Dos and don'ts for maximizing your schedule

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

July 13, 2009 -- Increase scheduling capacity and decrease stress

The schedule offers practices the greatest opportunity to increase efficiency. While it may appear that production capacity has been reached, the schedule may actually be functioning below the practice's potential. An inefficient schedule results in increased stress, lost production, and decreased profitability.

When redesigning your schedule, Levin Group recommends:

Use 10-minute units. Many practices are still using 15-minute units for their schedules. This costs the practice approximately seven days of treatment time every year, which means that doctors are working that much harder. Shift your practice schedule to 10-minute units immediately. Ten-minute units allow the practice to schedule procedures with a higher degree of accuracy. For example, using 10-minute units, a practice can schedule a 20-minute procedure with ease. With 15-minute units, the procedure must be scheduled either with not enough time (15 minutes) or too much (30 minutes). Ten-minute units offer greater flexibility and result in increased productivity.

Don't schedule by filling in the holes. Do the most productive things first. Block morning hours for larger cases and high-production procedures. Using this method will not only help eliminate bottlenecks and stress, but it will also ensure productivity and profitability.


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