How busy is your dental practice? Are you busy enough? How many patients does a dentist see per day? This can range from 10 to 25, it all depends on many things.
Most dentists gauge how busy they are by how far ahead they are booked out. This means there is a long wait for returning patients with new patients turned away. This can be a catch 22 situation when you want your business to keep growing. Eventually old patients will seek out a new dentist because of the wait and new patients keep searching.
So, is being booked out weeks in advance a good way to measure how busy you are? Probably not. It depends on your definition of busy. Being busy does not mean productive. There are many more factors to consider.
What does being busy mean to you? You may feel stressed out and be keeping up a frenetic pace. Running from patient to patient with a reception area that never seems to empty. Or busy can mean a good balance between patients and being on track with your goals.
But being busy does not necessarily mean productive. At many dental practices, staff work at a frantic pace, which can mean mistakes and possible inefficiency. This will affect your bottom line. Having a schedule booked out well in advance does not always translate into productivity that equates to profits. A full schedule can be an illusion if you are wondering why the business is not meeting its financial goals.
There are tell-tale signs a dentist surgery is busy but not productive. Consider whether any of the following apply to your dental surgery:
You and the team only ever get a 10-minute break as a lunch hour.
• Staff are booked out more than three weeks ahead with patients unable to book an appointment for weeks at a time even just for a simple check-up.
• There is no system for the amount of time scheduled for different procedures. They may vary from 30 minutes up to 90 minutes.
• Reception staff have instructions to keep the schedule booked out.
• The hygienist gets booked out months ahead.
• Most of the patients are new.
• Practice revenues is not growing.
If you relate to any of these, then it is time to make changes that ensure the practice is productive as well as busy.
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