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Top Secret Tips for Increasing Productivity In a Dental Office!
Have you ever wondered what can increase productivity in a dental office? Now that anyone can rate and review any business, we have to be more careful than ever about the quality of the services we provide. Waiting rooms should be a dental clinic’s last resort. Ideally, patients will arrive right when dentists are free to receive them and leave a few minutes before the next appointment.
One of the ways we make sure a clinic is productive is by setting up responsive dental websites that are easy to use. Patients should be able to set up appointments quickly and intuitively from any kind of device. On the other end of the interaction, dentists should be able to confirm their availability and incorporate the appointments into their existing schedules.
If the system isn’t working smoothly enough at your dental clinic, you’ll see it in your staff’s behavior. They may be rushing to process patients, to the point of missing obvious dental issues. On top of that, dentists may skip their breaks and even meals — which is sure to make them less alert. Those kinds of poor business practices often inspire the patients who are stuck in your waiting room to post negative reviews.
So if the other symptoms of an unproductive business don’t phase you — that probably will. But how do we take charge in a situation like that?
What Can Increase Productivity In a Dental Office? Tips from Experts
Most business owners have a basic idea of things that could maximize performance. They might understand that having fewer meetings has been shown to encourage productivity. That much is pretty obvious. Then again, some business productivity tips, like reducing overtime, may seem counterintuitive to people who are looking to increase patient turnover.
But ultimately, the ideas that seem too simple are the ones we should be considering. One of the most underrated things we can do to increase productivity in a dental clinic is to delegate tasks.
It’s tempting to try to handle everything yourself, especially when you’re first establishing a business. However, if you hire someone to handle the phone and oversee other scheduling tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on the patients.
On the other hand, if you’re in charge of managing several dentists in your clinic, stick to that. Don’t try to micromanage everyone’s activities — just focus on doing your part of the job. But while delegation is an important lesson to learn as a business owner, others are just as valuable.
Quote: “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” — Nathan W. Morris
Optimize the Treatment Area and Tools
If you’re not sure what can increase productivity in a dental office, you might as well start with the basics. Optimize the layout and design of the clinic to make it more pleasant but also more efficient to move around in.
When patients arrive, your front desk staff should be able to direct them to the treatment areas even before their dentist indicates where they need them. To ensure that the business is running as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to encourage communication between these staff members.
Of course, there are other ways to use the layout of the dental clinic to promote productivity. Improving the lighting and bringing in new artwork and plants will certainly energize both patients and staff members. Additionally, using up-to-date dental supplies will make everything from regular check-ups to more complicated procedures easier for everyone involved.
Give Staff Members Extra Time Between Patients
When the front desk staffers are scheduling appointments, it’s important to consider the dental staff. Ideally, each staff member should get about ten minutes more with each patient than is strictly necessary. That way, they’ll be able to stick around if needed and still make it to their next appointment.
Better still, they’d have regular breaks between each patient — if everything goes smoothly. Of course, before you can implement that kind of system, you’ll want to track how much time everyone spends on their usual tasks.
Use Technology to Maximize Productivity
If your dental clinic hasn’t fully transitioned to digital files, what are you waiting for? If you’re wondering what can increase productivity in a dental office, you might as well start there. At the end of the day, you don’t want to waste time interpreting and organizing hand-written patient notes.
Instead, we recommend digitizing your schedule — everything from shifts and attendance to vacation requests. Investing in good software will even save money in the long run. Just think of the folders, charts, paper supplies, and storage space you won’t have to pay for!
Decent scheduling software will also allow staff members to set up follow-up appointments while patients are still in the room. Alternatively, if the patient doesn’t schedule their next check-up, we can use an automated texting program to let them know when they’re due for a visit.
The internal software we use can also be connected to a website. Responsive dental websites automatically detect what kind of device the user is using and adapt the site accordingly. You can read more about how this advanced SEO technology works on Google Search Central — but that’s the gist of it.
Most dental clinics are already using this kind of website design, so we suggest that you transition to it as soon as possible too. While you’re at it, there’s one more way to use technology to maximize your productivity. Namely, you can always incorporate online payment platforms. That should allow the front desk staff to quickly process patients on their way out of the clinic.
Fix Up the Waiting Room
As we have previously established, the goal should be to have patients coming in and going straight into the dental chair. The less time they have to spend in the waiting room, the fewer negative reviews you’ll be likely to get. Still, we have to account for unforeseen circumstances.
If some patients pop in unexpectedly and throw off your schedule, you’ll want to have a waiting room that’s pleasant to hang out in. Aside from nice furnishings, you should offer drinks and free Wi-Fi access too. Having some artwork and a few plants in there won’t hurt either! It may even give your staff members some extra energy.
Above All: Ensure Patient Satisfaction and Encourage Feedback!
Even if you don’t want your patients writing negative reviews, you should encourage feedback. Claim your business profile on Google, Yelp, and other review sites, and share some of the reviews with staff. That will let them know how they can provide the best experience to the next patient that walks in.
And if you’re still wondering what can increase productivity in a dental office, think of it as a three-part equation. First, you’ll need to optimize the space and tools your staff members are using — including the scheduling software. Additionally, you should give your staff plenty of leeway between patients. And lastly — if your patients do end up in the waiting room — try to make their stay as enjoyable as it can be.