Do's and don'ts for scheduling

In slower economies, no-shows and last-minute cancellations often increase. In fact, we are currently receiving reports from some practices that no-shows and last-minute cancellations are increasing and beginning to cause concern. Regardless of the state of economy, it is still an excellent idea to have a plan to fill in holes and maximize scheduling opportunities.

Practice Success Do

Create simple scripting. I always advocate having simple scripting for all routine conversations. This is essential when trying to fill the holes in your schedule. Keep in mind that scripting should always include benefit statements and be positive. One positive motivational aspect of scripting to fill in holes is not to say that you had a cancellation but to say, "We had a change in our schedule."

 Practice Success Dont

Don't think of emergencies negatively. Emergencies can actually help your schedule. The front-desk staff should be ready to match emergencies with open time so that a simple diagnosis can be made and treatment can be started or even completed that day. 

Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit or email [email protected].

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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