A common frustration we hear from dentists is “I just don’t feel like I’m getting anything done” or “I’ve got too much stuff to do and not enough time.” It’s an awful feeling, but you’re not alone. This is where systems for dentists come in, providing a much-needed solution to help streamline practice management and improve overall efficiency.
When it comes to productivity in the dental business, there are a lot of really common hurdles in our way, like:
- Not having firm boundaries
- Cluttered paperwork
- Too many incomplete projects
- Lack of planning
Systems for Dentists to Increase Productivity
Today, let’s focus on wrapping up some of those nearly-done projects using Kanban, an agile project management tool to visualise workflow, and a few other tricks and systems you can use to finish tasks and increase productivity.
Kanban is a concept that originated from Toyota in the 1940s. This Japanese word means “visual sign” or “visual card”. It is at the heart of agile software and is increasingly being adopted across different industries, such as tech.
A kanban board is a tool that provides a visual system for a team or an individual to manage their tasks. This board can later become a quick visual reference of progress for practice managers and other professionals, like dentists managing their teams or dental office.
How to create a Kanban board?
You can create a chart divided into standardised task queues that reflects your workflow on your whiteboard or on a poster to keep it in front of your mind, and then use post-it notes with tasks on them. Like “Extend letter of offer” or “performance reviews”.
What tasks to add to a Kanban board?
In a kanban board, you can categorise your tasks as:
- Backburner – The backburner column is essential, so you don’t lose track of great ideas and future priorities. Doing too much at once is the enemy of getting things done – so start with a few tasks and only pick up stuff on the back burner once you’ve moved some other projects into “Done”.
- To do
- Doing – Kanban is a great way to improve how you and your dental team work. You can create your kanban board around your current tasks, which means you do not have to change or stop what you’re doing just to get started.
The Kanban board is one of the effective systems for dentists to manage their tasks in practice. It gives you visibility and clear priorities and turns an endless to-do list into a simple progress board.
Get inspiration for your next physical or cloud-based kanban board from this list.
Besides Kanban, time blocking is another helpful system that dentists can use to increase productivity. Time blocking is similar to the Pomodoro Technique in that it involves breaking down work into manageable chunks. However, with time blocking, you block off specific periods in your schedule for specific tasks. For example, you might block off 9:00am-10:00am for administrative work, 10:00am-11:00am for patient appointments, and 11:00am-12:00pm for marketing initiatives. Doing this ensures that you have dedicated time for each task and are less likely to get sidetracked or overwhelmed. Plus, if you need more or less time for a certain task than you originally thought, you can always adjust your time blocks accordingly!
The Eisenhower Matrix
Another helpful productivity system is the Eisenhower Matrix, which U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower developed. This system helps users prioritise their tasks by categorising them as either “urgent” or “important.” Urgent tasks are those that need to be completed right away, while important tasks are those that contribute to your long-term goals.
Using the Eisenhower Matrix, dentists can quickly identify which tasks they need to focus on and which ones can be put on the back burner. This system can help you avoid getting bogged down in urgent but unimportant tasks and instead focus on the projects that will move your practice forward.
When a dental practice doesn’t have systems in place, everything is done manually and left to human error. It’s inconsistent and chaotic. Does your dental practice have the right systems in place to boost your profits?
Dental Practice Management Systems for Dentists
Many different management systems are available today to help you run your dental practice more effectively and increase your bottom line.
A dental practice management system is a software program designed to help manage and organise various aspects of our dental business operations more effectively. Many different management systems are available on the market, such as:
- Electronic health records (EHRs)
- Dental practice management software
- Dental billing software and collection systems
- Inventory management system
Dental Practice Management Software
Dental practice management software helps owners and staff manage and streamline their business operations. These dental software applications typically include:
- Appointment scheduling
- Treatment planning
- Medical histories
- Patient records management
- Billing and insurance processing
- Financial reporting
- Inventory management
- Communication tools
These tools can handle tedious tasks so that you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much time or energy from your day-to-day responsibilities at the dental office.
Some other benefits of using a dental practice management system include improved efficiency and productivity, better patient care, easier appointment scheduling, reduced paperwork, improved billing and collections, better customer service, and increased revenue.
Why Are Systems Important for Dentists
There is no one-size-fits-all system for dental practices, as each practice has its unique dental team and dental business goals.
Implementing just one of these systems is enough to help others, while you might need all of them to become more productive and better able to finish tasks.
There is no one productivity system or management solution that works for everybody. However, one thing is for sure, if you’re looking for ways to make your dental practice run more smoothly, systemising your practice is a great way to start.
By taking some simple steps to improve management and organisation within your office, you’ll be able to provide better patient care without putting yourself at risk for burnout.