Now is the time to stay on time.
For many Dental Practices right now your patients who are arriving for their appointments are being asked to wait outside the practice or in their car before they can enter the practice.
You all know the reason for this new and slightly strange procedure, is because you are doing everything you can to keep your patients safe and your team safe.
Limiting the number of people in your practice and patient lounge is the new COVID norm and patients are following your directions very well.
Bravo to all your amazing compliant patients!
But you need to be very careful.
Right now you while your patients are waiting for you outside, you want to avoid keeping them waiting.
You patients are NOT waiting in your comfortable, cosy and inviting patient lounge sipping on a coffee, tea or a cool beverage, they are waiting in their car, waiting outside the door on the side of the road or undercover so they don’t get wet!
So please, please don’t keep your patients waiting!
Running on time and staying on time for your patient’s appointments for treatment and care has never been as important.
Your New Patients will remember at the best of times when you are running late but if they are standing outside in the cold, they are going to remember it for a long time and probably tell the story to their family and friends or worse, write an awful google review.
I am hearing patients calling dental practices and they are so understanding and flexible right now but you must never take advantage of their kindness.
When you keep a patient waiting you are showing disrespect for your patients.
So have you been guilty of running late for patients?
Also have a good look at your patients who are always running late for appointments, it might actually be happening because they are copying your behaviour of running late for their appointments.
Are you creating the problem in the first place?
Sorry to be so abrupt about this!
What causes you to run late for appointments?
One of the biggest causes is New Patients not turning up on time and then you run over time for their appointment and keep the next patient waiting. It now has a snowball affect on the rest of the day and every patient is kept waiting.
Another cause of running late for your patient’s appointment, is when Dentists, Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists are not given enough time in the Appointment Book to complete the dental treatment and care for their patients.
So how do you keep on time?
A great way to stay on time for appointments is to always sit down with your practitioners and check if the specified time in the Appointment Book to complete treatment and care, is enough time.
I am sure you would rather allow for a bit of extra time so no one is rushed or runs late. I know the team at the front desk who are in the firing line of the patient’s frustrations when they are kept waiting, would much prefer to do this to help their practitioners and patients.
Also keep a check on the appointment book. As soon as you see a patient is late then you need to act quickly and contact them. You then need to make a quick decision as to whether the dentist can still see them for their appointment.
Another way to avoid running late is to never squeeze in patients into non appointments that can eat into the time of other patients. This is unfair to the patient you have squeezed in as the dentist may feel rushed, the patient will feel rushed and it will affect the timing of every other patient for the rest of the day.
So here are three ways to help you keep on time for your patients.
Your patients will be happier and no one will be waiting for too long in their car!
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