Yes, busy is good, but chaotic not so much.

Summer can be a rough time for orthodontic practices. Parents of new patients want their children to start treatment before they return to school. Emergency appointments often skyrocket due to injuries from sports and other outside activities. And then there’s the issue of staff vacations… which, unless managed properly, can send stress levels spiking for the remaining employees.

These three seasonal trends put incredible pressure on the ortho schedule… and on your team. What can you do to prepare for the roller coaster that is summer?

Here are four things you and your team can do to smooth out some of the ups and downs of a busy June, July, and August:

1) Catch up on overdue debonds before June

Clear out any backlog of patients who have completed treatment but still have their braces on. This will free up additional slots in the schedule. If patients miss an appointment—especially as they near the end of treatment—get them rescheduled as soon as possible.

2) Review the consult schedule

If you’re expecting an influx of consults, that’s a good thing. But will your Treatment Coordinator be able to handle the increased demand? If not, can another team member pitch in? If you don’t have anyone, now’s a good time to get another staff member trained.

3) Double-check employee vacations

The Office Manager should review the vacation schedule to make sure that there aren’t too many staff members off at the same time. If you use temporary help during the summer, these individuals should be contacted soon to see when they’re available. Many orthodontic practices supplement their workforce with former team members who are looking to make a little extra money over the summer. This can be an excellent strategy for providing coverage when employees are on leave.

4) Celebrate the season with your team

Keep stress at bay by hosting a team event. It can be a cookout at a park, dinner at a restaurant, or something else. When the days are long and the pace in the practice becomes fast and furious, taking some time away from office for a fun activity makes the stress disappear.

Summer will be here before you know it. Take the next month to prepare. Use these four steps to help you and your team manage the “busyness” and the stress.

Need a practice boost?  Take your team to a seminar by Dr Levin. You’ll leave re-energized and ready to take on your biggest challenges. To see his speaking schedule, click here.