It is never an easy task to manage and maintain an organized dental office. Many dentists may find it very demanding for them to maintain efficiency so that their team knows what’s going on and when excellent patient care does not suffer.
If you currently have a dental office that seems unorganized and inefficient, there are quite a few things that can be done to turn this around.
To help ensure that your practice remains efficient, follow these six tips.
1. Decrease Long Wait Times
On average, the amount of time that a patient waits is around 20 minutes. It is also believed that patients remain for the least when it comes to being seen by dentists compared to other healthcare professionals. Regardless, the amount of time that patients wait is affected by many circumstances that each practice is experiencing at that time, such as needing to re-sterilize dental equipment, making sure they have dental supplies stocked, and disinfecting the exam room.
Suppose the patients are waiting longer than average. In that case, you should implement a way to gather patient info before any appointments, implement a policy for no-shows, patients who are late after a certain amount of minutes and advise patients of long wait times to plan their appointments accordingly.
2. Make Precise Time Estimations Involving Procedures
Having unorganized patient appointments will easily make a perfect day turn into a hectic one. This means many appointments that need a lot of time will often receive less than 30 minutes with the dentist. Or the schedule may even have too many unused time slots that could be used for existing patients.
Often, the dentist will have no idea how much time they have not spent with patients and just the time they have. Analyzing the necessary time for a procedure will cut down on a lot of unused time.
Ensure that the time spent with an assistant or hygienist is also managed so that the time is not mismanaged and the patient becomes short-changed and in need of another appointment.
3. Make Appointment Reminders Automated
When you make appointment reminders automated, you can obtain instant appointment confirmation. It is a known fact that messages are read more often under 25 minutes of being received. Knowing that means you can rest assured that your patients will show up to their scheduled dental appointment.
An appointment reminder can also be sent a few days automatically to ensure that their appointment is made. This will save time that staff would be using to call the patients individually. Just remember, you need to have permission to contact the patients using this method of appointment setting.
4. Make New Appointments After a Current One
When a new appointment is made, make sure it occurs following the current one. This will cut down on the need for staff to schedule a follow-up with the patients. Your current waiting list for standard cleanings, checkups, or unusual requests such as bad breath will be likely spread out for busy times. This is good because your patients will be inspired to have their next visit scheduled.
5. Make Patient Charges Automatically
Charging patients for services rendered can take a lot of time and can be exhaustive for many dental practices. But when the process is conducted automatically, the work associated with it can be decreased, making your billing department staff more efficient. It is believed that the amount of time it takes to conduct a billing charge could be completed in half the time when it is completed automatically.
6. Designate Triage Duty
Triaging patients will cut down on wait time for patients calling for an appointment. You can have your staff inquire about the details of their dental needs, seriousness, and whether it is considered an urgent need. When triage is conducted, the scheduling can be completed according to need, and time can be divided up based on the type of condition being treated.
7. Effectiveness and Efficiency Are One and the Same
Having a dental office that runs effectively is due to the amount of efficiency it also has. Being efficient eliminates office stress, scheduling conflicts, and issues with bills. This allows your dental office to run smoothly and effectively.