Dental Restorative Scheduling Success From The Start
Dental restorative scheduling success begins with the end in mind. Production is the end goal. But we need our production goals to be realistic. So, how do we know what a realistic goal is? The best way is through tracking. Track treatment presented for one month. This gives the dental practice a reality check. The amount of treatment presented in a month is the amount the office can produce in a month. And tracking shows us another important detail. Through tracking, we see the procedure types we schedule in one month.
Jump into my Dental Front Office Library for a tracking form to help you. But I also recommend that the practice keep a more detailed journal. Especially for planning purposes like this. Keep in mind, this isn’t forever. But if your restorative schedule needs some tweaking, this is a great place to start. And schedules do need tweaking from time to time. Our dental practices grow and change and expand over time. And we must keep adjusting our schedules to suit our practice needs.
Break Down Doctor & Assistant Time
Hopefully, your production goal is realistic. And with a tracking procedure in place for a month, you can see where you could go! As this is meant to be an opportunity for growth. And not a time to pull back. And to give the entire team a bigger picture. Now the team knows just what is possible in a month. But we need some great time management tactics. So, let’s take a look at this tracking project a little more closely. And consider the doctor and assistant time by procedure.
Let’s look at the amount of time we need for each and every procedure we track. We may need more assistant time for room clean up following a root canal than for filling or two. Add this into your time management notes. And be realistic here. Don’t over inflate or under value the importance of time. Perhaps this is one more tracking project for the team. What is an accurate time by assistant and dentist for each and every procedure. And again, this may need adjustments just as our overall schedule templates do. Things change and we must change with them.
Dental Restorative Scheduling Success By Chair
How many restorative chairs does your dentist use each day? That is the next consideration in the plan to success. Most of the dental practices I have worked in had 3 chairs or 3 rooms for a dentist. Typically, the first room would be used for most major procedures. This includes crowns, fillings, endo, initial impressions, etc. The second chair is set up for secondary appointments, follow-up impressions, consultations, initial exams, follow-up exams, whitening procedures, nightguard impressions, etc. And the third chair is an emergency patient chair.
Set up the computer schedule the same way the dentist uses the actual treatment rooms. This is the only way the administrative team and schedules can understand what’s happening in the back. And it’s the only way the clinicians can manage what’s happening with their schedules. Everyone can be thinking along the same lines. And everyone can better contribute to the best flow and productivity possible.
One Scheduling Coordinator per Dentist
Dental restorative scheduling success requires one key scheduler. Too many cooks spoil the stew! Although we want everyone on the team to be able to schedule! We also want one key person accountable. And we want to avoid too many team members making appointments. There are a number of reasons for this. We don’t know what anyone else is thinking. And we can create more problems than we realize here.
People get sick and take time off. So, we want cross-trained team members. Know where things are and what’s going on. But try to keep everyone out of the schedule. Except for that one key scheduler! And keep the team aware of scheduling needs and changes. We must remember we are a team!