I'm Waiting... The Doctor's Schedule

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Dental practices are busy. Running and running and running is what we do all day long. However, how long are your patient’s waiting for you?  I’m not referring to running behind schedule from time to time. I’m talking about chronically keeping your patients waiting for unacceptable periods of time.

What’s making it impossible to stay on schedule? Today we are going to focus on the Doctor’s schedule which can be very complicated due to having regular scheduled appointments and emergencies. It’s imperative that your appointment coordinator fully understands how to schedule appointments and handle emergencies while respecting the allotted time.

With regards to emergencies, you have to establish the meaning of a true emergency. Many times, the patient will call in a panic when the situation isn’t a true emergency. Also, it’s not mandatory to provide full treatment to a patient with an emergency. Triage is certainly acceptable, and the patient can be reappointed for further treatment.

Many Dentists have an all or nothing mentality. They feel that they have to provide full treatment during an emergency appointment which can prove to be detrimental. It’s absolutely prudent to get the patient stabilized and reappointed. When you treat an emergency as a scheduled appointment, you risk putting yourself and the rest of the team behind.

Sit down with your front desk and iron out appointment times and what constitutes an emergency. Much of the stress can be avoided by not scheduling a patient in an emergency slot who isn’t truly experiencing an emergency.

Another strategy to consider is performing hygiene exams whenever you have a break. Meet with the hygienists and form a protocol, so that patient information is collected at the beginning of the appointment allowing you to pop in whenever. Furthermore, check all hygienists at one time, so you’re not jumping up and down more than once per hour.

By incorporating these simple strategies, you can rest assured that everyone’s time is respected and your days will run much smoother.

Oral Cancer Awareness
I'm Waiting... The Hygienist's Schedule

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