Fill holes in your schedule

Build your schedule: from reactive to proactive

When I ask offices what routines they have in place in their practices, the first they mention deal with insurance and collections. Most offices spend much more time on insurance and collections than working on their schedule. Unfortunately, when they do turn their attention to the schedule, it isn’t as part of a daily routine. It’s in reaction to the day–a front office desperately trying to find a patient to fill the 2:00 opening for tomorrow because the original patient just canceled.

So, how can you make the most of the time you do spend on your schedule? By becoming proactive rather than reactive–devoting a certain amount of time per day to call patients and schedule restorative or continuing care appointments. Building your schedule this way sometimes ends up killing two birds with one stone: you end up continuing someone’s care and filling an immediate hole in the schedule.

Now you may ask, “If we end up filling a hole, what is the difference between proactively calling patients versus reactively calling patients?” The answer is the lists that you use to call your patients from.

Dentrix list breakdown

There are different types of lists that you can work with. These include:

  1. Proactive lists–Use the “Unscheduled Treatment Plan List” to build the doctor’s schedule and the “Continuing Care List” to build the hygiene schedule. Calling out to these lists on a regular basis in order to keep your dentist’s and hygienist’s schedules full, is a great way to fill up the holes.
  2. Reactive lists–Use the “ASAP List” and “Unscheduled Appointment List”, commonly referred to as the “Broken Appointment List”. The patients on these lists are either already scheduled and want to be seen sooner, or they were once scheduled, so they may be more open to coming in at the last minute.
  3. Proactively-reactive list (it sounds confusing, but stick with me here)–Use the “Treatment Plan Manager List” to be proactively-reactive, meaning you can work to fill the lost appointment time with a treatment of the same or greater value than the treatment that was originally scheduled. This tool helps you maintain the production you need to achieve your goals. For example, if a crown appointment canceled, then you can use the “Treatment Plan Manager List” to find other patients that specifically need crowns (and even treatment planned within a certain date range) and call those patients first to fill the schedule hole.

Make time to be proactive, and make building your schedule part of your daily routine.

Learn More

If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in learning more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where these, and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas are taught to you and your team by one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches. To find out more about Dentrix Profitability Coaching, CLICK HERE.