5 Red Flags For Your Dental Practice

Posted by on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Do you consider your dental practice a busy place? Perhaps this is a constant “buzz” about the place. The waiting room is always brimming with patients. The staff is scurrying about. Lab deliveries are a constant flow. With all that happening, you would think that your practice is operating at peak efficiency. However, a closer look might reveal that “busy” doesn’t always equate to productive. As you work through your patient load without a break, you might not be aware of all the details that are playing out in the rest of your office with regard to productivity.

Too often, a busy practice is really a frantic practice in disguise and when your staff is frantic mistakes are going to be made. It might be time to step back and take a full assessment of your practice to see what is specifically working and what isn’t working. To accomplish that task, you’ll want to consider the following red flags. If any of these issues are occurring in your dental practice it might be time to make adjustments.

Patients waiting for their appointment.

Busy waiting room isn’t always a productive waiting room. Image Souce: flickr user: Tristan Bowersox

#1 The Dentist Is Fully Booked

Every practice should be lucky to have a full patient load. However, if many of those patients are waiting for several weeks for routine procedures like cleanings and check-ups then you’re not being as productive as you should. You’re also taking the risk of alienating those loyal patients. As for the new patients, they might not want to wait so long which means they could switch dentists.

#2 No Consistency With Procedure Times

By now, you should know how long it takes to handle all of your procedures. That translates into a finite amount of time devoted to each appointment. However, you might have patients scheduled all over the map with 30, 45 or 60 minute appointments for the same procedures. This means it is time for a review of your scheduling practices.

#3 Lunch Breaks Are 10 Minutes

Things are so busy that your staff is forced to knock back a protein bar in between appointments and call that lunch. There will always be busy days when lunch isn’t possible, but this should be the exception, not the rule. If your staff keeps up that kind of pace, they’re going to burnout and that means you might be looking at staff turnover. Make breaks a priority and that includes for you as well.

Lunch time.

What a lunch break should look like. Image Source: flickr user: Megan Ann

#4 Patients Aren’t Coming Back

Of all the red flag warnings, patient retention is the one you really need to be on the lookout for. It would be nice if everyone followed the “every six month” checkup rule but that rarely happens. Is it because the patient is too busy or they aren’t happy with your services? You should have a checkup reminder system in place. Thanks to emails, this is a lot easier and affordable to accomplish. You could also conduct an informal survey among your patients to gage their feelings about the dental practice.

#5 Revenues Have Flatline

Of course, the clearest sign of your practices lack of productivity is a revenue that has flatline. It might seem like the idea of cutting back on patients and taking lunch breaks is counter-intuitive for raising revenues. Remember, the issue is improved productivity. When that happens, then you’ll see your revenues uptick. Obviously, making BiteDownDeals your go-to dental supply company is another proactive choice you can make to improve that bottom line and increase productivity. One online shopping portal for all your dental supply needs. That’s what BiteDownDeals is bringing to the table! Fix your scheduling practices and work on reclaiming those wandering patients and watch how your revenues will improve.

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