How many patients can I squeeze into the day? The most common refrain among dentists and office managers alike. The business of a dental practice is built on providing quality oral health care to as many people as the day can hold. Patient care will always be the bread and butter of the industry, but as your practice grows, finding opportunities to increase productivity can mean saving the business money, or even freeing up plenty of time. Regardless of your practice size, we have recommendations for finding savings in your office.
Trusting Your Specialists
Whether hygienist, technician, or other, your specialists have insight into how your office is being run. Each of these jobs represent an important part of your finely tuned practice machine. The ability for any dentist and specialist in an office to wrap up their appointments in a timely manner has a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
Finding the time to review a process, or even frustrations in a process, can net you valuable minutes each and every day. These grievances can often be based on having to chase down misplaced charts or incorrect x-rays. Those delays lead to frustrations for staff and patients alike, nevermind realizing you don’t have a periodontal probe ready when you need it.
When tools are easily accessible, and there is a single source of information like digital records, no one is scrambling to find allergy lists or up-to-date x-rays, your office starts to run like an expert orchestra.
Patients per Hour
For most offices and clinics, this question is about who is being served. For practices focused on productivity, this is about patients overall. You can only care for so many patients in the average 9-5 day, and capitalizing on this means your front desk staff need to fill as many units of productive time as possible while fighting cancellations and hard to reach patients.
While receptionists are busy on the phone confirming patients for their cleaning, they may be spending upwards of five minutes between scheduling and leaving voicemails. Texting is already proving to be more reliable for engaging customers, but with a system that supports automated reminders, you’ve freed up an hour or two each day to focus on the patients in the office. Restructuring the workload also frees time to focus on problem patients that might be most reluctant to step foot in your office.
The Express Intake Lane
Do you know how long it takes for your patients to check in? What about update their insurance info, or changing their address? Keeping and maintaining an in-depth set of records for your patients is everything, including being able to reliably bill and charge. Checking or updating records isn’t just a minute or two delay before an appointment starts, it can be a delay of hours or even days when you realize that the wrong paper record was filed and patient hasn’t answered the last two calls your receptionist made.
With electronic records, you never run the risk of filing the wrong record, since there is only their one record. If your entire office supports easy access to information, with tablets or small screens next to where you treat patients, you can confirm information at multiple points, rather than risk it not coming up in conversation with the front desk.