3.9.07 - Issue # 261 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Jean Gallienne RDH BS
Hygiene Consultant
McKenzie Management
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Monitoring Hygiene Production

It seems that lately I have been receiving many questions about how and who should be monitoring the production of the hygienist. Naturally the software in our operating systems allows for this production to be monitored, but how often and how many hygienists even look at those numbers? I have also been asked what exactly is considered hygiene production? Then there are always the offices that participate with insurance companies that pay at reduced fee plans and they want to know how to make the hygienist aware of her actual production dollars accepted as full fee. Many hygienists are not aware of the amount the doctor actually receives as payment and they need to be. 

When I first started hygiene, I did not know anything at all when it came to my production and how it has a direct affect on my salary and benefits. One of the best things, so far, that ever happened to my career as a clinical hygienist was when I started working at an office where it was part of my job description to monitor my daily production. All of a sudden it started to make sense to me. That coming to work, doing my job to the best of my ability and working hard was not the only thing that determined my salary potential. It was kind of like being a child that thinks that as long as there are checks in the checkbook, there is money available or let’s just go to the ATM and get money out. We all know as an adult that is not the way it is. There must be money in the account in order to pay all of the costs involved in running our home or practice.

First, lets look at some of the procedures that are considered hygiene production:

Adult prophylaxis
Child prophylaxis
Periodontal maintenance
Root planing
Professionally applied fluoride
X-rays taken by the hygienist

Now, how do we monitor what is being produced. McKenzie Management actually has a downloadable monitor that will help with this procedure. It really does not require much time at all. Here are a few of the things that will need to be monitored:

The last name of every patient is written down on the monitor.
The treatment given is recorded
How many hours worked that day
No show units are tracked
Canceled units are tracked
Open units are tracked

In the morning when the hygienist goes through the patient’s record for the morning meeting, she will write down the names of her patients on the monitor. Once she has actually completed the treatment, it will be recorded on the monitor with a simple check mark. At this time there will not be a fee recorded unless your office does not participate with any insurance companies that pay at a reduced fee.

For those offices that do participate in insurance plans that pay at a reduced fee, the hygienist will be given the day sheet report the next day, after the front desk has verified that all treatments were posted correctly and to the correct provider. When the hygienist has one or two minutes available in her day, she will go through and write down the actual fee paid to the doctor by the insurance company or patient. Once the hygienist has done this, he or she will add up all of the fees paid for that day. This will give you and the hygienist his/her production for that day. More importantly, the hygienist should now take that figure and divide it by the actual hours worked that day. Yes, actual clinical hours. If the hygienist works a half hour over the normally scheduled day of eight hours then 8.5 would divide the total fees paid for that day, in order to come up with the actual hourly production.

I also want to share with you that when I was first told I had to start monitoring my production, my first thought was, “Great just one more thing I have to do in an all ready tight schedule.” Well, as you can see my thoughts have changed over the years and so has my income. I am now grateful for having been asked to monitor my production as a hygienist. The great thing is, I have never had to compromise the quality of care provided to my patients in order to increase my production.

In addition to monitoring the hygienist, your office may be surprised to find how much treatment is not getting posted at all or to the wrong provider. Thus creating one more check and balance when it comes to the production of your practice.

Interested in knowing more about how to improve your hygiene department? Email hygiene@mckenziemgmt.com.

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