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    How to lower overhead and increase productivity with optimized scheduling blocks

    Switching up how you schedule appointments can have a big impact on your practice.


    Why hourly productivity?

    Scheduling for daily or weekly productivity leads to the temptation to reach your production goals through a high volume of low production procedures rather than a reasonable volume of high production procedures.

    However, just as in the old joke, ‘making it up on volume’ is a myth. What happens when you try to cram low production procedures into your schedule? Your staff feels rushed. They’re always running behind schedule. As a result, the patients are cranky and stressed out. Your office feels chaotic, and people don’t trust you with high production procedures because there’s a sense that you can barely handle run-of-the-mill cleanings and minor restorations.

    Related article: How phone skills can make or break your practice

    When you schedule for hourly production, you can’t fool yourself into compensating with a higher volume of patients. You don’t have enough time to imagine that you can squeeze extra people in, and you don’t have the chairs to add appointments. You have to take a good, hard look at your goals for the practice and schedule accordingly.

    Hourly production goals also ensure that doctor time is being used efficiently. If you’re standing around in the hall waiting for hygienists to call you in at the end of a cleaning, you’re wasting your time. If you want your practice to be productive, schedule high production procedures for yourself. You’ll be happier, busier and less stressed because you’ll be doing the kind of highly skilled, interesting work that you went to dental school for.

    Finally, hourly production goals can jumpstart a cycle of practice growth. The sort of high production procedures that help you meet your hourly goals also create enthusiastic patients. People like you when you give them their smiles back. They’re enthusiastic when you provide them with excellent care — care that they couldn’t get at just any practice. The patients you book in you major procedure blocks are the people who will bring their families and friends to see you and who will ultimately help you grow your practice.

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    Vicki McManus Peterson, RDH
    Vicki McManus Peterson, RDH, is the co-founder of Productive Dentist Academy, a public speaker and owner of a dental practice in ...
    Bruce B. Baird, DDS
    Bruce B. Baird, DDS, one of America’s most productive dentists and leading productivity expert, practices comprehensive treatment ...


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