Here is a practice where the doctor is always running late simply because he just loves to chat it up with his patients. A team member is bringing this up because she is extremely frustrated. We find that running late is a very common occurrence in dental practices all across the USA. So the question is how does it affect patient retention and the office’s bottom line? Tune in to find out what Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow have to say about this. Then of course we do the call of the week. We call an office asking a great question – I would like to come in as a new patient but does the doctor run on time? How do you think they did? You need to listen to this one. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Doctor Runs Late – Is This Destroying My Practice?
Dr. David Madow: Is the doctor constantly running late destroying your practice? Stay tuned, we’re going to find out right now. Welcome back to the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. I am Dr. David Madow, along with… Dr. Richard Madow: I’m Dr. Richard Madow. We are your co-hosts for the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. Thanks so much everybody for listening, for watching, for sending us your comments. Why don’t we get right down to it because we have a really cool question today. Here’s the question, I’ll just read it. It says Doctors Madow. I really like that… Dr. David Madow: The Doctors Madow. Dr. Richard Madow: Doctors Madow. Yeah, I have friends who are physicians and they’re both – they insist on being called the doctors. Dr. David Madow: The doctors. Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not going to say their last name just in case they’re listening. But they don’t know… Dr. David Madow: Guess what, they’re not listening. Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s just say it’s Smith. They have to be introduced as the Doctors Smith. Dr. David Madow: It’s not a true story. It’s not true. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s true. Like if you send them an invitation to a wedding or something… Dr. David Madow: The Doctors Smith. Dr. Richard Madow: The Doctors Smith. Dr. David Madow: How about the Doctors Smiths? It’s not that? Dr. Richard Madow: It’s kind of like saying I have two brother in-laws, where it actually should be two brothers in-law. Right? Dr. David Madow: Yeah exactly. But I’ve got two brothers in-law. I got two brother in-laws. Dr. Richard Madow: Do you? Dr. David Madow: I don’t think I have any brothers in-law. Dr. Ricard Madow: Sure you do. Dr. David Madow: Who’s my brother in law? Dr. Richard Madow: Yoko’s brother. Dr. David Madow: Oh he’s my brother in-law. Right. I didn’t think about that there for a second. Dr. Richard Madow: I have a whole slew of them because Kandace has a large family. So I’ve got brothers in-law, sisters in-law coming out the ying-yang Dr. David Madow: And you have a lot of brother in-laws too. Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. Dr. David Madow: Let’s read the question. Dr. Richard Madow: No mother in-laws unfortunately. Okay. Doctors Madow, I work for a fantastic dentist. He does great work and he’s kind to all of his patients. He really cares and this can cause him to talk a bit too much. You know where that’s going. Right? I feel that we’re constantly running late. I can tell our patients don’t like it when we get them from the waiting room 20 or 30 minutes after their appointment time. Is there anything that can be done about this? And this is from Aubrey in Dothan, Alabama. Dr. David Madow: Dothan. Dr. Richard Madow: Dothan, Alabama. Dr. David Madow: We spoke there. Remember we… Dr. Richard Madow: Do you remember we spoke there? It was a great seminar… Dr. David Madow: Was that the one that was like almost an arena? It was great. Dr. Richard Madow: Yes it was. It was like a miniature arena. I felt like… Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Like a miniature hockey arena. Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. But the way it was laid out, I felt like we were the Beatles in 1963. Dr. David Madow: Let me tell you… Dr. Richard Madow: Coming to our first US gig and it was a really cool arena. It was fun. I can’t say that the stands were all packed. Pretty much… Dr. David Madow: Well I could say that even though they weren’t. Because the stands weren’t all packed already. Weren’t they selling popcorn and hotdogs and stuff like that? Dr. Richard Madow: Merch, t-shirts, Madow Brothers t-shirts. We met some really cool people in Dothan. If anybody here is listening and you’re in Dothan, Alabama, bring us back and hello. Thanks for having us that one time. It was good. Maybe we should say hi. Didn’t Marshall have a dental assistant from Dothan, Alabama? He did. Dr. David Madow: What was her name? Dr. Richard Madow: Her name was – oh shoot I can’t remember what her name was. I’ll get it, I’ll remember. He used to talk about her all the time. All the time. Dr. David Madow: Oh. How come he’s not with her? Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not sure. I think maybe she moved back to Dothan. My advice is go back to Green Bow, Alabama. We better answer this question Dr. David Madow: We better Dr. Richard Madow: Because now we’re running late. Dr. David Madow: No we never run late on the show. Dr. Richard Madow: Running late is a bit of a pet peeve of mind. Even though the phrase pet peeve is a bit of a pet peeve of mind. I cannot stand running late. Those of you who have gone to some of our one day seminars, you may have been there when I told you the story about how I left my physician because he ran late all the time. Do any of you think people leave dental practices as patients leave because they run late? Dr. David Madow: 100%. I’ve done it. I’m not going to mention any names because the office might be watching. But seriously, I have actually left a practice because every time I came in for a hygiene appointment, I could like, clockwork, she ran like 15 to 20 minutes late. Dr. Richard Madow: Run late like clockwork. It’s funny. Dr. David Madow: It’s true. Like clockwork. I could predict that even if I came in late, once early – I’m always early as you know. Always early and I came in, and I see her like futzing around with a patient every single time. 15 to 20 minutes late. I just got the hell out of there. Dr. Richard Madow: You made an interesting comment which is – I’m not going to mention the name of the practice because they may be listening, which leads to the next point which is you left an office because they were running late all the time. I bet they had no idea that’s why you left. Dr. David Madow: No idea. Dr. Richard Madow: Zero Idea. Dr. David Madow: First of all, let’s back up. I’m not ever sure if they know I left. Dr. Richard Madow: Right. Problem number one. Dr. David Madow: They have no idea. Should I have told them? Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t know. Maybe. Dr. David Madow: It was kind of like a friend of mine. I hate to say. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah. Well Ex-friend. Dr. David Madow: No he’s still a friend and he has no idea that I left. Because of that. Dr. Richard Madow: But it’s interesting, because a dentist might think, yeah we run late. That’s par for the course. Patients aren’t leaving because of it but they are. And they’re certainly not referring other people knowing that their friends or co-workers will have to sit in the reception area collecting dust while they’re waiting to be taken back. Dr. David Madow: Hey Jimmy, I want to refer you to a really good practice. They always run late but they’re really good, but they always run late. Dr. Richard Madow: Well I’ll get there late. Yeah not cool. Dr. David Madow: It doesn’t happen. Dr. Richard Madow: So I got to say, and Dave I know when we both had our practices, this is something we talked about. We simply did not run late in my practice. That was the rule. We do not run late. And then when decisions have to be made, emergencies call, procedures go bad as they always do sometimes in dentistry. And we had to make a decision. Our decision was based on the fact that we do not run late. Is it possible? Absolutely. We both did it. Dr. David Madow: Yes, it is possible. I will go back and say that there are a few things that could be done with this doctor. I think when they wrote in – it was a team member that wrote in and she said he just talks way too much, 20 minutes, sometimes – so one thing they can do, I mean two things with that. He could either not talk as much or if he truly loves talking, he’s going to have to realize that he just can’t produce as much and schedule more time for each patient, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t talk 20 minutes after the appointment is over and continue to see patients. It just doesn’t work. Dr. Richard Madow: So you’re saying this doctor – one of the decisions they might have to make is: do I enjoy talking, or can I not control my talking so much, that I’m going to actually have to reduce my income because I’ve got this talking habit and that way I won’t run late. Dr. David Madow: If the doctor truly is like a dentist… Dr. Richard Madow: Chatter box. Dr. David Madow: Who loved talking to the patients and that’s what he likes to do. He wakes up in the morning thinking, I’m going to have a nice conversation with Mrs. Smith. He’ll have to realize he can’t fit as many patients in which might mean not as much income. Because the other alternative is to consistently run late. The patients are pissed off. They’re going to leave anyway so it’s kind of having the same effect. He’s not going to make as much income because the patients are leaving the practice. Dr. Richard Madow: It might be