Regain control with diary zoning
When I mention diary zoning, a lot of the time I get blank stares. What is it and why would you need it?
Here are a few areas where I encounter problems in dental practices, do any of them sound familiar?
Congested reception area
Of course, under the current circumstances this won’t be the case, but think back. Did you often find your reception team dealing with a crossover of patients booking in while others were waiting to pay and rebook? While all of this was happening, the phone was probably going unanswered too.
Squeezing in emergencies
Again, this is probably less of a problem under the new SOPs, but booking in emergencies is often stressful for everyone involved. The dentist wants to ensure they can see the patient and treat as required but the time frame allowed is short and rushed and they feel under pressure.
Booking back-to-back dental exams is exhausting for clinicians because there is an awful lot of communication required during these appointments. You end up with tired dentists who understandably feel fed up.
In addition, booking long and complex appointments after lunch or towards the end of the diary is rarely ideal. Most dentists I speak to prefer to work on these cases first thing when they are feeling fresh and bright, not tired after a morning of exams. Learn how your employees like to work and structure the diary around it – it’s better for your team and fantastic for your patients.
Long waits for new patients
It is important to understand that when a new patient phones it’s a really big deal for them. They may be in pain, may have been anxiously putting off that call, or they may have been researching the best dentists and chosen you. You need to impress and they need to be able to book in without waiting weeks on end. This will always be a struggle under the current circumstances, but if we look ahead to better times, you always want to be able to get new patients in quite quickly.
Let’s sort this out!
Under the current SOPs you are probably discovering that you have a lot more control over your diaries without even trying. However, if you want to remain in charge in this way, understanding and implementing diary zoning will dramatically support you.
I love nothing more than helping practices discover how to implement an effective diary structure that allows smoother running of your practice, leading to a contented team and happy patients. You will also notice a boost in your profits, too… what’s not to love?