The last several months I have been testing a new system, and it has been a GAME-CHANGER for my dental practice. I have been able to cut back more clinical hours to focus on running my business and to create more personal time, my team is happy and my patients are scheduling more treatment.
What is this revolutionary discovery? Well it's really not revolutionary at all. It's quite simple.
What we implemented was a new system, a system for scheduling. As I have discussed before, the key to maximum productivity is in creating systems, and Block Scheduling is no exception.
Here are the Benefits:
- Patients have an opportunity to have all recommended treatment done in one visit, thus eliminating time off from work and multiple back and forth visits.
- Once patients know they don't have to “figure out” when to fit in their appointments over several visits, it makes it easy to block one morning to get all the work done.
- Decreased overhead as less setups are used throughout the day, thus decreasing the cost of sterilization bags, disinfectant, needles, water and electricity.
- Increased efficiency as the rooms are set up and broken down fewer times for the day.
- Longer procedures are done in the morning when the provider's eyes are fresh.
- Increased consistency as the days are more structured.
- 80-90% of the day's revenue goal is made by lunchtime.
- Significant increase in production and profit.
Here was our action plan. If you follow these steps, you will be amazed at the results:
- Create 3 morning blocks on your schedule. In my case they are from 8-9am, 9-10am, and 10am-12pm
- The only procedures which can occupy my blocks are 4 or more fillings, a crown, veneers, or a combination of the above. I do no do root canals, but they could be placed in a block as well.
- Cements, follow ups, consults and single fillings are not to be placed in these blocks
- For those patients requiring a longer block, they can take the 2 hour block from 10-12, or can take two 1 hour blocks (8-9am and 9-10am)
- One morning of the week and every afternoon is not blocked to accommodate 1-3 fillings, cements, adjustments, consults, etc.
- Blocks can be released the day before after 1pm. If lab cases come in, we will call to schedule those patients in these released spots. Patients love if they can get back in quickly to cement their cases.
Once we started offering every patient who had 4 or more fillings and or a combination of crowns to do all work in one day, we were amazed at the results. What we heard was “Of course I'd prefer one visit. Why would I want to come back several times?” That was very interesting…
Some of you may ask about numbing multiple areas in one visit. That's pretty simple, we just let our patients know that they will be numb for about 3 hours. They are quite fine with that because it saves them so many trips.
Our patients are happy, our team is less stressed, our costs go down, our production goes way up, and the dentist, well I have time to write these posts:)