Effective scheduling is one of the most important components of any dental practice. When done well, it can instantly boost productivity, profitability, and the return on investment for your marketing efforts.
Do you have a dedicated scheduler? If not, having one who is trained in four key growth strategies could be what your practice is missing. And if you already have a dedicated scheduler in place, here are the four growth strategies they should be doing to help you unlock your practice’s full profitability potential.
1. Use “block scheduling” to maximize productivity.
A good scheduler will make sure you don’t end up with a scrambled schedule where you’re treating patients with different needs at the same time, hopping from one room to the other.
Instead, they’ll set up your calendar so you’re seeing patients with similar needs at the same time of day, scheduling patients for high-value procedures at the most convenient times, and using other block scheduling strategies to maximize productivity.
At my practice, 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.
Not only did profits grow, but everyone felt much less stressed, our schedule becomes much easier to manage, and we make sure we give each patient the quality care they need without anyone feeling overwhelmed.
2. Follow up with patients who have unscheduled treatment.
Many practices have a long list of patients with unscheduled treatment. Not only is that list untapped production for your practices but it is also a list of patients with unmet dental needs. While some patients need to save up or secure financing for treatment, many simply forget to schedule treatment. They get on with their busy lives and their oral health needs to move down on their list of priorities.
Your scheduler should have a system in place for calling patients with unscheduled treatment. The system can be as simple as calling patients who leave without scheduling treatment. You could even prioritize patients with specific procedures you want to perform more of. Either way, your scheduler can help you fill your calendar by regularly contacting patients you know need treatment and getting them scheduled.
3. Make sure all patients are confirmed for the treatment they’ve scheduled.
Missed appointments are not only an inconvenience but they represent a lost opportunity to get another patient in the chair. While confirmation is often automated, having a scheduler keeping on top of who is confirmed and who is not is key.
If someone has not confirmed, have your scheduler call them. They may have missed the email or text message. Or maybe they saw it and forgot to confirm. If they can’t make it, your scheduler can then call people with unscheduled treatment to fill the newly open appointment time and get the patient who can no longer make it scheduled for another time.
4. Track key statistics.
An effective scheduler keeps track of key statistics for your practice. For example, they can keep track of and report the number of cancellations or no-shows. They can track the amount of time utilized per appointment. And they can track the number of calls made to patients and new appointments generated. They can also track the number of new patients scheduled and how those patients learned about your practice. That can help you evaluate your marketing efforts and thank current patients for referrals.
Is your scheduler helping you grow?
If you do not have a growth-focused scheduler, you likely have significant untapped potential for your practice. Start utilizing these four growth strategies and you can quickly see more productivity for your practice.
If you want help training your scheduler to help you go, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.