Well, I’ve Just Been Busy!

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Dental Practice Staff
The other day, one of my clients was about ready to pull his hair out.

He asked his financial coordinator to give him a report on treatment that was diagnosed, compared to treatment that was scheduled.

Two days late on the report she replied: “Oh, I’ve just been busy.

The problem isn’t the poor attitude by the staff member. To the contrary, it is the doctor’s fault. (I am certain I will get flack for saying this!) The doctor failed to give his staff member a deadline, and she failed to create a timeline.

What resulted was a mix of poor performance, disappointment, and frustration. In a high accountability business, a broken promise means a lack of integrity that ultimately results in a lack of trust.

If you experience this in your practice, be very specific upon your request. Encourage your staff members to ask you about the priority level of your request if they aren’t sure, and to establish timelines for themselves.


  1. It is amazing how this is the answer to most failures in the dental practice. Scheduling patients for continuing care seems to be one of the last things office staff want to do. Establishing time lines is critical.

  2. Dr. Ron says:

    Just a thought: what if the doctor explains to each of the staff members just what impact pre-scheduling continuing care has on them individually…like their income?

  3. Fred S Hecht says:

    Two of my favorite expression you have taught me 1. by when 2. three solution rule