While I'm a HUGE basketball fan, I’m not referring to the basketball Final Four at the moment… I’m referring to the wisdom teeth Four Thirds!
In most areas, March/April is Spring Break for many schools. What does that mean to an oral surgery practice? BUSY! BUSY! BUSY! I realize in some areas of the country, spring break has changed over the years. It isn’t quite as busy as it once was. More and more people are choosing to travel over spring break instead of scheduling their wisdom teeth removal. However, I have found many areas are still getting slammed with phone calls wanting to schedule for the removal of those thirds.
Unfortunately, in many practices, your schedule is already booked with other procedures and you have few appointments available for wisdom teeth. Why is this? Your schedulers do not completely understand the importance of that time of year. Is this their fault or yours?
In most offices, I have found when their are problems with the schedule, everyone automatically will point a finger at the person or people who schedule those appointments. However, many times I find it’s because those who schedule appointments have not been thoroughly instructed on how to schedule appropriately. Now, don’t get me wrong, I also know there are those who HAVE been instructed time and time again and yet they continue to make the same mistake. So what do you do?
Obtain all of the spring break schedules for the schools in your area. You need to include the public and private schools, and of course the local colleges.
Highlight those dates on your schedule within your practice management software and review with the scheduling team.
Explain what would be an exception and ok to schedule in this time frame. Example: if a patient is having an implant placed and they are on spring break…. is it ok to schedule that patient?
Explain what would not be appropriate to schedule in this time frame and why. Example: full mouth extraction for patient NOT on spring break.
Set a time limit on when it is ok to begin scheduling other procedures in those appointment slots. Example: 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 days, etc. BE SPECIFIC.
Let your referring doctors know you are reserving time in your schedule to include last minute referrals from them. WHY? They may be seeing patients for their cleaning appointments and can tell their patients they could be seen in your office right away.
It’s not always the team members fault…. sometimes the LEADERSHIP (doctor/manager,etc) has to take the blame for poor instruction. So– Take the time to communicate with your team about Spring Break and other PRIME TIME Appointments throughout the year. Create a game plan to resolve those issues and you just may find your team in the winning bracket!