Dental Office Holiday Considerations: Plan Ahead!
Dental office holiday considerations are best with forethought. It is now September. And the holiday season in the United States is near. However, this is when I plan for next year. I block the doctors’ and hygienists’ schedules a year in advance. And request all the vacation and planned office closures from the dentist.
Team members with upcoming vacation or time-off is also important to know. Who is off when and how does this affect the restorative and hygiene schedules? This is something to review for the next 6 months. Are there any updates or conflicts? Be sure to keep the team in the loop! Everyone needs to know who is off when. Even make notes on your schedules to help everyone be aware of these things.
Calculate Production Goals Accordingly
Ultimately, we have an office production goal to meet. And this is why I like to plan a year in advance. Of course there are unforeseeable circumstances. And we may need to readjust as we go along. However, we can look ahead and create our schedule template now. Just be sure to consider an increase in production goals as well. And to discuss this with your docs and practice managers.
Will there be fee changes and updates? As this also affects our production goals and our holiday schedule plans. In months where the dental practice closes, our daily production goals increase. This is because there are fewer days in each month to reach our goals. And we must be thoughtful in our daily schedules. But we must gather information beforehand to do this right.
Dental Office Holiday Considerations: Recovery!
Dental office holiday considerations include recovery. The dental front office is alive with activity! Phones ring and stacks of mail draw our attention. Our patients all seem to need us at the same time. And we can feel the pressure and stress level rise! It is our post-vacation hell day the first day back. And our focus must be just the task at hand. Our phones and our current patients are enough for the day. Weekly management systems can wait for day 2.
Arrive a little earlier than usual after a holiday break. Check voicemail before anything else. Make schedule adjustments and review where emergency patients go in this morning’s schedule. Focus only on the morning schedules as much as possible. As we move through the day, we can shift to an afternoon focus. One step at a time. Easy does it here. And remember to smile and enjoy your team and patient interactions!
Managing The Mail
Sort through mail and distribute. However, hold on payment entry for the afternoon. Spend the morning on the first day back with schedules. Confirm and reconfirm appointments. The schedule is the priority for the morning. Statements can wait for the next day. Weekly Management Systems pick up on the second day in office as well. And we combine our day 2 and day 3 of this week’s management system on the second and third day.
Payment entry may take more than one afternoon to catch up on too. And that’s okay. We will get there. Open all the insurance checks and personal payment envelopes. Then start with personal payments and enter these first. Then enter the largest insurance checks first. When we catch up with the mail, we can again send patient statements. It might be day 3 back in the office before we send patient statements. And that’s all okay. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track!