Best Practices in Dental Office Scheduling

When looking at the best practices for how to arrange your schedule in a dental office, I want to start with an exercise that Stephen Covey did years ago. He filled a jar with rocks and then asked if the jar was full - some naturally said "yes". Then he added small pebbles to the jar and they fell down in the cracks and filled some additional space. He then asked if the jar was full - some said "yes". He then added sand, which fell down in the cracks and filled the empty spaces and then asked yet again if it is full. Some again said "yes". He then added water to the jar, which of course filled the extra spaces, to which he now agreed "now it's full".

If, on the other hand, you were to fill the jar with sand first and then ask the audience if it was full of course all would say "yes". With this scenario in mind, he then posed the question of, "now could you add any rocks to this jar?" The obvious answer was "no". You have no left over space to put anything into the jar.

Now if you imagine the rocks to be the larger more profitable procedures and the sand to be emergencies and other smaller procedures, it becomes obvious why someone would fill the jar with the big stuff first. The same is true of your dental office schedule. It would be wise to first put the rocks in your schedule, then the pebbles, then the sand, and then the water to best fill your schedule. This takes dedication and leadership to accomplish.

Here is how I would suggest you make this happen in your office if you don't currenlty do this. Start by envisioning your perfect day. What procedures are you doing? When would you like to do them and how many? Write this out. Now if this makes you nervous to make this change, start small. Block out a half day a few weeks out and stick to the plan. What will most likely happen is the day will fill up just like you envisioned, and you will finish the day, or half day, and then sit back thinking "WOW, that was fun and profitable." Now you will have the confidence to book another day like it.

We find when you Start With the End in Mind, and then execute on a plan, often you get the desired results. I am not promising you 100% results, but my experience is that more often than not, you will get the results you desire. Contrast this with no plan and the results from that?? Random Actions lead to Random Results.

Watch the video on this topic back at our website.

Darren Kaberna 

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