But We're So Busy

Apr 18 20:45 2010 Rachel Wall Print This Article

Have you wondered why the numbers are down when you seem to be so busy?

Have you ever experienced this? You're trying to implement a new product,Guest Posting procedure or service and for some reason, it just won't stick. It works fine for a little while but then you go back to your same old ways. Or you sit down with your accountant to look at practice numbers and they aren't what you expected.

Hygiene seems to be busier than ever but you just can't figure out why the numbers are down.

Chances are there are some hidden obstacles that you haven't yet identified. There are lots of things that stand in our way of success but here are the most common obstacles that I see with my clients.

The 5 Most Common Barriers Are:

#1 Your Schedule Is Out of Balance
#2 There Are No Systems
#3 There Is No Accountability
#4 No Training Is Taking Place
#5 You're Holding On To Old Information and Beliefs

Obstacle #1 Your Schedule Is Out of Balance

By far, this is the obstacle I see most often.

Here's the scenario:

    * Busy small town practice that has 20-30 new patients per month without too much marketing effort
    * Employs 2+ full-time hygienists
    * Hygienists are seeing a prophy patient every 45-50 minutes
    * Hygiene is booked out 6-8 weeks
    * Facility is filled to capacity
    * Hygiene has not reached the 1st level of profitability
    * Hygiene production numbers are down
    * Perio numbers are very low
    * Not much restorative coming out of hygiene

At first glance you might think..."well those hygienists just need to step up and get recommitted to doing a thorough exam and co-diagnosis." That's easier said than done.

Another practice style that also sees this type of scheduling challenge is the practice that participates in PPO plans. Patients are clamoring to get into hygiene and the knee jerk reaction is to put 'em on the books! You get in as many hygiene patients as possible and before you know it, there's NO TIME for perio care.

And so a cycle of "perio prophies" begins. Again, with this situation you may be very busy but you may not have the time to deliver the very best treatment and hygiene may not be reaching their production goals.

If your schedule is jam packed, you have a challenge of abundance. A good problem to have but it can also be very frustrating. When you have more patients than you can handle, appointment times tend to get shortened which results in less treatment enrolled and fewer adjunct services. Also, when there are no appointments reserved for perio therapy, often it just doesn't happen. We realize that if it's going to be 2-3 months before we can get a patient back for perio treatment, maybe we should just scale really well today and check them next time.

If you find yourself in this situation here are some solutions:

    * Add more hygiene hours

    * If you're already at maximum capacity, look for creative ways to utilize your current facility

    * It may be time to consider assisted hygiene with a highly skilled dental assistant

    * You may want to utilize Power Hygiene days

    * Take a good look at the quality of each patient and their commitment to your practice. Perhaps you decide not to pre-appoint those patients that have a habit of cancelling at the last minute or not showing up-be sure you're tracking this on each patient

    * Put blocks for high level hygiene care in your schedule TODAY

Take time to sketch out your ideal hygiene day including the procedures and production you'd like to see. It's exciting to see what's possible when you get your schedule into balance. The first step is to acknowledge the obstacle and then do something about it. Go out as far as you need to and put in blocks for perio therapy and maintenance.

Then, if low perio numbers is your problem (and it usually is if hygiene production is low), get help from a coach, CE course or colleague and create a clear, written program for getting perio patients healthy.

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About Article Author

Rachel Wall
Rachel Wall

Owner of Inspired Hygiene, Rachel Wall helps dentists tap into hygiene’s profit potential.  Rachel draws from her 19 years of experience as a hygienist and practice administrator to deliver proven solutions for increased revenue and productivity. Inspired Hygiene’s programs include in-office coaching, the High Performance Hygiene Mastermind group and the High Performance Perio webinar series. Get your copy of Rachel’s FREE audio CD “Top 3 Secrets to Increased Hygiene Co-Diagnosis” at http://www.inspiredhygiene.com/.

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