Quick Fix Tips to Fill Unexpected Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Quick Fix Tips to Fill Unexpected Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Hello Friends,

Holes in the dental hygiene schedule, why do we dread this so much? Because, unfilled appointments, canceled, or missed appointments all kill profitability.

So what do you do? You probably are desperate for a quick fix to fill the holes in the schedule. Right? Well, I’ll help you out by sharing some ideas to fill the hygiene schedule as a quick fix. However, I must say a quick fix is typically only a temporary fix. If holes in the schedule are becoming the norm around your office you need something more than a quick fix to figure out why this is happening and work to prevent your hygiene schedule from looking like Swiss cheese every week.

Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals or want to enjoy healthier and more productive schedules – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

Note, this isn’t the time to point fingers or start blaming someone for having holes in the schedule. Work together, as a team to fill these holes. Ideally, the hygienist should be involved in making these calls to patients, etc. Patients are more likely to respond when it’s their beloved hygienist calling them. Besides, the hygienist(s) are obviously the one(s) with the extra time. So the ideas I share are directed to the hygiene department with the goal of them becoming productive, happy, and profitable.  (Again, you will want to at a later date, work together as a team to determine why this is happening and create solutions to repair the breakdown.) Here are some tips for creating healthier hygiene schedules: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/09/01/ten-steps-to-create-healthy-and-productive-fall-dental-hygiene-schedules/

On to the ideas for a quick (temporary) fix:

how to fill holes in dental hygiene schedule
  • Priority List – Do you have any patients that would like to come in at an earlier date for their hygiene appointment?  Call them and let them know you have an unexpected change in the schedule (Refrain from saying you had a cancelation) and can see them sooner.
  • Cancellation/Missed Appt List – Do you have any patients on these lists that can be called? (BTW: If you’re not looking at this report each week, you should be!)
  • Family Members – Check for other family members due for their hygiene appt. Is there someone coming in with hygiene that has family members that are also due in hygiene that may want to take one of those open slots?
  • Doctors Schedule – Check the doctors’ schedule for any patients that may be due for their hygiene appt and are coming in around the time that needs to be filled in hygiene. Invite them to take care of their hygiene wellness appointment at the same time.
  • Incentives – Offer an Incentive for accepting a last-minute appointment. For example, complimentary fluoride, teeth whitening, small gift, or gift card. Use your social media platforms to announce this awesome today (or tomorrow) only opportunity.
  • Continuing care/past-due List – Get on the phone and with an enthusiastic and positive voice make some calls to your patients that are due or past due in hygiene. (Vary the times you make these calls. You’ll reach more patients this way.)
  • Social Media – Engage with your patients, potential patients, and local businesses on Facebook, Instagram, etc. For ideas see: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/11/05/dental-office-social-media-platform-tips-and-content-ideas/
  • Spend more time with your patients. If you have open time that couldn’t be filled, take this opportunity to discuss better home care tools, update their information and medical history, do full perio charting, talk about cosmetic services, any recent continuing education courses, place sealants, apply desensitizing agent to any sensitive teeth, take impressions for whitening trays, review incomplete treatment with them, ask them if they’ll kindly leave a review on Google or Facebook, mention how dental gift certificates make great gifts, etc.

Just a reminder before making any calls, it would be a good idea to check your patient’s account balance, remaining insurance benefits/any frequency limitations, and review their clinical notes. Also, be sure to document all calls, conversations, and correspondence made to or with the patient.

Note: If at all possible, try to avoid moving patients’ appointments around to fill in gaps. It can aggravate the patient. It’s always best to keep their appointment as scheduled – they reserved that time for a reason.

If the holes in your schedule are a few weeks out you can try these ideas:

  • Reactivate Patients – Send out “We Miss You” letters to your patients that haven’t been in for a year or more.
  • Special Offers – Focus on a particular service or group of patients to target with special offers or prizes on a day that has a lot of holes. For example, Mouthguards  / Teeth Whitening / Sealants / Desensitizing Agents / Back to School / Spring Cleaning / Kids day / Senior day.
  • Fun Themed days – Superhero, Luau, BBQ, Western, Decades Day, Disney, Sports, etc.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Despite your best efforts to fill the schedule, you may still end up with some holes that just couldn’t be filled. No worries, there is plenty to do to remain productive during this time.

During downtime:

  • Get on the phone and make continuing care calls.
  • Pull Incomplete hygiene treatment reports and call, send postcards, emails, texts, or letters to your patients.
  • Make calls, send emails, postcards, letters, etc. to your patients that are due, past due, or almost due in hygiene.
  • Create some fun and educational Videos – (how to brush, how to floss, what to do in a dental emergency? how much sugar is in your drink? What type of mouthwash should you use? Manual vs Electric Toothbrush, Healthy vs Unhealthy Snacks, Why wear a mouthguard, what type of toothpaste is best? etc.)
  • Thoroughly clean and stock treatment rooms.
  • Get out and visit area businesses. Introduce the office, take them a small gift and a “let’s get acquainted” special offer.
  • Discuss some marketing (practice growth) ideas for the office.
  • Continuing Education. Watch a webinar or video, read a manual, etc. Improve your clinical skills, knowledge of new technology and procedures, telephone scripting, office protocols, etc.
  • Take a tour of the office and look for any areas that could use some improvements, cleaning, and changes.

I hope these ideas provide you with a quick fix to fill those holes in your schedule.