better to just shut the hell up. Some people, they have a personality that won’t allow them to do that. I know. Dr. David Madow: Right. That would be good but suppose he really likes talking to his patients, suppose he got into dentistry because he loves that part. Dr. Richard Madow: I would question, even if this is the case. Do the patients really enjoy sitting in there talking with the dentist? I mean let’s face it. People are busy, they don’t want to have a dentist blab to them for 20 minutes when they’re done. Even if they’re acting like they’re respectful and care – they would rather get out of there, I think. Dr. David Madow: Yeah you might be right. Don’t get me wrong. I do not think that’s the idea of the practice. To pad appointment time because you like talking to your patients for 20 minutes. It’s not ideal at all. It’s not good revenue-wise and financial-wise. Not good. But it’s one solution. But yeah I agree. Cut the chatter down to a minimum, but still be super nice. If my doctor came in and was super nice to me and asked me a question or two and then said they’re off to their next patient. I’d be totally happy with that. I don’t expect my doctor nor want my doctor to be in there talking to me for 20 extra minutes. Dr. Richard Madow: Right. You know about my internist. I really really like him. He is – I don’t think it’s even a technique. I don’t even think he realizes that he does it. Dr. David Madow: Does he have a technique? Dr. Richard Madow: When you finish your appointment, he asks like one kind of non-medical, one social question. He knows I love music and he loves European history. He’s super smart. He knows I like talking about that stuff too even though I don’t know that much compared to him. He’ll just bring up one thing, we’ll have a really friendly chit chat for 2 minutes and then we both know it’s time to go. Dr. David Madow: It’s time to go. Dr. Richard Madow: He’s got another patient after. Dr. David Madow: I think that’s ideal. Dr. Richard Madow: And he runs on time which is rare with internists. Dr. David Madow: I think that’s actually ideal… Dr. Richard Madow: But I feel like he cares about me, he knows me as a person, not just a set of organs. But I also feel he doesn’t run late and I appreciate it. Those of you who come to our seminars, one of the little tips I give is that – and it takes me like 30 minutes in our seminar. We will try to do it in 30 seconds. Dr. David Madow: Okay sorry, 30 seconds. Dr. Richard Madow: Doc, when you have a bit of spare time, maybe your assistant is making a temporary, patient is getting numb and they’re waiting for an impression. Go into the hygiene room and check your hygiene patient. Make a little deal with your hygienist. We’re not going to do it at the end of the appointment. You don’t have to come track me down and while I’m in the middle of something that I can’t take a break from. I’m going to come in when I have a minute, we’ll do the hygiene check, just sit the patient up, rinse them out, give me the spiel, boom, boom. Hygienist never has to wait for the dentist, dentist never has to wait for the hygienist. That will definitely help add some minutes into your schedule that you didn’t know you had. So that’s one little tip and trick to not running late. Dr. David Madow: Yeah I think that’s really good. And I think – to summarize – I don’t know if we’re finished with this segment or not, but to summarize, it’s really important that the doctor just makes that determination. I don’t know if that’s the best word or not, but we are not going to run late in every single thing that’s done during the course of the day. Goes back to that we do not run late. And if that’s the mindset of the entire practice, like you and I did in our practices, you don’t run late 99.9% of the time. Dr. Richard Madow: Well I think a lot of it also has to do with the doctor has unrealistic expectations on how long it takes to do certain procedures. They say, yeah this patient needs two crowns. I’d love to do it as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean you can throw it into a 40-minute slot. It’s just not realistic and that’s asking for trouble. Dr. David Madow: You have to be honest with the scheduling. The amount of time it takes to do a procedure. That’s exactly right. Dr. Richard Madow: I’ll tell you another thing too. People say, we have emergencies, we have – if you get a lot of emergencies, that’s a different issue all together. We don’t have that many emergencies in dentistry. We’re not heart surgeons. Dr. David Madow: And when you do have an emergency, that does not mean you have to do a full treatment. A lot of times palliative treatment, diagnose, do what it takes to get them out of pain and bring them back in the time slot that you can actually do the full procedure. It doesn’t mean you have to do everything for an emergency patient; just get them