I get it - scheduling is one of the biggest challenges (and headaches) when it comes to running a smooth and efficient practice. On one hand, you want to maximize production without it backfiring and turning into a scheduling nightmare. On the other, you want to be mindful of future productions and new treatment plans you want to fulfill.
This is why Hybrid Scheduling is the key to a truly optimized scheduling system so that you can maximize your production and avoid scheduling chaos.
Not sure what hybrid scheduling is and how it can integrate into your practice? Then keep on reading.
What is Hybrid Scheduling and Why it is Key to Maximizing Production
The Hybrid Scheduling method is a highly engineered scheduling solution that focuses on hard numbers. This will allow you to follow an absolutely clear plan of action so that you can create a truly optimized schedule.
The Dental Marketer University’s very own Hybrid Scheduling expert, Dr. Ben Burkitt, explains that Hybrid Scheduling is a combination of 3 core scheduling methods:
- Block scheduling
- Staggered scheduling
- The theory of constraints
By using these 3 core scheduling methods, Hybrid Scheduling will help you…
- Maximize profitability
- Allows the day to flow in a steady way especially when your schedule is built around your tightest constraint
- Prepare the following month to be as profitable (if not more so) as the current one by creating the necessary amount of new treatment plans
To understand how Hybrid Scheduling will help you tackle these 3 seemingly daunting goals, we first need to understand the 3 main core scheduling methods.
Block scheduling is a fairly common scheduling method. The concept is simple - block out a long stretch, chunk, of time for your appointments. For efficiency’s sake, block scheduling usually prioritizes your most productive procedures that generally require more time. In other words, it is wise to schedule your longer appointments before your shorter ones.
While you want to block one of these time slots for these longer appointments, you might not know exactly when they’re coming or when to expect them. This is why pre-blocking is incredibly important. By pre-blocking, you can reserve time slots on your schedule for these high-production procedures.
Getting into the habit of pre-blocking is also great for new patient appointments. Typically, the average new patient will require more time for their appointment because they’ll likely have a larger treatment plan, especially when compared to an existing patient.
By pre-blocking for your new patient appointments, you’ll be able to get them in quickly, increasing your scheduling availability for new treatment plans while wowing your new patient with your efficient scheduling.
Staggered scheduling isn’t as commonly used (or discussed) as block scheduling, but it’s a method that will allow you to work smarter instead of harder.
Just as the name suggests, staggered scheduling works to stagger the tightest constraint of your practice, which most likely will be your doctor’s time.
For example, the doctor isn’t needed at the beginning of a filling appointment. What happens in those appointments is that the patient is seated and the assistant and operatory will be in charge of applying topicals and getting the patient ready for the filling. And with a recall appointment, the hygienist and operatory will be first to greet and manage the patient, with the doctor seeing the patient at the very end.
Staggered scheduling avoids double booking your resources so that you don’t run into an awkward situation that ends up derailing your entire scheduling. So if you were to schedule two crown preps, you’ll want to make sure that those appointments are staggered and not happening at the same time.
This is a very important scheduling method for multi-chair offices so that you can allow your doctor to bounce from room to room so that they can stay busy without feeling overwhelmed.
The Theory of Constraints
If this is your first time hearing about the Theory of Constraints, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Ben Burkitt, it is a theory that is taught in business and MBA programs that has allowed many manufacturing facilities to generate more revenue without overworking their employees.
Dr. Burkitt also simplifies it for us by highlighting the key components of this theory as it relates to Hybrid Scheduling:
- Look at your business as a series of dependent events. In other words, the output in one segment is in the input of the next.
- Due to the interlinked nature of these events, your final output will be controlled by the tightest bottleneck in the chain.
- If you want to increase the final output (collections) and avoid increasing overhead (which decreases profitability), you absolutely need to address and fix the bottleneck.
Dr. Burkitt draws a comparison between the Theory of Constraints to a series of pipes with water flowing from one to the next.
“The water will exit one pipe and enter the next one. If one pipe is too small, it will control the flow rate of the entire system, regardless of where it is positioned. If you replace a pipe that is not the bottleneck with a larger pipe, you will not increase the flow rate but you will increase the weight of the system.”
Using These 3 Core Methods to Create Your Hybrid Schedule and Maximize Production
Now that you have an understanding of these 3 core methods, you can start to see how when combined, Hybrid Scheduling can help you increase production all while avoiding the chaos and headaches associated with your previous scheduling methods.
In The Dental Marketer University’s new course, Hybrid Scheduling, Ben teaches you the tactics so that you can…
- Pre-block your schedule with the most profitable procedure
- Stagger your appointments so you can free up your tightest constraint
- And initiate enough new treatment plans in the current month so that you can reach your production goals in the following month
In the course, Ben walks you through the necessary steps to creating a successful Hybrid Schedule, such as calculating the cost of material, how to make a times table, and how to implement your new Hybrid Schedule efficiently.