How to manage your energy flow by smooth daily routines

Possibly the most common task performed by practices is patient appointment scheduling, so you’d think that it is pretty straightforward and effortless to do. Ensuring seamless appointment scheduling for patients is a critical step to uphold order and harmony in the practice. However, many dental offices fall short on this front, highlighting an urgent need for appointment scheduling overhauls.

Do you follow a guiding principle when it comes to assigning appointments? Or are they laid out in no particular sequence? If you’re consistently struggling to manage your daily energy flow, smoothen your daily routines out with these brilliant tips:

Organizing your appointments

To create structure in the appointment calendar, you must first categorize them by the treatments you perform and when the best times are for different treatments. When scheduling, long appointments in the morning and short appointments in the afternoon have proven to be the most successful.

This strategic sorting has its own advantages. By putting many similar appointments in a certain period of time, you can carry out many automated activities in close order – materials can be prepped better and handling becomes faster and more efficient. This can have a positive effect on the workflow and enhance patient satisfaction.

Clear dialogue between dentist and assistant

During treatment appointments, the dentist and assistant work in close collaboration to maximize workflow and create a harmonious operation. In such an arrangement, one person can work in the background while the other is always focused on the patient. Ask yourself: who talks to the patients about what? Who is responsible for which technical aspect of the procedure?

Here, you may take into account an exemplary procedure I follow in my practice:
The assistant memorizes the most important points of the treatment process during the clean-up, patient greeting, and patient preparation. Once all relevant questions have been triggered, the assistant then informs the dentist that the patient is ready. As the dentist enters the room, the assistant gives them a run-down of the most crucial information succinctly.

Our standardized system then makes it easy for the dentist to compare and update himself about the situation immediately. They have standard solutions at hand when problems arise and can carry out the treatment as quickly as possible, give the necessary instructions, say goodbye to the patient, and hand it over to the assistant again. This is an efficient and satisfactory appointment for the patient.

Organizing the reception desk

Some processes at the reception desk may be time-consuming and can have a detrimental effect on patient satisfaction. For example, if the receptionist is talking to a patient on the phone and another patient comes along, it is the best decision to address the patient only if the conversation is sure to last three seconds (say, the patient only wants to announce briefly that he is there and is going to the waiting room).

In any case, every patient who enters the practice is immediately given eye contact, even if they are on the phone. This way the patient knows that they have been seen and the probability that they actively interrupt the conversation in order to draw attention to themself decreases. You must also train employees such that no phone call lasts more than 5 minutes. If it is inching onto 5 minutes, a telephone appointment must be suggested.

Training summaries, or internal short courses, simultaneously increase the probability that knowledge is stored in practice.

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