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5 Totally Productive Things to Do When Patients Cancel

There it is.  A whole hour in your schedule just opened up because Mrs. Jones forgot she had to take Sparky to the vet.

If you and your staff are feeling productive, that hour is usually spent ordering materials, catching up on paperwork, and other normal office chores.

If you and your staff are feeling lazy, that hour is usually spent deleting spam e-mails, checking Facebook for the third time in a row, or watching more Youtube videos of kids after wisdom teeth extractions:


Hahaha!  Oh man, that never gets old.  Oh look, another one!


Aaaaahahahahaha! Awesome!  Okay, sorry… back to work.

So here are 5 things you can do with unexpected free time beyond the normal office chores:

(1) Look through your lab

This isn’t just about cleaning house.  You’ll be amazed what you find!  There might be some old implant components you can reuse (check post here).  Perhaps you’ll find that a patient never came back for their crown/denture/whatever.  Or you might even find study models for a patient consultation that never lead to treatment.

(2) Have a spontaneous office meeting

Gather your team and get some feedback.  Don’t worry about making any speeches; just ask questions.  Pick a system you have in place (e.g. lab cases, recall, billing) and ask how the system can be improved.  Thank each team member for specific achievements and efforts.  Analyze how and where new patients are coming from.

(3) Call your network of dentists and say hello

Whether you are a general dentist or a specialist, its a nice idea to keep in touch with the other dentists with whom you share patients.  But instead of discussing particular cases, just reach out and ask how they’re doing.  Build better relationships and learn how you can help each other.

(4) Train your team to do something new

Are you tired of making provisional crowns?  Depending on your state regulations, you can delegate certain elements of patient care to your certified dental assistant.  Are you drowning in paperwork?  Share some of the burden with your front desk personnel.

You may dread doing some of these things, but your team may enjoy the prospect of doing something new.  They’ll appreciate the vow of confidence that is implied and you’ll love the free time to focus on other tasks.

(5) Improve your website and social media presence

Go onto your website or Facebook page and see how you can fluff it up.  Google your practice and see what comes up.  Did you forget to claim your Yelp page?  Get input from your team about how you can use social media more effectively.


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