in. Dr. Richard Madow: It also doesn’t mean that that emergency has to take scheduling priority over a patient that has an appointment. You can bring the emergency in and say look, we’re going to take care of you. We have scheduled patients today as well so I might be bopping in and out of the room and you might be here a little bit more. But don’t make the scheduled patient wait. Make the emergency patient wait. Get them pleased as punch that you’re seeing them. So if they have to wait a little bit, they’ll understand. Work in it. Dr. David Madow: I think the bottom line – we can both agree on this. The bottom line is that if you are running late consistently in your practice, it is absolutely hurting your practice. Admit it or not, it is hurting your practice, and the only person or people that can control this is the doctor and the team members. You’ve got to determine that we’re going to change this. If you don’t change it, it’s hurting your practice. So it’s up to you. Dr. Richard Madow: As always. Dr. David Madow: Everything is up to you. Exactly. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay I don’t to beat this dead horse. Dr. David Madow: Oh please. What? Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t understand why dentists don’t take this advice, because most dentists run late. At least with a decent percentage of their patients. Dr. David Madow: I will tell you this. I go to an office now locally. A dental office locally, and I will tell you they subscribe to our philosophy and she’s probably watching this right now. I won’t even mention names but honestly, they never run late. I walk in for my hygiene appointment, I’m 100% of the time greeted by the hygienist and taken back on time every single time. Dr. Richard Madow: So you know, it’s funny. We both go to dental practices that – not only do we personally know the dentists and really respect their clinical abilities, but they’re really really well-run practices. The practice I go to is a large practice. It has I think five dentists now. I think three or four of them are partners. So it’s a big place and when I go in I’m always greeted by name instantly. And pretty much – and I’m always like five or 10 minutes early, but as soon as I – if I look at my watch, 11 AM on the button, I know my hygienist comes out and greets me. She calls me Dr. Madow which I don’t care if she doesn’t but it’s nice. Everybody else in the waiting room looks, oh what kind of doctor is he. You don’t look like a doctor. But that’s not my point. It sounds like it’s the same way in the practice where you go; you’re greeted by name, on time they take you… Dr. David Madow: [cross talking - 0:13:02.0] when I walk in. No this is really funny. You’ll like this. It’s really cute with the way they do it. But the person behind the front desk, I walk in the door, she looks at me and she said okay the party is about to get started right now. Dr. Richard Madow: Well that’s good. Dr. David Madow: It’s good, it’s fun. And people in the waiting room look at you because, who’s that doctor. They look at me like, why is a party starting every time this guy walks in? Dr. Richard Madow: And are they disappointed? Dr. David Madow: I think so. Very disappointed. Dr. Richard Madow: Very funny. It can be done. It is being done. It’s being done and if it’s not being done in your practice, it’s being done in your competition’s practice. Dr. David Madow: Both of the practices that we go to are extremely successful practices. And let’s just say one reason could be because they never run late. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s very possible. Alright, well hey, before we get to our call which we’re going to continue with this theme and try to find a dental practice that does not run late. Right before we started recording; I was going to say taping. Taping is one of those terms that it’s not actually going on tape, but we still call it taping. Dr. David Madow: I think it’s taping. We’ll always call it taping. Dr. Richard Madow: Kind of like, will you dial this number? You’re not actually dialing. Dr. David Madow: By the way, can you make me – you know those mix tapes you made me in the 1980s, could you make me another mix tape? Dr. Richard Madow: It’s so funny you mentioned that because we don’t make mix tapes these days. We make playlists. Dr. David Madow: Oh playlists. Right. Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not bragging you or anything but I think I was known as a legend in the mix tape world. Dr. David Madow: Every time you made a mix tape which then ultimately went into a mix CD. I treasure those things. I’m not kidding. They are really good. Dr. Richard Madow: I was actually looking at my storage bin for some of my old mix CDs and mix tapes because I want to now to make them Spotify playlists. And I can’t find it. I threw them all out somehow. You probably don’t have them anymore either, but I was thinking about contacting some of my old friends who I always used to send mix CDs and I know this is a weird question but if you have any of my old mix CDs, please – because I made like inserts with all the song names on them too. Just take a quick photo of the inserts and send them to me. So if any of you are watching, please do that. Dr. David Madow: Let me see what I have. There’s a slight chance on Apple Music. I might have one or two because I know sometimes songs come up and actually the artists, it says – because the way I filled it in, it says Rich Records. Let me see if I can recover… Dr. Richard Madow: Oh wow, that would be great. Dr. David Madow: Let me see if I have any old ones. That would be pretty cool. Dr. Richard Madow: I know there’s one that I would really like to have. A couple songs from Sue Mack and one from Death Ray. I’m trying to think of two really cool bands who kind of came and went. Dr. David Madow: Let’s see if I can find something. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. If we find them and I make them, I’ll give the Spotify public link on this podcast. Anyway, right before we started taping, not really taping but digitally recording today, we were talking about Fattmerchant. How unbelievable they are because we use them here at the Madow Center and most of the times where people pay us here for seminars and marketing programs or coaching or whatever, it’s by charge card. So, finding the right charge card vendor, whatever you want to say. Processor which really really important to us. And everybody is calling, oh yeah we’re the bank, we can beat this rate, we can do this, we can do that. So, it really took us a long time before we found Fattmerchant, and we have been so incredibly – make a ding there. Every time we say Fattmerchant, maybe a bell should go off. Dr. David Madow: What’s that bell? Dr. Richard Madow: Doctors Madow just mentioned Fattmerchant. We’ve been incredibly pleased with them. We’re saving a ton of money, their customer service is incredible and we’ve recommended them to so many dental practices who are happily using them. So bottom line is customer service is great. If you use our special landing page /website, you’ll get all the equipment for free. They don’t charge a monthly overage percentage so you’ll save money like crazy. Dr. David Madow: That’s big. That is bigtime. I want to ask you one thing. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s fun to say Fattmerchant because I’m going to make my next ding. Dr. David Madow: Well it’s more like – okay somebody is listening to this or watching us on the video part of it. They might not want to come to TBSE, you have to travel, you might not want to come to our Masterclass, they might not want to buy a product… Dr. Richard Madow: Switch dental labs. Dr. David Madow: Yeah exactly. But is there any reason why somebody wouldn’t switch credit card processing merchants to save a lot of money every single month when it’s almost effortless? I just can’t think of a reason. Dr. Richard Madow: You’re right. You just put the whole thing in place and then boom. You forget it. Dr. David Madow: It’s so easy. Dr. Richard Madow: You set it and forget it. Dr. David Madow: Yeah you set it and forget it. It’s like if somebody is sending you like a check for a lot of money every month for almost doing nothing. I mean it’s crazy not to – yeah well we did it. Dr. Richard Madow: Kind of like my friend with a famous job you know about. Dr. David Madow: I still want that job. I really want that job. Dr. Richard Madow: He’s paid 200,000 a year for doing nothing. Dr. David Madow: You told me he does something. But seriously, who wouldn’t want – somebody sends you a big fat check every month for almost doing nothing. I mean that’s one of the reasons we switched to Fattmerchant. It’s the ease of processing it. It’s just so perfect, we love it. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s unbelievable, check it out. Go to this special website or landing page, whatever you want to call it, that we made just for you. When you use this, of course you get a free terminal. Free terminal, is that what it’s called? I think so. Dr. David Madow: Yeah. The box, whatever you want to call that thing. Dr. Richard Madow: The box. Put the message in the box. It Bitly which is B I T.L Y/FATTMAD. F A T T M A D. So it’s bit.ly/fattmad. They even now have a special phone number and I can’t remember what it is. Dr. David Madow: We’ll see if we can get it either in this episode or next week. Dr. Richard Madow: Or maybe we can put it in the graphics under there. So special [cross talking - 0:18:37.3]. Dr. David Madow: That will be great. Dr. Richard Madow: Fantastic. So do it, no excuse. Dr. David Madow: I’ll say one more thing before we move on to the phone call, but if you’re one of the docs