Understand Your Schedule to Drive Performance - Part 1
BY JUDY LAROCQUE - INTERNATIONAL DENTAL INSTITUTE
When it comes to managing their schedule, most practices take a reactive approach rather than booking appointments in an energizing, productive way that meets patient and practice needs. Last minute changes generate stress, reduce productivity and increase wasted time. The usual black animals are obviously late cancellations, missed appointments, open times in the schedule as well as an inefficient management of the duration of appointments according to the planned treatment. Other elements that also compromise productivity are schedule delays, same-day emergencies and scheduling patients' appointments without taking into account the dentist's limited travel that cannot ensure the quality of care and his relationship with the patient if he must always move from one room to another.
In fact, by looking at the schedule in the morning, the dentist and his team can know exactly how they will feel at the end of the day. You can tell which patient will call to cancel, which will be late or simply absent without notifying you first. In general, you already know if your day will be a financial disaster. Yet the same scenario is repeated day after day. Remember that once the day begins, it is too late to change anything and you will still wonder why it is always the same story that repeats itself.
This scenario is repeated over and over again because you have been in the habit for years and you accept the status quo. "What we accept, we encourage. Your daily life is programmed by the choices you and your team have made in the past.
It is critical to understand that optimal planning and organization of your schedule is critical to success. They reduce stress, generate time and energy to meet patients' needs at the highest standards and promote productivity and growth. Controlling your schedule undoubtedly depends on the following three elements:
1. The patient's behaviour with respect to appointments.
2. The scheduling choices you and your team make.
3. The value you place on your time and the economic aspects associated with the schedule.