As elective medical procedures and treatments are on hold, practitioners have a lot of patients waiting to be seen. Once the quarantine is lifted and you can open your schedule back up, you’ll need a plan to fight the overwhelm of patients trying to get in. If you haven’t been using block scheduling, now is a great time to put it in place.
First, you should understand the purpose of block scheduling. This type of system is designed to help you reach your daily sales goals. Before you can reach those goals, you must determine what they are. This is going to change from month to month based on the number of patient days you can schedule.
In order to outline your calendar with the proper blocks, you need to know your monthly budget. Then, add up the patient days for the month, and divide the monthly goal by the number of days you have to see patients. Now, you’ll know your daily goal and what to fill your schedule with.
Every appointment you offer patients needs a value assigned to it. Some appointments are high production, while others have a low cost. Depending on how your practice is set up, you may have some appointments that are free to the patient. Each appointment should be placed in one of the following categories:
A primary appointment is one that will help you reach your daily sales goal. Generally, these are your higher production, therefore, higher-priced treatment options. You’ll need to determine what is considered your primary appointments based on your pricing structure.
These should be blocked off on the schedule first. It’s recommended that you place these appointments in the morning and early afternoon, so you have a better chance of reaching your goals in a day. There’s no telling from day to day which patients will drop off the schedule, which is why you want to have more than one primary appointment a day.
Secondary appointments have a dollar amount associated with them, but not a high dollar value. These are generally evaluations, exams, or something that doesn’t take require the doctor to have much time chairside. Often times, this could be treatments that are administered by assistants in the office.
Once you have the primary blocks on the schedule, you can add in secondary blocks. Now, the number of primary and secondary blocks you schedule in a day will be based on the daily goals you have set up for yourself. You’ll have to weigh that with how much the doctor can actually accomplish in a day.
A tertiary appointment has no dollar value. These could be follow-ups, free consultations, or package appointments that the patient already paid for. Once you have primary and secondary blocks placed on the schedule, you can fill in with tertiary appointments.
Once the stay at home orders are lifted, you’ll have to figure out how to fit in all of your patients that have been waiting to get in. With block scheduling, you’ll know exactly which slots to offer specific patients when you go to appoint them.
Take the time now to determine what your daily goals are, determine which categories your treatments belong in, and put blocks on your schedule. This will allow you to fill your calendar quickly, with the most production.
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