that’s been listening or watching our podcast every week and you hear us mention Fattmerchant and you haven’t done anything yet, let’s make this the episode you’ll finally say yeah I’m in. I want to save a few hundred bucks. I can’t guarantee the amount because it depends on the volume of the practice. Dr. Richard Madow: Millions. It could be millions. Dr. David Madow: Well it totally depends on the volume of your – if you’ve got a high volume in your practice, you save a ton – let’s make this the episode where you say, okay I’m going to do it. No excuses because it’s stupid if you don’t do it. Dr. Richard Madow: I’m in. All right, good stuff. Dr. David Madow: Let me just mention real quick. We have also been talking about this every other episode. We’ve got a Masterclass coming up this weekend. Dr. Richard Madow: Right, and by the time people hear this it’s going too late for this one. Dr. David Madow: And it’s totally full. Totally full. We’re not accepting anybody else. Dr. Richard Madow: No more new patients. Dr. David Madow: But we have some more Masterclasses coming up and Masterclass, let’s just leave it as this. It’s a day where you can absolutely change your practice and change your life. We don’t charge to attend the Masterclass. Come to the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success in Baltimore, Maryland. To get there, go to masterclass.madow.com, check it out. If this is the year you’re changing your practice and improving your life, your revenue, come to our Masterclass. Dr. Richard Madow: All right, see you then. Let’s do our call of the week. Dr. David Madow: Perfect. [phone ringing] Male Speaker: Good morning. How can I help you? Dr. Richard Madow: Hi. Is this a dental office? Male Speaker: This is a dentist office, yes. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah I’ve got a question for you. I’m thinking about switching dentists. The dentist I go to now seems like he’s a good dentist but they always run late. Like every time they take me back 10 minutes late, 15 minutes late. Do you guys usually run on time in your practice? Male Speaker: Usually yes, we do. Dr. Richard Madow: Usually yes. How often do you think do you don’t? Male Speaker: I mean we don’t schedule over because we only have one doctor that works every day so we’re usually pretty much on time. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay great. Good, well thank you so much for that information. Male Speaker: You’re very welcome. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay bye. Male Speaker: Bye, bye. Dr. David Madow: Oh wow. Dr. Richard Madow: Well first of all, how did that guy answer the phone… Dr. David Madow: Wait a minute, was it a guy? It was not a guy. Dr. Richard Madow: How did the woman answer the phone? Dr. David Madow: What do you think it was? You think it was a guy? Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not sure. I’m not going to go there. Dr. David Madow: Might have been a mature woman I think. Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not going to go there. Dr. David Madow: What did she say, dentist office or something? Dr. Richard Madow: I really couldn’t tell but it might have been [cross talking - 0:21:14.1] Dr. David Madow: And then you said is this a dental office, this is a dentist office. Just like that. Dr. Richard Madow: That was one of the more mumbly unlistenable answers I’ve ever heard in a long time. Exactly. Bad way to answer the phone. Dr. David Madow: So that’s a strike against her. I think it was a her… Dr. Richard Madow: [inaudible - 0:21:34.9] Dr. David Madow: I think we can call back and say are you a her or… Dr. Richard Madow: Nah I don’t have the number. Dr. David Madow: Okay. I think she handled the answer to the question pretty well. Dr. Richard Madow: I totally agree. I mean it was exactly what somebody want to hear. We try our best to run on time. We usually do. That’s as much as you’re going to expect. Dr. David Madow: Yeah it was really good. But… Dr. Richard Madow: We’d love to make an appointment for you so we can show you how well we run on time, Anything, please. Dr. David Madow: It just goes back to every single episode is that the doctor probably thinks that his front desk person is doing a great job with scheduling but this is an example that she got no information, did not ask would you like to set up an appointment. Nothing, zero. Dr. Richard Madow: Right. No information. Could not even call back if she wanted to. Dr. David Madow: No way. Dr. Richard Madow: Zippo. That is a big, fat F. Dr. David Madow: I’m going to have to agree. F. Dr. Richard Madow: All right. Well don’t run late and we’re not going to run late so we’re going to have to end this episode of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. Thanks so much for listening. I’m Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow. See you next time.