8.19.11 Issue #493 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Time Management for the Business Coordinator
Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Dear Belle,

 At the end of my day when everyone else is walking out the door to go home, I am still in the office trying to catch up on closing the day. What can I do to manage my time better and leave on time? 

Betty Business Coordinator

Upon questioning Betty (names have been changed) about her daily tasks and job description, a time and motion analysis, based on the real time it took to do her tasks to completion was done The following is a recommendation of the priority of her tasks.

Task Management for Betty:
Work-day is 8-9 hours with half hour to hour lunch and no scheduled breaks. Suggested chronological preferences to diminish priority confusion:

  1. The schedule meets the goal for today and all patients are confirmed for doctor and hygiene.
  2. The schedule for tomorrow and next day is to goal and confirmed.
  3. Confirm financial option commitments of all patients scheduled for the next 3 days.
  4. Review accounts receivable balances and outstanding insurance claims over 30 days old. Follow-up on late claims and overdue balances.
  5. Verify insurance benefits for all patients appointed and confirm eligibility for new patients prior to their arrival.
  6. Follow-up on unscheduled treatment and recall with 5 calls per day.
  7. Make 5 calls to inactive patients and invite them back to the practice.
  8. Post mail payments and bulk checks.
  9. Billing and collection follow-up.
  10. Follow-up on staffing issues and verify time sheets.
  11. Close day, balance deposits and print reports.

To save time and money for the practice, it is recommended to use technology to improve systems - such as sending e-statements instead of stuffing and mailing.  E-statements cost about .79 cents each, versus about $5 each for paper mailed statements.

Use the time clock software on the computer so that people can clock in and out with a password. This eliminates errors and omissions in tracking hours, which can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars overtime. It was also recommended that a software program that confirms patients via email or text be considered to give Betty more time to spend with patients.

It was determined by the time management system that Betty spends an average of 10 minutes per patient on checking in and out.  When you factor in time for phone calls, it is estimated that she spends 5-6 hours of her day just doing these tasks. The above listed priority preferences must be worked into another 2-3 hours, and this leaves out lunch and breaks. If Betty does not carefully manage her time, she will not complete all of her work each day and it will roll over into the next day. It was suggested that she make it a goal to complete the first five of the list above before lunch every day.

The hard to measure factor is the number of inbound phones calls coming into the practice on any given day. Looking at the historical average, it was determined that most calls came in on Monday and Tuesday, so Betty had to make sure to be available and upbeat to receive calls and give the best customer service to current and new patients.

Betty has been called into the back office to help with set-up of treatment rooms and
sterilization tasks. It was recommended that she not be pulled into the back office at all, as it is far more important that she complete business tasks that affect the profitability of the practice.

A computer monitor was in place in each operatory so that the dental assistants and the dental hygienists could set appointments. Scheduling in the back office area eliminates the bottleneck effect at the front desk, and keeps patients from having to wait to get the next appointment. This system also allowed Betty more time to discuss treatment plans with patients and gain informed consent without being interrupted with outgoing patients.

Betty found more job satisfaction with the new organization of her daily tasks, and with careful time management of her daily tasks she was able to get out of work on time.

Want to learn more about making your day more profitable and less stressful? Sign up for a business training course with McKenzie Management today.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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