5 Tips for Increasing Dental Office Productivity
Peter Li - Chief Evangelist
The real art of dentistry comes from putting your patients first. If you’re bogged down by the tasks in your office, you likely find yourself distracted by how your practice is operating. Improving the way work is done during business hours has a massive impact on your bottom line. Keeping productivity at its peak means a better use of your time, a steadier stream of revenue, and even happier patients.
Keeping with the themes of productivity, let’s jump right into our tips for speeding the processes of your practice!
- Mind Your Schedule
Conventional wisdom says that a full schedule is good for the bottomline, but an overflowing schedule can also be hurting your office’s productivity. The average dental appointment takes just under an hour to wrap up, typically representing cleanings, fillings, and check-ups. Understanding how accurate your schedule is can lead you to discover unknowns for how you spend your day.
Over the span of a few weeks, track your appointments for how long you expect, and how long they actually take. You might find that you’re able to fit in extra appointments, or that removing one from an overbooked schedule gives you the time to review your notes that keep you well past closing time.
- Declutter Your Space
When you consider what clutter is, a desk buried under paper might be the first thing to come to mind. In reality, clutter is everywhere, and it’s slowing down your productivity. Take your waiting room, for example.
When your patients enter the office, is the reception desk near the front door? Is there enough open space to keep people moving? Making sure that it’s easy to get around means people are less likely to loiter while waiting, and your office can keep moving.
- Invest in Administration
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to drum up new business without spending your time on marketing to new patients. Positive word of mouth happens when you’re focused on your patients, and they’re getting 100% of your attention. When someone feels like they’re the most important person during their appointment, they let their friends and family know.
A one-man-army might save on overhead, but being distracted by phone calls or scheduling appointments means a patient is not getting your full attention. Make sure that your office is properly staffed with people that can take the mundane work off your hands and make your minutes count.
- Patient Questionnaires
Checking in with your patients directly after a visit while their experience is fresh in their minds can give you insight into how they interpret your process. If you haven’t taken the plunge into text messages yet, check in to see if your patients would prefer follow up as a text. Texts are much faster and easier for reception, and more likely to get a response and appointment booking.
You can also take the time to learn if they’d be interested in online scheduling, or alternative ways of tackling treatment plans.
- Go Paperless
If you’re leasing or renting the space for your business, think about how much real estate your papers and records are eating up. On top of that, maintenance always becomes a huge imperative, where extra effort must be paid to ensure that nothing is misfiled. By utilizing a digital library, you remove the risk of delaying appointments to search for something that wasn’t put away correctly.
With cloud or remote access, you’ll find yourself making every moment count by instantly accessing x-rays and patient records on a mobile device instead of getting up to run to your little library.