4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

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.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

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.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

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.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

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.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

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.

10 Simple Profit-Generation Strategies for Your Dental Practice

Increasing your dental practice’s profitability doesn’t have to be complicated.

Sometimes, asking a simple question of your patients is all you need to do to increase profits by booking more appointments, selling additional services, or attracting new patients.

Other times, a simple adjustment to the way you run your business increases efficiencies, leading to higher revenue or lower costs.

Here are ten simple ways to generate more profits for your dental practice you can implement today.

1. Send a targeted email to patients with unscheduled treatments with an offer and call to action.

Patients rarely take the initiative to schedule treatments if they aren’t in the office. If you have patients who need treatments, email them to schedule an appointment to fill open time. You might also consider enticing them with an offer such as a free additional service, like basic whitening, if they come in within a certain period of time. If you have the technology, include a link to schedule the appointment online to make it easy for them.

2. Ask about family members who are not scheduled.

When a patient comes in, ask about other family members. Mention they’re due for treatment and see if they can get in touch with their family member to get on the schedule.

3. Create a strategic alliance with another business.

You can increase profits while supporting local businesses by forming mutually-beneficial strategic alliances with local businesses who serve the same people you want to serve and create offers to encourage their clientele to come to your practice.

4. Commit to talking to every patient with a missing tooth about the risks of not replacing it and the options to replace it.

Many patients mistakenly believe that having a missing tooth poses no risks. By explaining the risks of not replacing missing teeth and the options to do so, you’ll help your patients make wise decisions about their health while simultaneously increasing revenue for your practice.

5. Ask patients about optional services that could benefit them.

Patients sometimes don’t know what services are available to them or are too shy to ask for some cosmetic services. You can increase your profits by having helpful conversations with your patients, asking questions like “Have you ever considered teeth whitening?”

6. Add services.

Adding services has several benefits. At its core, adding services provides more ways to serve your patients, a natural revenue booster. Consider adding services to increase your revenue and profitability.

7. Add insurance plans.

Many patients find dentists from their insurance plan’s list of preferred providers. If you accept dental insurance, consider adding insurance plans; you could attract a large number of additional patients.

8. Implement block scheduling.

Block scheduling is one of the best things you can do to increase the profitability of your practice while at the same time protecting your personal time. In my practice, we moved to a block-scheduling system that split our days into “time blocks” depending on the services needed by our patients. This makes operations much more efficient. After we implemented block scheduling, we started regularly meeting up to 90% of our daily revenue goals before lunchtime.

9. Offer patients the opportunity to do all services in one day.

Offering patients the option to do all services they need in one day makes treatments easier to schedule and less of a disruption to your patients’ days. Because of that, it’ll be much easier to get patients to accept your treatment plans.

10. Create a featured service of the month.

Creating a featured service of the month gives you an excuse to talk with patients about services they may want or need. Having a featured service to let them know about also gives you reasons to reach out to patients by phone, email, social media, or in person.

What are your best profit-generation strategies?

These are ten of my favorite simple profit-generation strategies for dental practices because they’re simple things anyone can implement!

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

If you want help on implementing some or all of these strategies into your practice, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge where in just 21 days, Dr. Anissa Holmes will walk you through developing and launching a successful marketing campaign that will create several connections with other small business owners in your community. You will also create your 12-month marketing plan AND implement systems for simple, yet effective practice growth. Ready to learn more? Click here, and if you want to sign up, use the code CHALLENGE at checkout to save 20% on your challenge registration!

Here’s How You Can Work Less and Get Your Patients to Say YES!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Decreased overhead as less setups are used throughout the day,  thus decreasing the cost of sterilization bags, disinfectant, needles, water and electricity.
  4. Increased efficiency as the rooms are set up and broken down fewer times for the day.
  5. Longer procedures are done in the morning when the provider's eyes are fresh.
  6. Increased consistency as the days are more structured.
  7. 80-90% of the day's revenue goal is made by lunchtime.
  8. Significant increase in production and profit.

Here was our action plan. If you follow these steps, you will be amazed at the results:

  1. Create 3 morning blocks on your schedule.  In my case they are from 8-9am, 9-10am, and 10am-12pm
  2. 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.
  3. Cements, follow ups, consults and single fillings are not to be placed in these blocks
  4. 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)
  5. One morning of the week and every afternoon is not blocked to accommodate 1-3 fillings, cements, adjustments, consults, etc.
  6. 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:)