I was provoked into writing this because the WordPress editor’s spellcheck doesn’t like “daylist” as a single word and kept substituting “duellist” until I got the message that I should write about them both.
One of the most difficult things that I found in making the shift from working with patients to a more fluid, desk based, set up was losing the day list. This creation often had the power to make or break your day. It might leave you on the crest of a wave or crushed by it. It could deliver patients in a comfortable manner who were pleased to see you, or make you feel as if you had been run over by a Springbok scrum.
When it worked well, and when I was a practice owner it usually did, then days were profitable, pleasant and stress was kept to a level that was sufficient to stimulate but not enough to exhaust. This was because the team and I invested time in discovering and experimenting with what worked best for all concerned. It took skill, practice and the ability to learn on our feet, to acknowledge success and failure and knowing that the perfect day was the holy grail of scheduling. Most of theme we scored around 90% satisfaction and I was happy with that.
When I left my own practice and started to work with others it sometimes felt like a throwback to the bad old days of my amalgam bashing youth. There was no control, the gates opened and the day just happened. It is easy to blame front desk people for this and many dentists do, but a team can only do as they are trained and allowed to practice. When they understand that things can be different. Often unfortunately there is no two-way conversation, no comprehension of the others’ point of view and little will change.
Ken James, from Seattle, taught us great lessons in how to make the day pay, for which I was always grateful. Ken was a former olympic basketball coach and it was he who made me think of the combat like element of the day.
If you are letting the day beat you, get some help, it doesn’t have to be that way.