Help Your Patients Say YES to Treatment
Case Study #211
Dr. Mahoney’s practice is a very “typical” dental practice. He has two Business Employees, two Clinical Assistants and two Hygienists. What sets practices apart from one another is the ability to be profitable, productive and sustain continued growth. Dr. Mahoney’s practice was suffering in all three departments.
Therefore, based on working 16 days a month on average, the daily objective to obtain this production for the doctor and hygienist should be $3,360. The hygienist should be producing about $900 per day and his production should be $2,460. Daily production goals should always be established individually for each producer, instead of a total practice goal.
One hygienist working 16 days a month and seeing 9 patients a day is capable of seeing about 144 patients a month. If all the patients were on a 6-month recall interval, she is only capable of maintaining 864 active patients (144 x 6). He has seen over 2,640 patients over the past 10 years. Where are the other 1,776 patients?
The good news is that once the recall system is repaired and the bleeding is stopped, the need for additional hygiene days will happen automatically. 22 new comprehensive exams per month and a retention rate of 90% is enough to grow a practice. The need for additional hygiene days will become evident when the reports are reviewed.
As the hygiene department grows, the practice production and collections will automatically increase. However, keep in mind that there are 2 distinct departments – the doctor and the hygienist. The hygienist’s production has increased due to improved recall systems and the ability to schedule a daily goal. Now Dr. Mahoney must step up his production to carry his portion of the necessary production.
Increasing the doctor’s daily production
What was discovered was that 90% of patients scheduled restorative and extraction appointments, but only 50% of patients were scheduling for C&B and removable prosthetics. Why was this the case? Based on the reasons that were given, the primary reasons were financial and “wants to think about it.” I have always thought that “thinking about it” is interesting. I just can’t imagine patients going home, sitting in their easy chair, and contemplating whether or not they are going to have a crown placed on Tooth #31!
Help Patients Say Yes to Recommended Treatment
As the hygienist is expressing to Mrs. Jones about the need for a crown to replace an old silver filling that has a cavity in it, Mrs. Jones has no idea what a crown is, what it looks like, what it is made of, or how much it is going to cost. When she is presented to Judy at the front desk and Judy explains that her “investment” is going to be $550, Mrs. Jones is shocked! There was no value placed on the necessary crown by the hygienist. The hygienist only gave her words with no pictures. Mrs. Jones wasn’t able to touch, see or smell what a crown is or how it will help her to chew all the foods that she enjoys, improve her appearance, and last for years and years.
By using something as simple as another patient’s model with a crown already prepared by the lab, added value is placed on the word “crown.” Mrs. Jones can hold it in her hand, she can see how her tooth will be prepared, she is told how the crown is custom-made just to fit her tooth, and if it is made from porcelain, it could last as long as her grandmother’s china!
Don’t allow your patients to “think about it”. This means that they don’t have enough information to make an informed decision. Get them excited about their recommended treatment by knowing what to say to activate their senses, so they can say yes!
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