Great time management can make all the difference in many businesses, and a dental office is no different. The practice that maintains good appointment times and makes optimum use of employee time will retain patients and lower costs, reducing leakage of labor and other resources and keeping the bottom line strong. These three strategies can help your dental practice make the clock your friend, not your enemy.
Allocating Time Appropriately
In any type of scheduling situation, we often feel obligated to fit in as many clients as possible. The problem that emerges in a medical environment–like a dental practice–is that unpredictable delays can emerge. A routine appointment can quickly grow to double or triple its anticipated size, pushing every subsequent appointment further and further behind. Use historical data to calculate a typical appointment length, then schedule accordingly.
Using AI Technology
Many of the tasks performed by front-desk staff are repetitive and unskilled. Your office personnel may have even said the work could be performed by robots. With artificial intelligence technology, you can actually come very close to that. AI technology can conduct reminder calls, patient check-in, and countless other simple tasks that otherwise would have required that your workers pull away from more skilled work. Taking on conversational AI software solutions can save a huge amount of labor.
Adopting Electronic Medical Records
Many long-standing dental practices conduct business the same way they have for decades. This includes the familiar color-coded folder tabs, neatly filed in racks and racks of drawers. You may think the process you have used for years is efficient and simple, but one look at how you could be doing it will probably change your mind right away. EMR allows simple, paper-free access to patient information. It can be backed up locally or in the cloud, and it’s easy to transfer as patients relocate or visit specialists.
Making a business efficient is all about striking a balance between using time and wasting time. Every hour of work that you perform should be optimized to yield the maximum productivity, without wasting your skills and experience on tasks that could be performed more simply with technology.
Efficiency also counts on using your patients’ time wisely, minimizing their waiting time while maintaining the regular contact it takes to keep them current on appointments and medical information. Good data and improved technology can go a long way toward converting your efforts from wasteful to efficient.