If there’s one topic that draws more discussion in Dentistry than any other it’s templating, or pre-blocking your appointment book.
Should we or shouldn’t we?
Well the answer is simple.
If you want a more successful practice than average, then templating is what is needed.
But if you prefer the randomness and unpredictability that no-template provides, then just keep doing that.
The thing that templating provides to your team, to you, and to your patients is structure.
And with structure comes service.
So it follows that without structure it is impossible to provide a World Class Customer Service experience to your patients.
Nobody likes disorganization.
As customers ourselves, it frustrates us.
Who likes lining up at a grocery store, at a post office and being behind one, or several customers with no idea of what they are doing who are being served by someone with not much more idea or structure?
It’s a waste of your valuable time.
Have you ever noticed that some retail businesses seem to be poorly staffed at busy times?
How do you feel as a customer when it seems that the business hasn’t really seemed to plan a service factor into their day?
It’s the same in Dentistry.
Jamming one appointment on top of another and on top of another without regard to what type of appointment best goes where and what type of day we are creating is simply a slap in the face for our team, our doctors and our patients.
Imagine doing a nice cosmetic case on a patient only for that lady to check out of your office at the same time as the six Murphy children are climbing the walls in your reception area while their mother is having the family’s first hygiene visit for the afternoon?
Maybe that could have been avoided by better planning?
Or you finally get the isolation and rubber dam in place on a molar endo you’re about to begin, and your hygienist “buzzes” you for a detailed examination down in her room?
How’s the endo patient going to chat and visit with your DA while he’s got that contraption stuck on his tooth?
Templating or pre-blocking allows you to create grace in your office rather than hysteria and pandemonium.
By knowing your production and procedure numbers from last year, you can simply plan out this year to have smooth days rather than peaks and valleys.
And that has to be more predictable for your patients, for your doctor and for your team.
Knowing that last year you performed 850 hours of restorative composites you can plan that on average, this year you are going to need to average about four and a half hours of restoration time per day.
Knowing that last year you billed four hundred and fifty crowns for the year means that on average, you should pre-block nine crown appointments per week, or three days of two crowns and one day of three crowns.
And where would you like to see those appointments?
Straight after lunch on one day?
First thing in the morning on Tuesdays?
It simply creates predictability.
For the team for the patients, for you.
Similarly in hygiene.
Two thirds of patients in regular hygiene are coming four times per year.
Knowing this allows our scheduler to plan the non-examination visits alongside the restorative appointments for the doctor where he needs to be one hundred percent there.
And that’s providing service.
A templated appointment book is simply about structure and organisation.
The whole of your life is structured, isn’t it?
Church on Sunday.
Golf on Saturday.
Wednesday is date night.
Dinner time is 7:00pm.
Why would your valuable time at the office not be as orderly?
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