Does the schedule in your dental office going sideways more often than not? Are you and your team members running behind? Maybe we need to address some time management strategies that will make your day run more smoothly. Let's take a look at what we can start with in the office to help your day stay on time!



Let's first look at the hygiene hand off. Is it happening consistently or even happening at all? Is it effective? We'd like to have the hygienist get the diagnostics (x-rays, probing, photos and co-diagnosis) done in the first 15 minutes of the appointment. They "pre-heat" the patient to what the doctor typically calls for in similar situations. This will allow the doctor to come in any time after the first 15 minutes of the appointment and expedite the exam. How great would it be to NOT WAIT for a hygiene exam!! (Insert all hygienists clapping and cheering here!)

The time management of exams is a foundational need in an office. It is the first step in transitioning into block scheduling. This is where the doctor is efficiently working out of two or three chairs while also needing to check hygiene patients. Knowing "ideal appointment times" for each procedure is key! If your crown prep takes you 1hr 15 min, but you only allow for 1 are setting the day up for failure before it begins! Be true to the times needed for an appointment at your pace.
Sticking to the correct amount of time for a procedure will establish a great workflow. It will ensure patients will NOT be waiting in the chair for their scheduled dental procedures. It will allow the team and doctor to not be stressed while providing excellent dental care.

As a coach, often I find many offices try to fit "too much dentistry in too little of an appointment time". One kind gesture to "squeeze in" a patient and accommodate their needs will create stress and inconvenience each scheduled patient after them. Let's look at this in a different way.

How irritating is it to get into the 10 items or less line so you can get out of the store quickly only to find you are stuck behind a person with a 25 items in their cart! Don't be "that person"!

Make a conscious effort to watch your time. Set an expectation of timeliness in your office. Your team and your patients will appreciate it!


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