A common question asked to a dental consultant is, “How do I make my practice goals when I take a vacation?” What? Why would someone even ask that question, right? Well, that question comes up frequently, which is why Bryant Consultants came up with some helpful answers.
Here are five great tips for making the dental practice’s monthly goals when the dentist is going to be out during the month.
- Preparation- Practices are encouraged to have their upcoming year’s schedule sorted out and in stone by August 1. Most doctors will tell you that they have no way of having their vacation time planned a year to eighteen months in advance, and our response would be – don’t plan the vacation, but instead, block the time on your calendar for the vacation so that you will want to plan it! Remember, your dental hygienists schedule patients six months out and for some even a year in advance. So, the doctors can plan their schedules too. Here are a few keys to remember when taking care of this step.
- Print a blank yearly calendar from the Internet and pull upcoming holidays for the year.
- Do your research on any continuing education courses you want to budget in for the upcoming year.
- Research your family’s school schedules and breaks that may require you to be off.
- Mark your holidays and the days your practice will be closed.
- Block your Practice Management Schedule- When you get all of your days blocked off on your practice management schedule, you can then evaluate each month and determine how many days you plan on working. It’s critical to the life of the practice to prepare a budget, and the first step to budget planning is to know how many days the business will be open, and the providers will be present.
- Team Preparation- All dental practices have their specific guidelines for requesting vacation time. Have your team start planning their time off as well. We encourage all dental hygiene days to stay open and for the dental hygienists to schedule their coverage with a fill-in that you regularly use in order to keep consistency in the schedule six months out. This would apply for extended leaves as well. Don’t close dental chairs because it affects you the week they are closed, as well as the dentist’s schedule next month. Six months down the road and the dentist’s schedule seven months down the road due to a light schedule. Make sure your team understands your employee manual and the guidelines around time off. No one likes surprises!!!
- Adjust your Production Blocks- When a provider is going to be out, there are still bills to pay and goals to meet to stay on track for the company’s budget needs. Always be preparing a few months before by looking ahead, adjusting the production blocks around for that month (this means delete some small production blocks and add in the high ones to meet the need for goals for the month).
- Plan Ahead- Ensure that two months in advance, you have upcoming time off on your monthly meeting agenda. This is where you would discuss the following:
- What services can be done while the provider is out of the office?
- Which team members will be working?
- What promotions are we going to run in advance to schedule while the doctor is away?
- Inform your marketing team and have them adjust your campaigns to fit your needs during the preparation of your time away.
Maybe you have a vacation coming up in a few weeks, and traditionally you have been a “save and suffer” kind of dentist. It’s not too late to do some last-minute preparations to salvage your month before it causes you to suffer. You can also make some changes now to plan for next year. It’s never too late to establish new habits! These same steps are encouraged for group dental practices and DSOs. For more information about planning ahead so that you can be prepared in your practice for time off contact us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org