After seeking advanced clinical skills and full staffing to correctly leverage my doctor time, I felt I had peaked out. Honestly, I saw no more room for improvement. But then I began immersing myself in all areas of practice management; including my patient management system. With a little reluctance, I learned how to use Eaglesoft for efficiency. And it paid off! Over the next two years, my productivity (and net income) tripled!!!
Eaglesoft, like most software, is vastly underutilized. Most offices learn how to work the basics and then settle into their comfort zone. Sound familiar?
But I often say, “nothing worth accomplishing comes easy.”
Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of Eaglesoft can have some tremendous benefits! In truth, the best part of breaking out of my comfort zone was dentistry got easier, I actually had lunch hours for once, and I finally left work on time. Need I say more?
Now, I’m not an Eaglesoft expert, but I do know three ways to utilize Eaglesoft to create growth:
The biggest tip out of the 3 is #1: Using Eaglesoft for scheduling efficiency. It’s an excellent way to make your productivity go through the roof, yet life seems easier! Hence, #1 will be our digestible topic today.
As I dove deeper into Eaglesoft, the number one area of return for me was learning how to correctly schedule “doctor time” versus “chair time.”
In dental school, we learned to schedule “chair time.” But I would advise you to rethink how you visualize your time. Ultimately, “doctor time” is the most valuable asset in a practice (tied with the employees, of course).
Let me ask you this . . .
If you had unlimited chairs, assistants, hygienists, etc., and you were fully expanded, function-trained, and certified, then there wouldn’t be a limit on chairs or equipment. What would you, as the doctor, do with your time?
You see, “doctor time” is not the same as “chair time.”
In any given hour, the doctor only has 60 minutes of “doctor time.” Thus, a well-run, highly-productive practice is one where every move the doctor makes is a move that their state dental board says only the doctor can do! Everything else should be delegated. Therefore, this “doctor time” needs to be communicated in a repeatable and predictable system for all procedures. By knowing where and how long the “doctor time” is for all procedures, the schedule can be engineered for success and production.
Thankfully, Eaglesoft has different ways to assist in this. One popular way is by the use of templates.
Templates are used to provide a framework for your team to use when scheduling appointments. Allowing your team to easily schedule the “types” of appointments you want at the times and days you prefer.
Using templates is a huge step in the right direction, especially if you’re otherwise guessing or simply throwing names on the schedule hoping 5 o’clock will soon arrive.
Another popular technique for scheduling efficiency is called pre-blocking.
The number one way Linda Miles showed me how to use my time more wisely was pre-blocking.
Pre-blocking is the act of looking ahead in the scheduler and “reserving” times for specific procedures that are most needed by patients in the practice. Most often, these services are the ones that produce higher fees and require longer appointment times. If desired, you can even create a template for each blocked procedure.
Voila, with these tips, you can start using Eaglesoft for efficient scheduling to maximize your “doctor time” and help your office run at its full potential.
When you know the difference as to how much time is “doctor time” versus “chair time” (a.k.a. “assistant time”), and even “hygienist time,” the schedule begins to fit together with a purpose. The cool thing about Eaglesoft, it allows this to be done with colors and figures; all customizable.
Eventually, as you get more comfortable with Eaglesoft, you’ll realize more of its capability.
You might need 10 minutes of “doctor time” and 30 minutes of “chair/assistant time” to seat 2 crowns. Let’s say you need to wait 2 weeks for lab time after the crown prep appointment, and the patient can only come in on a Tuesday morning.
By inputting the needed times, and the request is for “the first available time requested, on a Tuesday morning, after 2 weeks time,” then Eaglesoft will amazingly provide the opportunities. All without using human judgment to hunt and search.
That’s hidden value unlocked!
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