That’s what Dr. Spencer said when I told him about the upcoming webinar on SCHEDULING that I’ll be giving this coming Thursday evening. WHY did he say that?
Because he knows and has seen, as I have, and as many of you have experienced, how an inefficient schedule can cause the following:
1. Undo clinical stress
2. Excessive waiting
3. Unscheduled time
4. Unhappy patients
5. Frustrated teams
6. Lower production
7. Decreased profitability
When the schedule isn’t managed properly, everyone loses; the practice, the team and the PATIENTS!
So, this coming Thursday, at 8:30 PM ET, I’ll be presenting part 1 of a 3-part series on this crucial practice activity; SCHEDULING.
Why 3-parts? Because as I began to unpack the topic, I realized that it’s extremely complicated. There are so many moving parts.
1. Practice needs
2. Patient needs
3. Referral sources needs
4. Financial needs
5. Operatory limitations
6. Staffing limitation
7. Provider limitations
8. Equipment considerations
9. Supply considerations
10. Lab scheduling
And more! Someone must juggle all these factors and create a schedule that fulfills the myriad of practice needs. This is not a simple task.
Yet, in many practices, along with answering the phone, another crucial skill, these are assigned to the least trained and often least paid team member. Or worse, there are too many fingers in the pot.
And some practices, responding to the employment challenges have responded by outsourcing this very personal activity to someone who isn’t emotionally vested in the success of the practice.
THE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER ANALOGY
Imagine an airport control tower. They are responsible for making sure planes in the air can land safely and have a gate to unload their passengers. They also control the planes on ground, telling them where to go and when to take off. The goal, efficient and timely travel without CRASHING.
Incoming phones, and patient scheduling are CONTROL TOWER and TRAFFIC functions. They are best done by people who have a 360° view of the practice. IMHO, that means that hygienists nor doctors should be making appointments (aside from the fact that their time is better used being providers). It’s also too complex an issue to outsource successfully for most practices.
These are such critical functions, that a smart marketer focused his entire dental consulting business on them. The problem is that both these functions are office specific. There is NO INSTITUTIONAL FORMULA. What works for one practice might not be appropriate for another.
That’s also the reason that hiring a person with experience from another practice, without adequate training, can lead to scheduling mishaps. And even disasters. Even an experienced person, when put into a new environment must be given the ‘rules of engagement’ that are unique to your practice.
You became and had to prove “competency” in dental school for procedures that would impact people’s health. Competency in answering the phone and crafting the schedule, are just as critical for a practice’s health.
How many practices train, monitor, and then review team members’ competencies? With so many practices experiencing staff turnover, this webinar is timely and vital.
In this 3-part series, I will unpack the scheduling process, give guidelines that you can modify to your own practice’s needs and discuss how you can both test competency and review performance to optimize scheduling efficiency.
Most important, this is just as much, if not more so, for your team as it is for you, the practice owner. Your team wants to succeed. No one enjoys failure. Why not give them the tools they need to help you care for more people, more efficiently and with less stress?
When scheduling is done well, everyone wins!
To your success, Michael
P.S. While this and all Coffee With The Coach webinars are recorded, recordings are only available to Coffee With The Coach members. At only $97 a month, just one prevented scheduling or phone mishap could pay for the entire year, and then some.