An inefficient dental practice will eventually lead to higher outgoings, a poor quality of service, and a damaged reputation. Luckily, there are several ways to improve the efficiency and productivity of your operation which don’t have to cost much at all. Of course, improving efficiency at your practice should not impact on the time and quality of care that your patients receive. In fact, by reducing the amount of time you spend on unnecessary tasks, you can free up more time to improve your service. If you’re trying to improve efficiency at your dental practice, here are five ways which could set you on the right path.
1. Start the day with a team meeting
At the beginning of each day, you should meet with yourteam to go over the day ahead. This includes going through the key tasks for the team and priorities for the practice, in general, to ensure everyone understands to needs of the day. This way, you can identify any potential problem areas which could lead to inefficiencies such as refilling canceled appointments.
2. Reassess procedure times regularly
Each dental procedure will usually take a similar period of time to complete so you will know roughly how much time to allocate for an appointment. It’s important to review your operation every six months to ensure that you are keeping to that schedule. If not, you may need to adjust your appointment scheduling. Of course, it's essential to allow additional time in some cases where patients are nervous or where there may be complicating factors.
3. Reduce no-shows and late patients
A lot of time can be wasted when patients fail to attend their appointments, but there are ways to tackle this issue and minimize the likelihood of this happening. For example, by introducing RecallMax dental appointment reminder software, you can send your patients reminders and automated messages. If a patient can’t make their appointment, the reminder will prompt them to rearrange it. In addition, the system is a personal assistant for your team enabling you to manage treatment plans and fill short-notice cancellations to improve your practice’s efficiency.
4. Standardize set-up procedures
One of the more time-consuming tasks in a dental practice is the need to set up new tools in between appointments. To minimize the time this takes, your hygienists and assistants should develop a standardized system which ensures tasks are carried out as efficiently as possible.
5. Minimize paperwork
If your new patients are still filling out paper forms in order to register at the practice, you should consider switching to a paperless system. If patients can enter their details on a mobile device like a tablet, it will usually be quicker. Therefore, they are spending less time in the waiting room, and you can get to their appointment quicker. Rather than having to contact patients after they have left to book their next appointment, your front desk should attempt to arrange their next appointment before the patient leaves. This will save time and administration at a later date.