Would you be willing to make one simple change to your practice if it guaranteed you could regularly meet up to 90% of your daily revenue goal by lunchtime?
Of course you would. Anyone would.
A few years ago, I did. You can, too. Here’s how:
All you need to do is make one simple change to your practice for it to be more efficient, profitable, and controllable.
The change? Systematize everything about your practice.
Systems promote consistency, efficiency, and quality. They ensure everything gets done the same way no matter who’s doing it. That means you can empower any team member to do more work, faster, because they won’t have to figure everything out every time, ask questions, or waste time searching for answers or information.
Better yet, you’ll no longer have to do everything yourself, oversee or review everything other people do, or rely on any one team member to get things right.
You’ll finally be able to let go.
If you systematize your practice.
How to systematize your dental practice to run without you
Systematizing your practice only takes one simple shift in how you do things. That shift is to record your best practices with all common tasks the next time they come up, share those best practices with your team, and empower them to take over those tasks by following the best practices.
Recording your best practices is simple, too. You can record things by writing down the steps yourself, having an assistant write them down as you complete the task, or by creating an audio or video recording of you doing it. It doesn’t matter how you record it, as long as you record it.
Every time you document a best practice, put it in a central location and share it with your team. Let them know they can take over those tasks by following your instructions and ask you if they have any questions.
After recording and sharing your best practices, you’ll no longer have to do or oversee everything because your team can see exactly how you do things every time. Most dentists never systematize their practice. Because of that, they need to work more and do almost everything themselves. With the right systems in place, your systems can run the business side of your practice without you. They can be that impactful.
How one system helped us regularly meet up to 90% of our daily revenue goal by lunchtime
In our practice, one of our most impactful systems was the way we scheduled our patients. Specifically, we moved to a block-scheduling system that split our days into “time blocks” depending on the services needed by our patients. Our block-scheduling process helped us regularly meet up to 90% of our daily revenue goals before lunchtime.
Here’s how it works.
First, we created three-morning blocks on our calendar every day but one. For us, that was 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Second, we defined what type of work could go in each block. For example, we only fill a block with four or more fillings, a crown, veneers, implants, or a combination of those. We do not do root canals, but they could be placed in a block as well. Patients requiring a longer block can take the two-hour block or the two one-hour blocks.
Cements, follow-ups, consults, and patients who need fewer than four fillings are not to be placed in the blocks. Those are done on the one morning we don’t block out. (We also allow them to be booked during a block if we haven’t filled the block by the afternoon before. For example, if lab cases come in and we haven’t filled our blocks for the next day, we’ll call to schedule those patients for those open slots. Otherwise, we schedule them for the next available afternoon or non-blocked morning. Patients love it when they can get back in quickly to cement their cases.
That’s it. Simple, right? We block off time and dedicate it for the time-consuming activities, moving all other activities to non-blocked time. This makes scheduling easier and operations smoother.
After implementing this shift, every patient who had four or more fillings and/or a combination of crowns could have all work done in one day. They loved it. Sometimes that meant we numbed both sides of their mouth, but oral surgeons do that all the time and it was a small tradeoff for only having to come in for one visit.
This system has been a game changer for my practice because it allows us to schedule longer, more detailed procedures in the morning, and complete them in one visit.
It provides convenience to patients because they no longer have to interrupt multiple days for their procedure. It lets me schedule longer procedures in the early part of the day, when my eyes are fresh and my energy is the highest.
It also decreases overhead costs because it reduces the number of setups needed throughout the day because we only need to have one setup for these services instead of two or more, which was required when we broke them up into multiple visits. This reduces the cost of sterilization bags, needles, water, disinfectant, and electricity.
It also lets me work fewer clinical hours. We used to take two and a half hours to fill multiple fillings over multiple 30-minute appointments. Now, we can do it all in a single one-hour appointment because we only have to do one setup.
All told, the greater efficiency helps us regularly earn 80-90 percent of the day’s revenue by lunchtime.
It's your turn
Creating a block scheduling system has allowed us to increase our efficiency, revenue, and client satisfaction.
Creating systems in your practice can do the same for you, and more. Without them, your practice will be inefficient and rely on you. But if you want to scale your dental practice so you don’t have to do everything, you need systems in place.
If you want help implementing systems in your practice, consider joining WOW U, our online community for dentists looking to grow their practices. WOW U is full of high-impact courses, live trainings, and a private forum to get direct feedback on improving your practice.