Make Room in Your Schedule for Growth

Many dental practices would like to experience growth, yet not every practice has room in their schedule to accommodate growth. In addition to having a plan of action for practice growth, you also need a plan for how to schedule effectively.

Dental Schedule

For example, potential new dental patients do not want to wait a month to get in for their first appointment. Therefore, if your marketing plan is going to make the phones ring, you need to reserve blocks of time to schedule new patients within one or two weeks of their call. If you expect to get twenty new patient calls each month, then you want to make sure you have a corresponding number of open spots to schedule those patients. Sometimes this may mean opening up more hygiene days. By considering how many new patients you average each month along with the growth you expect to create, you can plan effectively.

Another challenge faced by growing practices is how to accommodate emergencies. Practice growth brings more emergency calls, and it does not take too many emergency visits before you are consistently running behind on your scheduled patients—and that will unfortunately put the brakes on practice growth.

Dental emergency

High performing practices manage emergencies in two ways. First, these practices create emergency blocks each day based on past demand. If you average three emergencies on Mondays, for example, you would open three emergency blocks, typically at times when the doctor can step away from a procedure to do the emergency exam. The second step is to guide patients to the open spots instead of just scheduling them whenever. This may require “retraining” some of your patients, but when it allows you to run on time, everyone is happier.

Planning for practice growth requires more than an internal and external marketing plan. Plans for growth also necessitate scheduling with growth and efficiency in mind.

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