Bringing on new administrative staff is an excellent and exciting way to grow your practice, improve daily operations, and boost patient care. Making sure they receive proper training is crucial to achieving daily production goals.
One of the most important things office staff should know how to do is scheduling. Unfortunately, dental scheduling training comes with unique challenges.
Before the technology era, dental scheduling required office staff to take phone calls or schedule appointments in person. Now, a dental practice can use online dental scheduling to make everyone's job easier. While online scheduling requires less effort from the staff, it is still crucial for them to understand the best scheduling practices.
Below are some tips for training new and existing team members on scheduling dental appointments to maximize efficiency and productivity.
Review the Significance of Block Scheduling
Block scheduling is an excellent way to achieve quota goals and create a more organized schedule. Block scheduling reserves certain times of the day for complex or longer procedures.
Many dental offices do this by scheduling primary care appointments in the morning and secondary care after lunch. Primary care refers to dental treatments requiring lab work or tooth prep, which need longer appointment times. Secondary care is routine procedures like cleanings or fillings.
One way to maximize dental scheduling training for blocks is by color coding the schedule. Color coding blocks for different services make scheduling appointments easier for administrative staff. Not only does this improve office efficiency, but it also helps your team achieve production goals.
Have Production and Revenue Goals
No dental scheduling training is complete without discussing objectives. Remind staff how block scheduling helps your office achieve revenue and production goals.
Every dental office should outline specific production and revenue objectives. Although your dental practice's primary focus is providing exceptional dental care, it is still a business. You need revenue to grow and provide better oral health care to more patients.
Establish a realistic objective and put a date on it. Start by devising a goal for the end of the year. Then, determine daily, weekly, or monthly objectives to help you attain it.
Achieving these goals does not mean filling your schedule with lengthy, complex procedures. Your patients need a wide array of treatments, from routine cleanings to oral sedation. A balance of services allows you to deliver adequate patient care while attaining fiscal objectives and revenue growth.
Everyone in the dental practice has a role. For example, the administrative staff is responsible for scheduling and customer service, while dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists directly treat patients.
Knowing who does what in the office can help staff create better schedules and track appointments. For example, administrative staff should know which dentists and hygienists perform certain procedures and approximately how long they take.
Understanding these roles can help staff members schedule better by knowing who is available each day and what treatment times will look like.
Aim to Reduce No-Shows
No-shows and last-minute cancellations are the most significant reasons for scheduling problems. Although these issues are no fault of the staff, you can train team members on how to address them to maintain office efficiency.
For example, appointment reminders are an excellent way to reduce broken appointments and protect daily revenue. Team members can send reminders via email, phone call, or text message, depending on your office's system.
In addition to appointment reminders, office staff should be familiar with the no-show and cancellation policies. They should also be able to relay this information to patients to ensure a clear understanding of what happens when they miss their appointments.
Remember the Value of Customer Service and Communication
Whether scheduling online, over the phone, or in person, customer service is vital. Your front office staff are the first people patients meet when they walk through your doors. As such, they should have excellent communication and customer service skills.
Customer service requires more than a friendly attitude and a welcoming smile. Your office staff should also know how to handle difficult customers, especially when scheduling.
Take Your Dental Practice to New Heights with Dental Intelligence
Effective dental scheduling training is key to boosting office efficiency and improving patient care. However, it is not the only thing your dental practice needs to thrive.
Growing a dental practice requires increasing revenue, improving reputation, and achieving maximum efficiency. At Dental Intelligence, we have the tools to help you succeed.