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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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August 12, 2002

WEB: http://www.mckenziemgmt.com

Is Your Practice Operating at Peak Performance? Take this test to find out.


Sally McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #24

Scheduling at the Speed of Sound

Dr. Whirligig is zipping around at his usual record pace. Arms flailing, head spinning, instruments flying, it’s the New York Marathon this doc is running from dawn past dusk, frantically dashing from chair to chair desperately trying to work it all in. Mainlining caffeine with NoDoz® chasers couldn’t keep this team on time. To say this group is stressed is like saying the Great Wall of China is long – uh, yeah.

Then there’s the issue with the patients. “You need a filling, Mrs. Jones; we’ll get you in as soon as possible – in 10 weeks.” Ouch! The problem: scheduling is totally out of whack. First, everybody has their hands in it, and nobody is accountable for it. Second, entire treatment plans are being booked, choking the already gasping lineup. Third, roll the dice and pick 30, 60, or 90 minutes for appointments as there is absolutely no consistency in the amount of time booked for the same procedures. The hygienists and assistants are scheduling patients for subsequent treatments and overlooking that little detail about consulting with the doctor first. Fourth, the doctor is so overbooked it’s common to have two ortho checks and a retainer seating scheduled opposite a 30-minute filling and a new patient exam.

Yes, this is a four-point plan for a nervous breakdown. Sound familiar?

Sally’s Recommended Actions

  1. Designate a scheduling coordinator who is responsible and accountable for the schedule.
  2. Provide the scheduling coordinator specific directions from the doctor as to what specifically needs to be done during a patient’s next appointment and exactly how much time will be needed.
  3. Color code the doctor’s time so as not to book the doctor performing four procedures at the same time.
  4. Book no more than two appointments at a time for ongoing treatment plans. For example, schedule one appointment for a crown prep and one for a crown seat.

Now, take three deep breaths and call me in the morning.

Dental Manager's Tool Kit
What every Office Manager needs! This Power Packed Tool Kit will give you hundreds of NEW STRATEGIES and approaches to help your practice grow to its highest potential. This week only, save an additional $50 when you buy the complete set! Click here to order

Technology Tool Box
A series of short weekly "computer" chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level.
Mark Dilatush, VP of Professional Relations

Patient Base Measurement
Purpose: To see if your practice is growing, in a plateau, or declining.

What to do:

  1. Run a production report for every provider in the office for the past 6 months.
  2. Add up all of the comprehensive exam codes.
  3. Run a recall report for everyone STILL due into the office during the same 6 month time period.
  4. See which number is higher. Our guess is, the recall list. If that is true, your practice is losing patients faster than it is bringing them in.


  1. Once per month

What now?
There are several reasons why this may be happening. Call us toll free 1-877-777-6151 or email Mark@mckenziemgmt.com and we will give you specific reports to run based on your verbal feedback to our questions to uncover why.

This issue is sponsored in part by:

McKenzie Management - A full service, in-office dental management consulting company specializing in the business, clinical, and hygiene areas of practices nationwide.You can find McKenzie Management at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com

CareCredit - More than 30,000 healthcare practices nationwide use CareCredit as an alternative means of helping their patients finance treatment. You can find CareCredit at http://www.carecredit.com

DentalTown - Never practice solo again! DentalTown.com is a free community, hosting dentistry's MOST ACTIVE message boards, classified ads and a dental event calendar.The site is open to dental professionals throughout the world, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you visit, you'll wonder how you ever practiced without it! Log onto http://www.dentaltown.com TODAY!

Lares Research - Make Your Practice Profitability Soar! SoftCare boosts your hygiene department profitability to a new level. Treatment of periodontal disease with the Lares' PocketPro Lasers is easy to learn and offers a quick and dramatic return on your investment. Lares lasers will also make your dentistry faster and easier. Visit us at http://www.laresdental.com/products/lsc/default.asp or call 800-347-3289, ext. 1 and schedule an educational presentation.

HPSC - Finances, via lease or loan, dental and office equipment, leasehold improvements, working capital and supply contracts at fixed competitive rates, with no points, variables or hidden fees. HPSC also offers a variety of financing programs to dental professionals seeking to set up, expand, buy into, or acquire a practice.

INFORMS - Allow InForms to participate in your successful practice by becoming the "ONE STOP SOURCE" for your front office needs. We carry a full range of products including: recall and appointment cards, registration forms, exam forms, statements and envelopes, folders and labels. Call us at 1-800-722-4884 or email us at informs@bellsouth.net today to receive your catalog.


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