Who’s Dropping the Ball on Recall?
Hygienists, I have a few questions for you. Who is responsible for keeping your schedule productive? Does someone in the practice confirm your patients’ appointments? Does the practice regularly monitor and adjust for necessary hygiene days? Let’s look at the first and second questions. Who is responsible for keeping the hygiene schedule productive? And are hygiene appointments confirmed? Both of these are essential to a successful dental practice, and neither is the responsibility of the hygienist. I strongly recommend that practices designate a Patient Coordinator. This point person is responsible for keeping a steady flow of patients streaming into the hygiene treatment rooms. The hygienist is a clinical producer. The recall system is a business operational system.
The Patient Coordinator position has an enormous impact on production/overhead. The responsibility should be assigned to one business person – NOT the hygienist. In addition, this person should not be a “floater” who is expected to fill in here, there, and everywhere. The coordinator is professionally trained to make calls. They are given uninterrupted time to carry out their responsibilities, and this is their mission:
This person should be able to handle a patient base of 500 to 1000 on an average of 15 hours per week. Reactivating a few inactive patients pays for the position quickly. Monitor results. Each month, divide the number of patients due for prophies that month by the number performed. Shoot for a goal of around 95%.
Next, does the practice monitor and adjust the hygiene schedule? Hygiene schedules frequently appear to be overbooked. At times hygiene is so crowded there isn’t an appointment to be had for weeks. Consequently, if patients can’t get appointments in a timely manner, they start shopping around for a new dentist, which translates to bad news for the practice. However, little attention is paid to those holes in the schedule, and that translates into lost hygiene days. If the practice has more hygiene days than patients to fill them, revenues go down and overhead goes up. But how do you establish that seemingly elusive perfect balance in the hygiene schedule? It’s as easy as ABC.
Another means of measuring the need for additional hygiene time is to assess how long patients have to wait for appointments. If the waiting time is consistently three weeks and is beginning to slip into the fourth week, it may be time to add one more day of hygiene.
Understanding how the hygiene numbers stack up in your practice will provide you with clear information to determine if your doctor is meeting patient demand with existing resources, or if he/she needs to add hygiene time. It also will give you solid data on the efficiency of your hygiene department.
McKenzie Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe: To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie eManagment newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Company activities
please send a descriptive email to: email@example.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Company - All Rights Reserved.