Ideas for Block Scheduling

Henry Kissinger once said, “There cannot be a crisis today; my schedule is already full.”  How many times have dental practices felt the same way, and then the phone rings with a patient emergency.

Or new patients call and it you do not have an opening for many weeks, or you have a patient eager to schedule treatment, but you can’t fit them in for a month.  Busy practices often integrate blocks into their schedule to ensure they can see new patients, emergencies, and productive appointments in a timely fashion.  And blocks work well assuming you consider the nuances of your practice style.

For example, doctors often want higher production in the morning, which makes it easy to pin point times to block.  If you do comprehensive cases, implants, and/or sedation, you may only want those appointments certain days of the week, which helps designate the type of high production to schedule each morning.

If you want to offer flexibility to patients who sometimes need an afternoon appointment for multi-tooth procedures, consider which day of the week works best based on what is scheduled in the morning.  If the morning, for example, was reserved for a comprehensive case, do you really want to do four big fillings in the afternoon?  Maybe that type of appointment is better placed on another afternoon.

When determining how to block for emergencies, consider which days are the busiest.  Make sure you have enough blocks reserved.  Also consider how many new patients you have each month: do you have enough block times to see those patients?

Scheduling is complex.  Variables such as treatment styles, energy level, demands of patients, and flow of the week all factor in to creating an efficient and productive day.  The key is to plan.  That way you can provide the best service for your patients.

Learn more about how our dental consulting can help you and your team schedule more effectively.

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