When hiring a part-time specialist for your practice, it’s important to remember that they are blocking out a full day of their schedule to provide your patients with specialty care. Here are some scheduling and referral guidelines to ensure a full Treatment Day for your Pair Dental specialist:
Discuss with your specialist scheduling and production goals.
- 10-15 patients per day? $10K+ of scheduled treatment? Is it the types of procedures that are scheduled? Each specialist has their own personal benchmarks for what constitutes a successful treatment day.
- Create realistic schedule expectations for the Specialist so that production goals can be reached. Don’t overbook your specialist and respect their time. If your Specialist expects to see 10 patients in 8 hours, ensure that those patients arrive at an appointment time early enough to include paperwork and prep. Specialists should also arrive at the office with enough time to do their own treatment prep (including staff training, if necessary).
- Communicate often and early with your specialist about any changes in patient scheduling (cancellations, higher-demand). If your specialist’s schedule is filling up quickly, consider booking the specialist more frequently – every 2 weeks, for example.
- Don’t have enough staff to manage your specialists’ production goal? Staffing constraints shouldn’t prevent you from hiring an in-house specialist. Pair Dental will do our best to support you with additional staff when needed.
Ensure that you have enough specialty patients for a full day of services.
- Introduce your specialist to your practice (staff and patients) to ensure awareness of all services offered. We recommend sending an email or mailer to your patients to introduce your new specialty offerings.
- Communicate with your associates to ensure all specialty needs are being referred to the in-house specialist. (A board-certified specialist can demand a higher fee for most treatments.)
- Run reports on your practice management software to see which patients might still require prescribed specialty care.
Ensure that your scheduled patients are showing up for Treatment Days.
- Cancellations happen, however they can become a nuisance when Treatment Days are infrequent. Communicate with your patients that the specialist is only available on certain days. If you have multiple treatment days available, allow the patient to choose the most convenient option.
- Do your best to prevent cancellations. Ensure that your patients feel obligated to keep their appointments by familiarizing the patient with the Specialist and treatment. Provide pre-treatment touch-points prior to the appointment, such as:
- Introduce the specialist to the patient.
- Notify the patient that the specialist has reviewed their case and has established a treatment plan.
- Confirm the appointment with the patient.
- Provide open avenues for communication with the practice to address any questions or concerns.
- Ask your patients for a small deposit. We suggest $100 – close to a specialist’s consultation fee.
Setting expectations and creating a good management structure early on will provide your traveling specialist, patients, and staff with a seamless Treatment Day experience. Creating consistency and credibility for your practice and specialist is an important factor towards successfully incorporating multi-specialty into your practice. And as always, we’re here to help.