Do you need more staff or do you need to be more efficient?
According to Sally McKenzie one way to determine this is to evaluate how much time patients spend at the front desk.
Check in and check out should take about 10 minutes per patient. If the practice sees 15-22 patients a day, the front desk is spending 150-220 minutes out of a 480 minute workday with patients. A task one person can easily handle.
If the front office administrative person is spending more than 240 minutes with patients, something is wrong. Either the team member or the business systems are inefficient.
Digital paperless systems with treatment room entry can increase efficiency. For example the hygienist can re-schedule a patient for their next prophy. The assistant can create and print a treatment plan and estimate. Patients can fill out forms and pay their bills online.
All of these little efficiencies add up to more productivity. That is the office can treat more people more effectively with fewer staff people. It is this increased efficiency that makes technology worth it. Hiring one additional team member can easily cost $50,000 in salary, training and benefits. And that is just the first year. A computer system is a lot less expensive.