June 21, 2016
by Kahaliah Richards
DOWNTIME: What happens when patients cancel or just fail to show up? This is especially a problem in hygiene (which patients often skip because, after all to them, “It’s just a cleaning”), but it affects the whole practice.
Think of Downtime as a Percentage: Downtime is the share of non-productive time your practice incurs each day. No-Shows + Cancellations + Open Time Slots = Non-Productive Hours. In a given month, if you have four hours of no-shows, five of cancellations and six of open units, 15 of your available 128 monthly hours (11.7%) are unproductive. That’s a huge impact on your productivity.
Some slack on the line is inevitable, of course, but ideally, no practice should go above 5% to 6% downtime in the restorative department or 8% to 10% in hygiene. If you’re higher, you should try to reduce that figure by 1% a month.
Does this sound difficult? It’s doable if you implement a cancellation policy of two business days; confirm appointments according to a patient’s preferred communication method (email, text, phone, etc.), and don’t reward chronic schedule abusers by offering next-day fixes for them. Your time has to be seen as being important too!
The customer is always right, of course, but it’s incumbent upon your patients to meet you halfway. You’ve got a business to run, after all — and these precision tactics will help you do exactly that.
To learn more specific details and implement systems and protocols about how you can reduce cancellations and no shows to increase productivity, reduce stress and live a more balanced lifestyle, we welcome you to contact TGNA for assistance. Our team of professional dental coaches work across North America to help dental practices like yours. Simply email email@example.com or call toll free 1-800-345-5157 to contact us. We’re here to help you and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Lisa Philp, RDH
Lisa is the Chief Visionary Officer of TGNA – Transitions Group North America. Lisa is committed to being an eternal student in the areas of personal growth, leadership, change management, human capital potential, adult learning, advanced training techniques and communication skills. Lisa is also one of TGNA’s highly demanded speakers delivering engaging, dynamic seminars that add value and foresight to dental teams across North America.