During the Shutdown
It will be more important than ever to have efficient block scheduling management during this shutdown and restart. There will be an opportunity for your practice/department to be “overwhelmed” with appointment requests and walk-ins when things return to normal, and you open fully for business again. We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening with effective schedule management. Here are the steps you should be taking during and after the shutdown.
Now is the time to effectively reschedule all routine follow-up visits, such as checks, six-month, clean-and-checks and annuals. You should be calling all those patients who are scheduled in the next month (i.e., May) to reschedule them for the following month (i.e., June). That will then require you to push more patients out and so on. You will repeat this process as needed if the shutdown is extended another month. It’s critical that this is done now on a patient-by-patient basis, so the schedule doesn’t get out of hand and overbooked when your office reopens.
Once these patients scheduled in the next month are rescheduled, you will want to start calling everyone within your database that you’ve seen in the past rolling 12 months. These are the patients that will most likely need support during the shutdown (e.g., batteries, cleaning, repairs, wax guards, adjustments). By calling these patients personally and proactively now, during the shutdown, and trying to assist them remotely, curbside or with a dropbox system, you will significantly limit the number of urgent drop-ins or appointments scheduled for routine maintenance when things return to normal. In addition, they will also greatly appreciate your personal phone call to check-in. Visit our page of revenue-generating ideas during the shutdown.
After the Shutdown
If you have followed the steps outlined for you during the shutdown, you should be able to return to a fairly normal schedule without a huge surge of “urgent needs.” This is the time to start prioritizing “revenue-generating” appointments on the schedule as you open back up. You will want to give priority where available to new audios, HAEs and other revenue-generating appointments. This will allow you to have the fastest uptick in working capital when the business resumes function and full staffing levels.