Practice Management

When Patients Cancel Appointments

How you schedule in your dental practice can significantly impact productivity. If patients are arriving late, not showing up at all, or moving their appointments a lot, you may have a minor crisis on your hands.

There’s no reason to stress when efficiency is only a few simples changes away:

Efficient Practice Scheduling

Scheduling effectively is largely determined by how much patients value your services. Are you and your dental team doing your part to make patients feel respected, cared for, and treated with the highest level of attention possible? Do your patients understand what services are provided during a hygiene appointment? Do they value oral healthcare or know how it can affect the entire body? Do they understand their individual risk factors and how routine care supports managing and minimizing these risks?

All of these are questions you should ask before going out and searching for answers to a mysterious lack of practice growth. Also, you should consider how you set up the daily schedule. Are you moving more intensive cases to the beginning of the day when you and your team are fresh? Do you have enough energy, are you arriving late to the operatory, are you running behind? If patients feel like you aren’t respectful of their time they may not be respectful of yours.

The simple change is to engage your team more. Are your hygienists and dental assistants taking the reigns as much as they can for procedures and managing the schedule? Are they an integral part of developing patient relationships, creating ownership and building an atmosphere where patients want to keep their appointments? The team is also a key component of schedule flow. Are they being utilized effectively to complete clinical procedures? This can be a key to maximizing your productivity without chronically running behind.

Have your hygienists complete their assessments at the beginning of appointments so you can drop in whenever it’s most convenient. That way patients aren’t waiting for you if you get trapped in a complex situation. All of the above are ways in which your schedule could be improved.

How do you maintain steady growth and increased productivity on a yearly basis? Please let us know your favorite tips or recent changes! Also, we have a feeling you’ll love this blog on setting splint therapy fees … 

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