Next Generation Dental Appointment Scheduling

Let’s face it, since we moved from the paper appointment book to having the schedule on computerized software, not much has changed in dental scheduling.

Sure, there’s been designing the ideal day, pre-blocking for appointment types, etc. Heck, I’ve been teaching that for the past 30 years.

Here’s the on-going challenge: Even with an excellently planned ideal day, pre-blocks in place, appropriate daily/monthly production goals that are reflected in the ideal day pre-blocks and myriad other approaches, why aren’t dental practice consistently meeting their production goals? Why are so many practices riding the roller coaster of one day being very productive and you leave invigorated, only to be followed by a day that has far too many patients scheduled, production is well below goal and you leave exhausted at the end of the day?

And what about the learning curve when you hire a new scheduling coordinator? I’ve seen many excellent administrative employees hired that do not have a dental background and based on their positive attitude and willingness to learn they grow into valued team members. However, there is a significant learning curve on the scheduling which, of course, has a detrimental impact on the practice.

The roadblock to the success of appointment scheduling is the reality of the situation. An appointment administrator is in the thick of the action; patients coming and going, phones ringing, other team members needing to convey information, outgoing calls to be made; in other words, non-stop activity occurring at a fast pace. In this setting it’s no wonder that fitting the designated treatment in the appropriate production block takes a back seat to simply getting the patient in the schedule, anywhere, quickly. The pressure of “get the patient in ASAP” trumps abiding by the ideal day template. In other words, the human response to all that’s going on does not always align with the goals and objectives that have been designed for the schedule.

After years of providing the best scheduling protocols, helping to calculate production goals, and developing the ideal day schedule along with pre-blocks, what I’ve determined is that there has to be a better way to accomplish effective scheduling. With the advances in technology that have benefited other aspects of the dental practice, it only would make sense that the next generation of growth in scheduling had to be out there…and it is!

DDS, Dynamic Dental Scheduling, utilizes a robust algorithm, essentially a “plug and play” template that lays over your existing practice management software (no integration, therefore no HIPAA concerns!) enables you to achieve all of your scheduling objectives in an easy and simple manner. I know, sounds too good to be true. However, I can’t ignore the success that practices are having using DDS. Another piece of “too good to be true” is that there is no contract. Once you have completed your set up (Done remotely. We will walk you through the set-up questions that allow you to customize to your practice, regardless of number of doctors, number of operatories, production goals, etc.)

As a dental practice management consultant, I am very excited about the results practices are obtaining using this next generation of scheduling tools. It certainly makes sense to utilize AI to help achieve the best results, while supporting team members as they schedule.

Now that we’ve left that bulky appointment book behind, let’s move into the next generation of scheduling. Easy, simple and consistent outcomes. Here’s to your success with a schedule that supports all you’ve always wanted it to.

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