I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot to be said about creating a schedule for maximum productivity and minimum stress. Dentistry is physically and mentally demanding work; one of my dental friends recently said: “I don’t care what anyone does for a living, there is no other profession that is more physically demanding and more stressful than dentistry.” Therefore, it makes sense to do everything possible to reduce the physical and mental stress it places on our body.
I was employed in an office that had two receptionists and one manager that had absolutely no dental experience. I believe that your front-line needs experience as a number one solution in reducing stress. Even if only one employee at the front desk has experience, at least they can oversee the many issues that arise at the front line.
Let me share the issues that no experience presents. First, they don’t understand the limitations the highly productive treatment can present. They don’t know that they can’t keep adding toothache after toothache as if they don’t require any time. They don’t understand that you can’t be constantly pulled away from highly productive procedures and expect those patients to feel as if they’ve received your complete focus.
An experienced receptionist guards the time the clinical staff is hands-on during the most productive portion of the schedule. They understand that toothaches and emergencies need to be scheduled and isolated to specific times of the day. If the patient can’t come in at that time, it’s not an emergency. The highest production should be scheduled at the times the doctor feels they are most productive. Whether that be in the AM or PM is irrelevant.
In my private practice, I wanted to do crown and bridge first thing in the morning. All walk-ins, and toothaches were scheduled in double columns towards the end of the day. In contrast, as an employee of a large corporation, I observed the receptionist simply filing holes in the schedule without any thought or direction. I would find myself running from room to room and leaving the office at the end of the day thoroughly exhausted and in a mental fog.
So how does your office schedule treatment? Are you scheduling for production or are you just filling holes? If you’re just filling holes, your production and your Staff will suffer. Take the time to learn how to schedule for production and develop a happier, financially healthier dental practice.
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.