Owning a busy dental practice is a good sign of the business' success. But a full schedule does not always mean things are running as efficiently as possible.
Like most private medical facilities, owning a busy dental practice is most definitely a good sign that your business is running properly. Normally, a busy schedule means a constant flow of patients coming in, which in turn equates to a stable revenue. Yet, running a busy schedule does not necessarily mean being efficient in managing your business. In many cases, your time management skills may have been tested to the limit. Some scenarios may even put you face-to-face with unhappy, double-booked, or unscheduled patients.
Rest assured; you’re not alone in this experience. In this article, we discuss several time management tips to help you stay on top of your game and ensure practice efficiency.
Start off by implementing a daily goal system in your dental practice. This means that during the morning meeting, whoever is in charge of appointments should communicate the daily goals for the day ahead to all hygienists on duty. For instance, your staff should know how many appointments have been booked and should be completed by the end of the day.
Additionally, your employees should all be aware of any substantial cases that may require a prolonged procedure. This enables your workforce to be correctly prepared for what’s to come and consequently helps avoid unwanted surprises. When implemented correctly, daily goals can help your business gain more time by cutting down on unforeseen administrative burdens.
Learning to delegate is a critical skill in all aspects of healthcare, including dental practices. Ideally, you should delegate tasks to those on your team who have previously shown their leadership skills. Most of the time, you will find yourself delegating key tasks to those that have been with you longer.
Still, if you’re feeling like your ship is running in full sail, yet you and your team are slowly going under, consider hiring some extra hands on deck. If needed, interns and dental assistants can give you the extra help your business needs to be functional at full capacity. Moreover, you get to give your new hires some sought-after real-life work experience, which will definitely be rewarding for them.
A sense of urgency is an important attribute that sets a good dentist apart. Encourage your workforce to complete the maximum number of tasks they can every day. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the day and still having a list of un-tackled tasks. While it may take time for all your staff to adjust to the ‘do it now’ attitude, in the long run, this will directly contribute to better overall business productivity.
When it comes to other tasks related to your practice, set early deadlines for yourself, no matter how far ahead the task seems. Late deadlines only lead to a higher chance of procrastination, and ultimately reduces your productivity. Complete whatever tasks you can now. It saves you the headache of having to rush through important duties when you have less time.
Analyze and determine the cases that come into your practice on a day-to-day basis. Are they mostly highly productive procedures like veneers, crowns, and bridges? Or are they mostly low productive procedures such as exams, adjustments, and cleanings? Ideally, you want to fill up half your day with high-productive procedures; this means more important cases get resolved first while bringing in more revenue for your practice in the long run.
Have regular meetings and promote the above-mentioned prioritization of cases to your support and administrative staff. Encourage them to book appointments according to the high-productivity to low-productivity principles.
Technology in the dental field has grown exponentially in recent years. Many different types of hardware and software are being used to digitize diagnostics, procedures, and treatments. Paper charts are also being traded for digital ones and x-ray films seem to be a thing of the past. Implementing the right technology can make your facility more efficient, more lucrative, and better at providing comprehensive dental care for patients.
Additionally, today’s technology can improve your day-to-day facility management and help you optimize your time. For instance, dental staff scheduling software can significantly lessen the amount of time you spend on managing your workforce shifts. Turning towards a scheduling app can also give you better cost control by enabling you to accurately track wages and sales. Overall, when properly implemented, technology can give you an edge over your competitors.
Let’s face it; running a dental facility comes with a lot of responsibilities, which often take away most of your available time in a day. Applying the time management tips discussed above will significantly improve your business productivity by slashing the amount of time you spend on administrative work. At the end of the day, your focus should be on providing the best possible dental service while growing your business revenue.