It's mid-year and although we are all seeking as much summer fun as possible, now is also the time to start making plans for next year, which unbelievably, is only a few months away!
Right now, for instance, you should be blocking off all intended holidays, vacations, study clubs, and CE/Meetings. You'd be surprised how often I hear that a practice did not attend the Yankee Dental Congress because they forgot to put it on their calendar! (By the way, the next YDC is January 27-31, 2016, so make plans to attend now. Courses fill up quickly, don't miss out!)
Now is also the time to discuss with your significant other(s) what you'd like to do next year. For instance, even if you're not sure what week you want to take vacation, choose one and block it off anyway. It is much easier for your admin team, and your patients, to move up or down a week in your schedule instead of several weeks or months due to last-minute 'planning'.
Don't forget to plan for vacations and long weekends
When it comes to vacations and long weekends, make sure you have a light schedule on your first day back. Use this extra time to:
- Meet with your team to discuss patients seen in your absence, either by other team members or covering offices.
- Address outstanding messages and patient questions.
- Deal with mail and email.
- See patients with serious/emergency issues without having to squeeze them into an already full schedule.
- Generally, get yourself and your team back on track.
I recommend setting up your calendar and schedule at least 15 months out. This allows you and your team to 1) schedule effectively and productively, 2) meet your financial and personal goals, and 3) keep changed appointments, and frustrated patients, to a minimum.
If you'd like help setting up your 2016 calendar, please contact my office. We are always happy to help.