3 Signs Your Schedule Needs Help
Your schedule should never be a source of stress and frustration. Instead, it should guide your day and keep you on track to meeting your practice’s daily production goals. Yet, most dentists feel like their schedule is out of control. In fact, nearly 87% of McKenzie Management seminar attendees surveyed between 2014 and 2015 admitted their schedule needs help.
The problem? Instead of keeping their practice running like a well-oiled machine, the schedule is plagued with openings that go unfilled and broken appointments that bring chaos to their day. Some doctors consistently find themselves double-booked, leaving them no hope of ever getting caught up, while others always seem to fall short of daily production goals.
Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, it’s time to make some changes to your schedule. I’ve put together four signs your schedule needs help, along with tips designed to help you streamline your schedule, meet production goals and boost profits.
1. More than one person schedules appointments. This is huge. If you task more than one person with managing the schedule, it will only lead to confusion and frustration. Think about it. If scheduling is everyone’s job but no one’s responsibility, who’s going to notice when the schedule isn’t filled to meet production goals, or develop a plan to handle cancellations and no-shows? No one, because you haven’t made any of your team members accountable for the schedule. And this, doctor, is doing nothing but hurting your practice.
Now is the time to empower one person to take over the schedule. I suggest hiring a Scheduling Coordinator, and giving this important team member the tools and training needed to succeed. Once you do, you’ll not only find that you’re finally meeting production goals, your days will also be much less chaotic.
2. You haven’t set production goals. Setting and meeting production goals is vital to your practice’s success. Take the time to sit down with your team members to determine daily practice production. Base this number on how much money you need to live your ideal lifestyle, and how many hours you’re willing to work each week to get there. Talk with team members about setting attainable goals, both as a practice and as individuals, and make sure they understand how important their contributions are to meeting those goals and helping the practice succeed.
Your coordinator should schedule you to meet daily production goals, not just to keep you busy. Once your Scheduling Coordinator understands this, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your chaotic schedule into your roadmap to practice success and profitability.
3. You don’t leave room for new patients. When a new patient calls your practice, he or she doesn’t want to wait four to six weeks to see the doctor. But if your schedule is “booked” months out because you pre-appoint, that’s exactly what will happen…sending many potential new patients to the practice down the street. Even if they do book, chances are they’ll cancel at the last minute or simply not show up, leaving gaping holes in your schedule that your coordinator will be left scrambling to fill.
You simply must leave room in your schedule for new patients. They’re the bread and butter of your practice, and you need them to grow a thriving, successful business. But don’t just guess and leave a random number of open slots for these important patients. Determine how much time you actually need to allocate to new patients in your schedule. How? Look at new patient activity over the last six months. Let’s say you treated 60 patients during that time, which is an average of 10 patients per month or 2.5 patients a week. That’s how much time you should reserve in your schedule to handle new patient demand.
If you’re not managing your schedule properly, it’s costing you money. It’s also leading to undue stress and frustration, which isn’t doing your practice any favors either. The truth is, a chaotic schedule is holding your practice back from meeting its full potential.
If you’re finally ready to take your schedule back, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Click here to take my free scheduling assessment, or reach out to me directly. Remember I’m here to help, and will do what I can to get your practice on the path to true success and profitability.
Next week, How to fix your schedule.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
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