How to optimise your appointment book in the current climate

How to optimise your appointment book in the current climate

The ongoing pandemic and recent increase in cases due to the new Omicron COVID-19 variant has added further pressure on the dental industry. 

With the impending staff shortages ahead of testing requirements and increase in COVID-related short notice patient cancellations, we want to help you respond to recent events and best prepare so you can continue delivering dentistry safely to those in need. Today we will be addressing some simple steps that you can undertake to ensure you have a foolproof workflow that not only optimises your appointment book but minimises disruption, should obstacles arise:

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  1. Utilise an Online Booking system

    Allowing your patients to schedule their appointments independently using an Online Booking system means that open appointments, particularly due to COVID-19 last minute cancellations, can be accessed swiftly and safely.

    For your patients, they will be able to book a new appointment at a time that suits them, ensuring that their oral health is maintained, once their isolation period has ended for example..
  2. Ensure the patients who are attending are attending safely

    Streamline this process and enhance the patient experience by ensuring COVID screening forms have been filled out prior to their appointment using Patient Experience. Ensuring that all other required forms are filled out remotely and pre-appointment will further limit the risk of cross-infection when in practice and keep both your team and patients as safe as possible - again, reducing the possibility of team members having to isolate or having to close the practice due to widespread infection rates.
  3.  Set up Short Notice Cancellation lists within EXACT 
    With dentistry still in high demand despite the current state of play, practices need to take action to protect chair time by using Short Notice list cancellations.

    Doing so will ensure that critical gaps can be filled by patients who are safe to enter the practice and have ultimately been waiting for your essential services, with those who have made the cancellation being assured that their oral health is still a priority by getting booked back in ASAP - minimising friction and any possibility of prolonged dental problems.

    If you have appointment gaps in the future, you should also consider focusing on recalls to fill those critical gaps. When using SMS it on average takes 7 messages to fill a gap at short notice, saving your team additional admin and time that can be better redirected to patient care.

You can access further training and tips on Short Notice Cancellations via our EXACT e-learning portal

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At Henry Schein One we want to help you not only respond to the current challenges but to also prepare for the future.

To learn more about the practice management tools that have been discussed today or the support that is available to you, get in contact with us via 0800 930 171 and start transforming your practice today.

Set your dental practice up for success