Thursday Troubleshooter: What to do about perpetually late dentist?
This team has had it with their boss who is always late. They barely get a lunch break and work late every day, and patients have left when they tire of waiting for the dentist's checkup. What can the team do?
Thank you. Sign me, Ready to Quit
ANSWER FROM LINDA MILES, Founder of Speaking Consulting Network:
I feel your pain! This is a serious issue that many dental practices deal with. Besides being a leadership issue, this is rude and a very bad habit. You certainly need to let your doctor know that people count up the faults of those who keep them waiting. You need to document the number of times patients complain or walk out. Being consistently tardy shows little consideration for patients and coworkers. While it is your doctor's practice and he's entitled to call the shots, I can guarantee he would fire employees or patients who consistently waste his time.
As a side note, being on time to see patients and leading the team well are great marketing techniques. You can say in your marketing messages, "We see many busy patients each day. We truly value their time and are proud of our on-time record of effective scheduling and time management." This is one of the most common complaints in healthcare – patients who are kept waiting. If you can get to where you are on time 85% of the time, congratulations are in order! Use that to your advantage.
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