#25– Ideal Day – Establishes Daily Routine & Tracking of Open Time

Be on time!  Part of being a professional is to show respect for your client’s time.  Nothing is more irritating to an organized person than to be kept waiting.  What steps can you take to maintain your image of an efficient, competent professional?

1)     Be prepared for the day.  You should arrive 10‑15 minutes before the first client. This will give you time to accomplish 4 things.

  1. Get your mind organized for the day.
  2. Listen to the telephone messages and field any early calls ‑ cancellations or emergencies.  Try to eliminate as many “surprises” as possible.
  3. Look over the day’s schedule.  Who do see that you know?  Where in the day will bottlenecks be most likely to occur?  When are new clients coming?  Can you spend a little extra time with them.
  4. What’s been happening with the rest of the staff?  You need a few minutes to share who you are with the rest of the staff.

2)     Be on time for every client!  Many secretaries will say this is impossible ‑ and it will be for them!  Find out the problems with maintaining your schedule.  There can be a long list of reasons for falling behind.  Whatever the reasons, our client doesn’t care.  Those are our problems and all the client knows is that we are inefficient.

You can take the sting out of this a number of ways:

Know your clients.  Greet all clients as they arrive.  Check their names off the appointment book.  If a client is late, make sure you didn’t miss them in the reception room.

Know when a doctor is running behind schedule.  If a client is still in the reception room five minutes after the appointed time, check with the doctor to see how things are going.  Next, see if s/he would like to seat the client or have an assistant seat him/her.  Even though the doctor may be 10‑15 minutes behind schedule, the client usually doesn’t mind if they are acknowledged into a treatment room. Be sure to offer them a magazine.

3)     Be ready ten minutes before you start your afternoon or evening clients.  The same reasons and procedures apply here as at the start of the day.

4)     End of your day.  Finish on time!  Reward yourself.  When you’ve finished your last client, clean up, get things ready for the next day (or the secretary taking over for you), enjoy a few minutes with the staff and congratulate yourself on a fine day as a professional!

How much interest you have in your profession and your duties here will be reflected in your attendance.

1.  Are you ready 10‑15 minutes before the first client arrives?

2.  How many sick days have you had?  These days create uproar with front desk and clients.

Your time clock will let the doctors know how you are doing. Ask the office manager to print your time clock report for the last three months and circle your arrival times in red when you have your quarterly conferences or have completed a level.       ***Next, establish your daily routine.  Write out what you do on an average day from the time you clock in until you clock out.  Remember, this is only an average, so don’t give specific examples.  Share your workspace effectively.  The two seats at the front of the business office are the “hot seats” and the one closest to the reception room is the hottest.  You are going to be working very closely with several people and within hearing of our clients.  Here are some suggestions:

  •  Don’t gossip or belittle anyone ‑ especially clients!
  • Don’t read faxes, letters being typed to clients by other secretaries, etc.  In general, mind your own business.
  • When you get a break in your day, don’t interrupt the person next to you to chat.  It’s okay to enjoy the people around you, but make sure you’re both ahead of your ideal days before interrupting others.

Review the “typical day” outlined on the next page.  This is your first step in getting your professional life organized.  As you progress through the levels, you will need to make better use of your time, adding more functions into your day.  Make notes of any way your day differs from this written “typical day.”

IF you have trouble “getting everything done” on an average day, here are some tips.

  1. Handle as much of the routine work in the morning as possible.
  2. Use your lunch break to clear your mind of the morning problems so you can start the afternoon fresh.
  3. Eat a nutritious lunch
  4. Avoid watching the clock ‑ it makes the day drag

Typical Ideal day

7:00     Open office, turn off alarm and answering machine, turn on computers at the desk, clock in, turn on copier. Turn the label on Turn on lights; make sure all lights are on including operatory rooms (except the ones that will not be used that day.) Turn on radio; turn on water/air/comp switches.  Listen to messages, turn on TV. in reception room. Unlock the east side of the building; turn on lights on that side. Unlock supply closet, and unlock the back door.  Print up day reports, sort and add figures. Check schedule for holes. GET READY TO HUDDLE!!!!!

7:00-7:30         Print day sheets, enter information into Excel. Turn off answering machine. Listen to telephone messages and follow up on them. Check for schedule openings 3 days out.

7:30-7:45         HUDDLE w/ docs.

7:45                 Open office for clients. Check day box/tapes, and print call lists. Pull How Feeling charts. Check for tasks you are to accomplish during ideal day. Check in-box and your voice mail.

8:00 – 12:00    Work the front desk. If any holes in schedule use call list to fill them.

Follow project time as assigned. Or review 31 day box, listen to Dr tapes, how feeling calls

Call lists to fill holes. Print confirmation report from the night before. Call to verify appointments not confirmed.

12:00-1:00       LUNCH!!!

1:00-4:00      Work the front desk-as assigned work on continuing care list/unscheduled tx and check  messages. Check ideal day to see if anything needs to be done. Duplicate x-rays, check for families due for cleanings/treatment, Projects! Fill schedule from list or cover the desk while someone else is on project time. How feelings, Do 3 days out. Use 1 hour of this time for projects if necessary.

4:30           Set up your confirmation calls, Review openings for next day with office manager

5:00           Start calling from the prime time list for next day. HF again. Try for 30-50 calls

5:30                 Make sure all charts pulled for next day and file any that are finished.

6:00                 Start some of the closing duties. Continue calling the primetime list (if there are openings) Check high school ideal day and make sure high school student is on schedule.

(4:00-6:00)      Pass off any duties to evening help

6:30                 Print all HH’s for next day.

7:00                 Closing. All walk out slips to the collections secretary, check off all daily duties. Make sure you turn on the security alarm when you leave.

Extra duties (if you have time)

Tracking of RDH Open Time:

  1. Open the Tracking of Open Time in Excel by following this path:  _______________________–
  2. Make sure that your spreadsheets are all labeled correctly.  If you are beginning a new month you can  select File, Save As, and label the new month you are starting.
  3. In  the picture below, you will record total hours as 4.25 and open time as      .5.  Each 15 minutes is one  unit.  You should only count units that are more than one (don’t count single units standing alone).
  4. You  will track daily on each provider.  If they are out that day, you will put “0” in each square.  The spreadsheet will calculate all  averages for you.  You are responsible to make sure the numbers are accurate.
  5. Below you will see an example for one of the pages when tracking open time.  We keep this updated and each Tuesday in our Secretary meeting we review this time. You will see the updated time for each week on the right of the      table.

You will be signed off on this section when you have all signatures below.  You can obtain a signature with each consecutive week of correct open time recorded.

  1. _________________________________________________
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