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Most Common Dental Office Scheduling Mistakes

Dental offices are notorious for making scheduling mistakes. Whether it's overbooking appointments or not having an appointment policy in place, these errors can cost a dental office both time and money.

In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most common scheduling mistakes that dental offices make and how to avoid them.

Not Having an Appointment Policy

One of the most common scheduling mistakes that dental offices make is not having an appointment policy in place. This can lead to double-booked appointments, overbooked appointments, and missed appointments. A well-organized appointment policy can help to avoid all of these issues.

Some things that should be included in an appointment policy are:

  • The days and hours that the office is open

  • The length of time for each type of appointment

  • How far in advance appointments must be made

  • What types of appointments can be made (i.e. emergency, routine, etc.)

  • Cancellation and no-show policies

  • Payment policies

Lack of Communication With Patients

Another common mistake that dental offices make is lack of communication with patients. This can lead to miscommunication about appointment times, treatment plans, financial arrangements, and more. Good communication with patients is essential for a smooth-running dental office.

There are a few key things that dental offices should do to ensure good communication with patients:

  • Return phone calls and emails promptly

  • Confirm appointments via phone call or email 24-48 hours in advance

  • Clearly explain treatment plans and financial arrangements

  • Encourage patients to ask questions and voice concerns

Poor Organization

Another mistake that dental offices often make is poor organization. This can manifest itself in many different ways, such as misplaced patient files, double-booked appointments, and missed appointments. A well-organized office is essential for avoiding these types of issues.

There are a few things that dental offices can do to improve their organization:

  • Use a paperless filing system whenever possible

  • Color code files and appointments

  • Use a daily/weekly/monthly appointment calendar

  • Appoint a staff member to be in charge of organization

Double-Booking Appointments

One of the most frustrating things that patients can experience is double-booked appointments. This often happens when a dental office is overbooked and trying to accommodate too many patients. While it may seem like a good idea to double-book appointments in order to see more patients, it will ultimately lead to frustrated patients and longer wait times.

The best way to avoid double-booked appointments is to have a clear understanding of the office's appointment policy and to stick to it. If an office is booking more appointments than they can handle, it's important to either turn away new patients or increase staff in order to accommodate the increased demand.

Not Checking Insurance Eligibility

Another common mistake that dental offices make is not checking insurance eligibility for new patients. This can lead to problems down the road if a patient's insurance doesn't cover the treatment that they need. It's important to always check insurance eligibility before scheduling an appointment.

There are a few things that dental offices can do to ensure they are checking insurance eligibility:

  • Have new patients fill out an insurance information form

  • Verify insurance coverage before the patient's first appointment

  • Keep up-to-date on changes to insurance plans

Not Following Up With Patients

A common mistake that dental offices make is not following up with patients after their appointment. This can lead to patients feeling like they are not a priority and can cause them to seek treatment elsewhere. It's important to always follow up with patients after their appointment, whether it be by phone, email, or letter.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the most common mistakes that dental offices make. While these mistakes may seem minor, they can have a major impact on the way patients perceive the office. It's important to avoid these mistakes in order to provide the best possible experience for patients.

If you are a dental office owner or manager, take a look at your office and see if there are any areas that need improvement. By making even small changes, you can make a big difference in the way your patients view your office.

And when you're ready to hire new dental staff for your practice, Stynt can help! We are the leading online staffing platform for dental practices. We will connect qualified staff with your office once you sign up.


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