COVID-19’s Impact on Your Practice’s Six-Month Schedule Cycle

Posted on October 14, 2020 by
Posted in Articles
How to Minimize Scheduling Lulls for the Remainder of the Year

Traditionally dentists could rely on a steady stream of patients and keep their schedules full by establishing recurring appointments for patients at set intervals throughout the year – most often, returning every six months for routine hygiene visits. Patients seen in January would return in June, those seen in February return in July, and so on. This provides dentists with more predictable schedules and revenue streams, while enabling them to provide optimal care for their patients. This year, however, the six-month scheduling cycles were interrupted for many practices because of COVID-19 closures.

Whether your practice was closed completely, or services were limited, your schedules in March, April and June likely looked much different than they have in years past. This means your schedules for September, October and November may also be impacted due to the lack of six-month follow-ups scheduled this spring. As a result, your schedule will likely be lighter than normal for the remainder of the year as your practice returns to “normal”.

To minimize scheduling lulls, here are a few things to consider:  

  • Are you actively working with your existing patients to reschedule their cleanings sooner, rather than later?
  • What are you doing to attract new patients to your practice? How effective have these strategies been?
  • How quickly are potential new patients able to schedule and be seen?

If you answered “I’m not sure” or “no” to any of these questions, you may want to explore ways to optimize your schedule for existing patients as well as increase your efforts to attract new patients to your practice. Both will help you to increase your patient volume and reduce gaps in your hygiene schedule this year. To help dentists develop an effective strategy for their practice, IDS partner, Dental Media, offers members risk-free support. To learn more about how Dental Media can help you reach new patients and keep your schedule full, contact: [email protected].

 

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