Seven ideas for dental practice efficiency
Improving efficiency at your practice is an ongoing effort. There’s always room for improvement and every system can use a tweak now and again.
Here are seven simple tips for injecting a little more productivity into your dental practice.
1. Improve your ability to accurately time procedures
There’s no such thing as a perfect schedule. Sometimes patients run over. Sometimes they finish early. But the closer you get to scheduling the right amount of time for each patient the more smoothly your day will go. Make a note every time an appointment finishes much later or earlier than the time slot you had allotted. Then, go back and look for patterns.
2. Automate appointment reminders
If you’re not sending automated text messages to your patients, you’re well behind the 8-ball on maximizing appointment confirmation efficiency. Text messages are the most effective way to ensure patients read your message. Studies have shown that 90% of all text messages are read within 30 minutes of being sent.
3. Schedule appointments at checkout
Encourage patients to schedule their next appointment before leaving your office. Even if they don’t need to be back for six months for their next cleaning, let patients know that the easiest way to schedule the best time slot is to go ahead and take care of it right now.
4. Gather patient information online
Setting up an online portal for new patients to input personal and insurance details and other data ahead of time can streamline your waiting room and reduce wait times.
5. Invest in automated billing software
While billing software can’t replace your team, you can cut man hours while streamlining processes and improving cash flow.
6. Consider hiring an extra assistant
Sharing a dental assistant between two or more dentists may not be the cost cutting measure you think it is. Hiring one assistant per chair can quickly pay for itself if it means treating additional patients over the same work day.
7. Double-check equipment for efficient utilization
Check that every piece of equipment in your practice is performing to its maximum capacity.