Watch for Hidden “Time Bandits”
Dentists are usually good at spotting gaps in their schedule. If you see an available time slot without a patient name it’s easy to recognize the lost revenue opportunity. The fact is, a certain amount of this downtime is an inevitable part of every dentist’s life; however, it can be easily spotted and tracked to ensure it stays at a minimum.
But there’s another kind of downtime that’s not always so easy to see. It occurs whenever your time is not being used efficiently. For instance:
- When you’re only working out of one chair when you could have patients in two
- When you’re working out of two chairs but you don’t have an assistant in each, so you end up doing things that an assistant could be doing
- When appointments aren’t aligned properly, so you end up idle for several minutes at a time.
A few minutes here and there may not seem like much; however, if you’re producing at a rate of $300 an hour, losing just 30 minutes a day this way costs you $150. If this happens daily, you’re letting these “time bandits” sneak off with about $30,000 a year.
So by all means, work on filling those holes in the schedule. But at the same time, make sure you’re getting the full measure for each slot that is filled.