How important is patient scheduling? In a word, vital.
Patient Scheduling: It Can Make or Break Your Practice
Today, many dentists face financial challenges that have been generally absent in dentistry. Your staff’s ability to schedule productive days that increase overall collections is more important than ever. There is a concept many doctors have not heard of called “scheduling by production.” This is where your staff members use the features of your software’s appointment book to optimize what you produce and collect each day – and can give your practice immediate financial results.
Patient Scheduling Software: The Foundation of Your Practice
A practice’s financial success all starts with the schedule. Your staff can maximize your schedule by doing the following: schedule patients by type of procedure, create simple graphs where they can visually measure your scheduled and actual dollars, and create goals to see how close they are to making your numbers. These software tools provide an easy guide for your front desk to help them schedule an ideal day that increases your production and collection. And, maybe more importantly, this will help prevent the crazy overscheduled day that is followed by a day so unproductive that it doesn’t even cover the cost to pay your staff!
Running a productive day, every day, without complication, should be second nature to your staff. This can be achieved by following these simple “schedule by production” steps: First, determine how much money it really takes to cover the cost of your staff, pay your bills, and pay yourself. Second, based on your patient treatment plans, determine how many high production and other procedures should be scheduled each day. And last, make sure your staff utilizes your software’s appointment template feature to set a schedule that allows them to “drop in” the appropriate appointments and tally up your goal as they schedule and collect. Following these steps will essentially take the guess work out of scheduling your day.
Patient scheduling software is more than just a calendar. It should also have ways to track certain key measurements.
Graphs and Patient Scheduling Software
Another essential component you need to create the ideal schedule is simple, easy-to-read graphs.
These graphs need to show whether the daily scheduling goal has been achieved and offer the ability to schedule goals for an entire calendar month – one that fits your financial needs. Unfortunately, too many practice management software systems only offer “advanced” tools for tracking various items and lose sight of the reality of a busy dental office’s need to track daily financial progress. Simply put, most systems are just way too complicated. Fortunately, there are systems available that offer simple graphs to help a staff make the right scheduling decisions. The system we have recommended to practices that just seems to have the right scheduling tools is DentiMax.
In dealing with today’s financial challenges, you may find that you have personally taken more of the burden of ensuring your patients are properly scheduled than you should. There is a better way. Create the expectation that your front desk staff will properly schedule every patient, and then provide the tools needed to do it. With the right software and a little bit of guidance, “scheduling by production” can give your practice the financial results that you’ve been looking for.
Where Dental Software Comes Into Play
The right software can really make the difference, and be the tie in to keep all of your systems as well as the people who operating working together both efficiently and productively.