Your schedule is the heartbeat of your dental practice. A mismanaged schedule can result in missed revenue opportunities, staff burnout, and frustration. Making small improvements to patient scheduling can pay big dividends, especially when you have the right software.
Evaluate your current dental scheduling processes against this list to see what you can improve to create a streamlined scheduling system.
4 Tips to Keep Your Dental Schedule Full1. Reduce Patient Cancellations
Establishing effective strategies to address patient cancellations is essential to ensuring your dental schedule is full and profitable. An American Dental Association’s Economic Outlook survey revealed that nearly 79% of dentists said that patient cancellations and no-shows kept their schedules from being completely full.
How can you reduce patient cancellations?
- Confirm appointment times in the way that patients want to communicate. The majority of patients prefer text communication.
2. Employ Self-Scheduling
Self-scheduling continues to pick up traction because it is consistent with patient expectations. Allowing them to view open appointment times online after business hours has helped increase the number of appointments and reduce no-shows, cancellations, and rescheduling.
3. Analyze How You Schedule Appointments
Creating the perfect dental schedule is part art and science. You and your staff have the depth of insights to determine the appropriate appointment timing.
Begin by analyzing each provider, procedure and appointment type and note exactly how long each task takes to complete. That will help you identify the most efficient way to schedule appointments.
For example, can you switch from the traditional 15-minute increments to 10-minute increments for appointments? Imagine how many additional hours of production time your staff will have over the course of a month.
A great feature of Flex is that you can use FlexSchedule to customize appointments booked online by providers, operatories, and more.
Consider if you schedule back-to-back appointments with no overlap. This may leave dentists idle as hygienists or technicians perform routine care before the final doctor consultation. By overlapping these types of appointments, you dramatically increase efficiency and productivity.4. Create a Short-Notice List
After you contact unconfirmed appointments for the week, you’ll see where the gaps are in your schedule. Create a short-notice list to fill those gaps with eligible patients. Texting is a great way to alert patients of an opening and allows them to confirm their availability with their response.