposite. A surface wasn’t correct maybe. Or any number of things. And it’s easier to fix something in the patient ledger before a claim is sent.
- Special Daily Assignments. My Weekly Management Systems include a “special assignment” for most week days. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings anyway. Depending on the day of the week and where in the month that day lands. They include accounts receivable, and hygiene reactivation. And this is the magic to getting it all done!
Daily Dental Administrative Schedules: Afternoon
- Check voicemail messages after lunch. There may be some schedule changes from the morning confirmation calls. So we definitely ant to get to those right away. And my rule is always to return phone calls within the hour. Otherwise, patients lose their trust in us. It’s an easy thing to return calls quickly. And does a lot to improve patient relationships.
- Enter insurance payments and mail received. Any insurance checks or personal payments that come in the day’s mail are entered in the afternoon. The bulk of the phone calls and schedule preparation have been completed for the next day, and we can focus on insurance payments and personal payments now. And when we send patient statements each day, we see patient payments more consistently throughout the month!
- Double check your schedules for tomorrow. Make sure there isn’t anything left hanging there. Any patients you might still need a call back from? Any lab cases you are still waiting for? Anything you might need from your clinical team for any of the patients on the schedule? Be sure everything is good to go for tomorrow.
- Afternoon insurance claims go now. Be sure to finish the day up with the insurance claims for the afternoon. You may want to wait to send the late day claims tomorrow morning. Especially if you have any questions for your clinical team. Or even if you just want to give everyone more time to be sure their information is entered correctly. You might need to wait for a clinical note or narrative. It’s okay to wait until the morning to send the late day claims too!
Automated Communication Systems Are So Helpful!
In our daily dental office lives, there is so much to do! Its a fact!! And not a job that is for the faint of heart. I know!! I also know that the automated communication system you choose is important. My recommendation is Lighthouse! If you haven’t seen their way of doing things, you’ve got to check it out for yourselves! Schedule your FREE demo today! And see just how easy it can be!!