Episode 446

The Biggest Scheduling Mistake That Dentists Make

Host: Gary Takacs | Published Date: July 29, 2020 | Listening Time: 00:56:56

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In this week’s Thriving Dentist Show, Gary will be talking about – the biggest scheduling mistakes that dentists make.

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Scheduling appointments is one of the important parts of growing your dental practice because that is how you can get new patients, as well as get your regular patients to turn up for their routine check-ups.

The biggest scheduling mistake that dentists make is that they don’t have a scheduling template to accommodate new patients within three working days.

In this week’s episode, Gary Takacs shares the biggest mistakes that dentists make when scheduling and how to overcome them successfully.

As a bonus for our listeners, Gary will also speak on how you can plan for emergency appointments, and find out if the patient calls are actually for emergency services. Because for an emergency, you cannot make an appointment as you would for a regular check-up, within three working days. They will need immediate attention. So, how do you allocate time for an emergency?

In today’s world, no one is willing to wait for weeks to get what they want. And if your office is unable to schedule an appointment for a patient within three working days, you are just burning bills on marketing. And the result will be the opposite of rolling out the red carpet for a new patient. It is much like putting a bunch of hurdles in front of them and telling them not to come.

Usually, the dentist’s perception of what is going on in his office is different from the reality of what is actually going on. If you act on your perception, you might not be solving the right problems. What happens is that you will be out there working hard to solve your problems, but the problems you are solving are not the actual ones you need to solve.

Freebie 446

Listen to the episode now as Gary explains how the wrong perception of the doctor affects his practice by sharing examples.

At LifeSmiles, they have three slots every day available for new patients, and the latest a new patient can make an appointment at LifeSmiles is with a minimum of a 48-hour notice. 

Why do they need to make an appointment 48hrs prior? 

What is the 48-hour release?

Listen to this episode now and find out how to make sure new patients can be scheduled within three working days. And tips on how you can plan your scheduling to have a growing practice.

Do you have a question you would like Gary to answer in the next episode’s Q&A Segment? Ask Gary now!

  • 00:25 – Introduction for today’s episode.
  • 01:04 – Announcement 1 – Facebook Group.
  • 02:08 – Announcement 2 – MBA Workshop.
  • 04:59 – What is the biggest scheduling mistake that dentists make?
  • 05:34 – Why did Gary choose to do an entire podcast on this topic?
  • 06:01 – Problem with doctors having the wrong perception
  • 06:30 – Example of what happens if the doctor has the wrong perception.
  • 08:46 – What will happen if an appointment is weeks out?
  • 09:30 – How can you increase your appointment percentage?
  • 10:08 – What will happen if the doctor never looks into the schedule?
  • 11:03 – Gary’s polite suggestion to his listeners.
  • 12:13 – How do you schedule emergency patients?
  • 12:29 – Bonus Question
  • 15:06 – How to make a moving target a reality in your practice?
  • 15:17 – How long LifeSmiles blocks for new patient schedules?
  • 17:07 – What is a 48 hour release?
  • 18:42 – Why are new patients the life blood of every practice?
  • 20:11 – Example of impatience in today’s world
  • 22:14 – If you can only see a patient after 4 to 5 weeks, what type of impression will they get?
  • 22:43 – 1st strategy
  • 23:56 – Question to ask in the morning huddle?
  • 25:44 – 2nd Strategy
  • 25:52 – Who is responsible for a growth culture?
  • 26:23 – What is the right context of growth?
  • 28:11 – Strategy 3
  • 28:29 – Why do you need to put dedicated doctor time in different times during the day?
  • 29:04 – 4th strategy
  • 29:33 – Is there one particular bonus system that fits all purposes?
  • 29:44 – Why should you consider incentivizing?
  • 31:01 – Recap
Q&A Segment
  • 32:14 – Question-1: After attending your MBA live stream I realized one of the major flaws in my practice is that I have not been able to see new patients within 3 days. Where do I start to create this change?
  • 33:58 – Example of incentivizing your team member
  • 36:02 – Why do you need a practice Management support system?
  • 37:59 – Question-2: I really like the seven steps you follow in your new patient experience, however I’m having trouble staying on time for the doctor part of the new patient exam. Any tips?
  • 43:01 – Question-3: We have discussed block scheduling many times in the past but I can’t seem to get my scheduling team members to stick with it – how can I make this stick in my practice?
  • 48:43 – Question-4:  What do you think is the best way to set up a bonus system to motivate my team members for continuous practice growth?




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Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs Gary became a successful practice owner by purchasing a fixer-upper practice and developing it into a world-class dental practice. He is passionate about sharing his hard-earned insights and experiences with dental practices across the globe.

As a dental practice coach, Gary provides guidance for dental professionals on how to create a healthier practice style that lets them deliver excellent patient care while reducing depending on insurance.

More importantly, Gary’s insights are not just based on theory – as a co-owner of a dental practice, he has first-hand experience in making this transformation from a high-volume and low-fee insurance model to a fee-for-service approach that is more sustainable and promotes a patient-centric and financially healthy dental practice, and he is dedicated to sharing this knowledge with other dental practitioners via the popular Thriving Dentist Show!
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