The summertime is notorious for being one of the busiest times of the year. With all the kids out of school and everyone wanting to look their best, the high volume of traffic can make or break a dental practice.
In order to maximize the summer season, it’s important to get new patients in for their appointments early. The preceding spring is the perfect time to establish a relationship with potential patients, thus allowing the dentist to plan treatments throughout the summer. By starting early, this will ensure that there is a flow of returning patients throughout the summer to offset any patients who may not be returning. It may also help to add more oral hygiene chairs or increase overall capacity of the dental practice to help compensate for the higher volume of patients.
Due to the sudden influx of patients during the summer, it’s also important to make sure that the dental practice is adequately trained and staffed, especially the front desk staff. They should be trained to gently enforce scheduling with patients in order to keep the dental practice productive. This will also ensure a smooth work flow is present throughout the busy workday. Even if summertime is meant for vacation, try to discourage staff members from vacationing during the busy months of June, July and August. It may also pay to open the dental practice on Saturdays, unless this is already being done. There may be some resistance to these new changes, so be sure to reward the staff for their hard work and sacrifice by planning team meals within the office.
All of the changes made prior and during the summer season can be overwhelming. Regularly reviewing the workflow of the practice can help keep things smooth all throughout. Taking and listening to suggestions from the staff can be a sign of encouragement for them, as it shows that the practice is functioning as a team and that all members of this team are important and essential to the success of the dental practice. Remember that the goal is always patient care and satisfaction, so anything done that may harm the patient must be assessed immediately. By keeping all of this in mind, the busy summer season can be a breeze.