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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.

    You’ve run the numbers, and you just can’t make them work. You’re sure that you can’t increase productivity any further without expanding your practice and increasing overhead. But you’re not sure that’s a step that you’re ready to take. Are you really in a place where you can hire more staff, add bays and procedures, and buy new equipment? Do you want to take on more debt at this point in your career?

    If you’re feeling the tug toward expansion but you want to reduce risk, it’s time to look for ways to increase productivity and lower overhead in the short-term so that you can expand in the long-term.  One of the most efficient ways to increase your hourly productivity while reducing or holding steady on overhead is to change how you schedule appointments in your practice.

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    How to know when it’s time for a schedule retool

    Practices grow and change over time. Your patient mix develops, you become locally known for certain procedures, and your days develop a rhythm. As your staff becomes accustomed to your needs and the routines, it’s easy for everyone to go into autopilot mode. You keep doing the same things in the same way, not because they’re efficient or productive, but because they’re what you’ve been doing for a while.  When was the last time you took a step back, looked at the whole picture, and made sure your schedule and production goals fit your current needs?  Since your last scheduling retool, have you:

    • Hired new staff members to either replace retirees or expand your practice?

    • Added new services?

    • Adjusted your hours?

    • Rearranged your bays and cabinets?

    • Added chairs?

    • Grown your patient base?

    • Used the current scheduling system for more than a year?

    If your situation has changed but your scheduling hasn’t, you’re probably missing out on productivity gains. When you schedule efficiently for hourly productivity, your practice runs more efficiently, staff are engaged and happy, and you don’t have wasted overhead costs.

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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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