Here are some tips for reducing last-minute changes to the hygiene schedule: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/03/31/dental-office-tips-and-ideas-to-reduce-same-day-broken-appointments/

It always brightens my day to hear from you! If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please take a minute to leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.  Thank you!!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest

Dental Office Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for April 2022

Dental Office Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for April 2022

Hello Friends,

Now is the time to welcome Spring and your second quarter for this year. Be sure to review your plans to make this second quarter your best one yet!  What are your plans to exceed your patients’ and potential patients’ expectations? Ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page.

Remember that it is most important to consistently exceed your employees’ expectations. We all need a work environment and culture that refreshes us instead of being a drag and a drain on us.

(Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest)

One of the most common issues that I hear from dental employees is that they don’t feel appreciated. Feeling a lack of gratitude is often the main reason why they leave their employer or suffer a decline in positivity and productivity.

National Fun at Work Day: 1st – Do something different, unexpected, and fun today. Have a silly theme for this day. (For example, Crazy hair, silly socks, decades day, etc. POST pictures on Facebook and Instagram)

National Mani-pedi Day: 25th – How about treating your employees to a mani-pedi spa day?

Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals or want to improve the culture and spirit of your practice – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

Administrative Professionals Week: 24-30 – This is the week to go above and beyond with your appreciation for your amazing, hard-working business employee or team!

See Employee Appreciation Ideas Here: Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas Pinterest Board

Are you looking for Dental Marketing and Practice Growth Tips & Ideas for April? Check these out: April 2022 Dental Marketing Ideas / Oral Cancer Awareness Month Ideas / Baseball Season Tips & Ideas

Create Healthy Hygiene Schedules

Hygiene Continuing Care Reminders – Reach out to your unscheduled hygiene patients. Do you know how many of your active patients are also active in hygiene? How many have a scheduled appointment and how many are unscheduled? Here is an opportunity to make a special effort to reach out to your unscheduled hygiene patients…

Cleaning For a Reason Week: 18th -24th – Turn this into an “it’s time (past-time) for your spring dental health cleaning, examination, and oral cancer screening appointment” reminder.

Keep in mind, the best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene visit when they are there at the office. Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time of treatment presentation.

I hope you enjoyed the ideas that I’ve shared here.

It always brightens my day to hear from you! If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please take a minute to leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.  Thank you!!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

October National Dental Hygiene Month Tips and Ideas

October National Dental Hygiene Month Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

October is National Dental Hygiene Month – This is the time of the year where we celebrate the work our awesome dental hygienists do (which is way more than just “clean teeth”), and we help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health.

Hygienist Appreciation Spotlight

During the month of October introduce your hygienist(s) on your social media platforms. Share a photo and some fun facts.

Celebrate your amazing hygienists all month long (they deserve it!).

The Daily 4 – Talk to your patients about the importance of practicing The Daily 4

Four steps that lead to a healthy smile:

  1. Brush: Using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste – Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day.
  2. Floss: Floss between your teeth once a day to remove plaque that brushing your teeth fails to remove.
  3. Rinse: Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash helps to reach the bacteria that brushing, and flossing cannot.
  4. Chew: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal will help produce saliva, which fights cavities, neutralizes plaque, strengthens enamel, and cleans food debri from teeth.

Social Media Post Content Ideas to Boost Engagement During October

All month-long share posts and short videos on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist.  

Video Topic Ideas:

  • Proper Brushing Techniques
  • How to Floss
  • Benefits of Sealants
  • How to choose toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.
  • Good Snacks Bad Snacks
  • How Fluoride treatments benefit children and adults!
  • What do to about bad breath

World Smile Day: 1st – Invite your patients to share pictures of themselves, their family, and/or their pets smiling on your Facebook page to be entered into a drawing to win a prize.  Goal: fill FB newsfeed with happy smiles!

Photo Backdrop & Smiley Props – Set up a photo area for your team and patients to take pictures to celebrate world smile day. Share to Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram

National Kick Butt Day: 11 

International Kissing Day: 20-21 

For other social media content and marketing ideas for October visit here:  October Marketing (Growth) Tips & Ideas

Kids’ Goal Setting Week: 3rd – 9th – Share ideas for dental hygiene goals for children.  For example, for your young patients, design a hand-out that includes a toothbrushing chart to track their daily brushing progress. You could even have a fun gift that they can enter to win by turning in their completed brushing chart to the office at the end of the month.

National Orthodontic Health Month – See ideas here: Orthodontic Health Month Tips & Ideas

Ideas of Special Offers during the month of October

Complimentary Adult Fluoride Treatments

Free Electric Toothbrush for your New Patients seen in Hygiene

Gift Of Health Certificates (for your patients to share with a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member.)

Hygiene Department Management Tips & Ideas

Hygiene Re-Appointments – The best way to keep your patients active is to be sure to reappoint them for their next hygiene continuing care visit when they are there at the office and still in the treatment room.

Also, help more of your patients say yes to your treatment recommendations and have them reserve their appointment at the time treatment is diagnosed and presented to them. 

You should be tracking both your pre-appointments and your re-appointments.  This is important if you want to reduce patient attrition and reduce the amount of money and time spent trying to reach these patients later on down the road.

Reduce holes in the hygiene schedule – See tips & ideas here: How to Reduce Broken Appointments

If you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month –  I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second and share a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK Thank you very much!!!

Wishing you all a wonderful dental hygiene month!

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest