Is Being Busy Good Enough?

Episode 040

All of us are looking to have a full and busy schedule but is that good enough? Listen in this week as I explain how I took my eye off the schedule and ended up busy…but non-productive. It’s all here on episode 40 of Business of Dentistry podcast.



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Coming off of vacation I expected to be pretty busy, that’s normal. There was one morning in particular that looked really busy and productive. But as I reviewed the schedule for that day, I realized I was going to be busy but not really productive.

Here’s what I mean: I had one patient who needed an implant fixed, I had another patient referred to me and who also needed a repeat visit to fix the same problem. The first patient needed a healing collar removed and needed sedation. The second revision was for a patient’s oro-antral communication. And yet a third patient needed an update to a previous procedure.

So these first three visits were busy but not profit-producing activities. Each appointment was to update or revise an existing problem; the patients couldn’t be charged for additional work because it was either within the scope of the original visit’s work or within the 90 day insurance time frame. In other words, these were busy appointments but not appointments that would bring in additional revenue for the practice.

I’m not complaining about these procedures, I am sharing them to highlight my mistake in allowing them to be scheduled all on the same day. Because I didn’t inform my staff on how to schedule these types of appointments – the repeat visits – we took a big hit that day and it was my fault.

If you schedule your day the way I do – heavy lifting in the morning, consults and follow-ups in the afternoon – then this is a great lesson for you to heed. Decide how you’re going to schedule these types of patients and inform your staff so they can implement your decision.

Before this happened to me, I hadn’t sat down and looked at how to spread out repeat patients like the ones I just saw. Take note and choose for yourself if you’re going to stack patients like this into one day or if you’re going to spread them out. From now on, I will be spreading them out and I have talked to my staff about how to schedule them accordingly.

And that’s your for-action item for the week: decide how you’re going to treat repeat/revision appointments and then sit down with your front desk staff to explain how you want to proceed. If you want to spread these types of visits out across a period of time, tell your staff how to do so. And if you want to stack them up on one day explain that too and explain how to schedule them.

Take a look at your upcoming week and see what’s going on. Make sure you have scheduled your appointments in a profitable and sustainable way, and train your staff on how to do so from now on. Be sure to listen to today’s episode first and then let me know how you’re going to change or update your schedule to stay busy and productive!

Tweetable: Be aware of what you have on your schedule.

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