There has always been a tough decision for dentists to make (especially non-group offices), should they be open at hours that are convenient for their patients or hours that are convenient for their lifestyle. Patients like early morning hours, after work hours and weekends. These are also the same hours that dentist and staff like to have away from the office for their own family’s needs.
The choice to offer non-traditional office hours affects not only the dentist but the entire staff. A large number of staff members are working women with children which makes office hour decisions even more complicated.
For new offices, starting with non-traditional hours is not complicated as the staff that they hire understands the hours being offered. Switching from traditional operating hours to expanded hours is often difficult for an established practice because it upsets the life of the staff. This often means losing staff members and replacing them with new personnel.
Younger and more aggressive dental offices tend to have expanded hours as a means of attracting new patients. This means that offices that operate under the Monday – Thursday 9-5 model put the traditional dentist at a competitive disadvantage.
There are few decisions more crucial to your practice’s success than when you are available to your patients. People shop for offices with patient friendly hours. On the flip side, having a work schedule that allows you time with your family is also important. You will have to decide how to walk this balance beam.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems
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