are very uncomfortable with the hiring process. In fact, many will
go to great lengths to avoid having to deal with it. In other cases,
a dentist won’t think twice about firing employees but will
turn around and repeatedly hire poor performers, such as in the
case of Dr. Tom – real dentist, fake name. He hired and fired
10 dental assistants in 12 months. Clearly, he was encountering
a serious recruitment problem. Interestingly, Dr.
Tom knew exactly what he wanted in an employee but didn’t
know how to go about attracting that employee.
Recruiting the best prospective candidates requires that you go
beyond typical advertising. Often the ideal candidates don’t
apply for dental positions because they aren’t actively
looking for a job. Therefore, they are not aware of the great opportunities
your practice has to offer.
Supply and demand-Don’t rely on classified
advertising alone. Talk to your supply representatives and other
dental professionals. These individuals are in regular communication
with other dental practices. They are likely to have a good sense
of who in the dental community would be regarded as quality recruits.
Counter offer-Pay attention to the person behind
the counter at your bank, the local hotels, other businesses,
etc. Carry your business cards with you and when you receive exceptional
service from an employee at another business ask them to consider
applying for the position in your practice or send you a resume
to keep on file should an opening occur. Dentists tend to consider
only people with dental experience and often don’t get the
best applicants because they are limiting themselves. Keep an
Patient Pool-Mention to patients that you are
looking for a new employee to join your team. If they know of
someone they would recommend ask them to encourage that person
to apply. The ideal applicant may be sitting right in front of
Talk-Talk to members of your church, synagogue, social
group, kids’ soccer coach, piano teacher, etc. When looking
for new employees get the word out on the street.
Keep in mind when you are hiring an employee you are not the only
one doing the interviewing. The prospective employee is interviewing
you and your practice as well. Package your practice and what you
have to offer. Provide the applicant with information that
can sell the position including written information on
the salary range, employee benefits including insurance, vacation
time, hours the employee is expected to work, what you have
to offer as an employer that gets the candidate excited
about the opportunity. Emphasize the valuable experience and professional
growth they will receive in many areas from working with a dedicated
and caring staff and helping great patients, to electronic claims
processing, computerized billing and so on.
candidates are out there, but they aren’t as likely to walk
into your practice unless you are willing to open the door.
you have any questions or comments, please email Sally McKenzie
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
YOU FIND YOURSELF WAIST DEEP IN
to improve management techniques through your technology platform
VP Professional Relations
Last week, [see
article], I discussed some of the basic steps necessary to set
up your scheduler. This week, we continue to work within your scheduler
set up parameters. There are also some important practice management
rules in this Tech Tip article so you might want to print it and
discuss it as a group.
Scheduling Setup Continued
Print a complete overdue recall list for the past year. Review the
first 15 patient records on the list. Do they all have exactly the
same recall interval and amount of time for their next recall appointment?
When we go on-site to set up operational business systems, we find
most practices allocating the exact same amount of time for every
patient that comes in for their professional cleaning. We also find
“standardized” recall month intervals.
In other words, it seems EVERYONE is on a six month recall when
we know at least 40% of the patients require more frequent treatment.
This is a great place to start “trimming the scheduling fat”
and make your schedule more productive.
If your computer system has the capability (most do), run a report
for a list of children under the age of 14 with
a recall date into the future. For instance, 3-11-04 through 3-11-05.
Print the list. Go into their patient record and adjust the time
units necessary for their upcoming recall visit. If you are like
most offices, you will free up 20 to 30 hours of time from your
schedule with just this exercise!
If your computer system has the capability (most do), run a report
to generate a list of all of your patients that have had
dentures performed. Go into their patient records and make
the appropriate and necessary adjustment to their next recare visit.
You probably do not see as many of these patients as children but
the same rule applies. Why default everyone to the same amount of
Set a new general operational rule in the office. The clinical team
should note somewhere (either in their own computer terminal or
on your paper records) how much time each individual patient
requires at their next recall visit.
Stick to the new rule! It would be the scheduling coordinator or
hygiene coordinator’s responsibility to make sure every patient
has the appropriate amount of time units assigned.
It is the clinical team’s responsibility to get the scheduling/hygiene
coordinator the correct information.
IMPORTANT PRACTICE MANAGEMENT RULE!
Never, never, never, ask your computer system to “find”
the next available appointment! ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, look visually
at the available opening in the schedule to find the best
fit for the office AND the patient. Your computer system
uses linear logic to find openings. In most cases, all it (your
computer system) cares about is finding a certain provider with
a certain number of open time units. Your computer system will totally
skip over every appointment opening to find a match. For instance,
you may be looking for a 9 unit opening. Your computer system will
totally ignore multiple 8 unit openings just to “find”
that perfect match. In most cases, a skilled scheduling coordinator
would have scheduled that appointment LONG before that 9 unit opening
the computer system “found”. This is especially useful
if the scheduling coordinator is trying their best to schedule
toward a production goal. Computer systems are great! Believe
me, you won’t find a more passionate proponent of their use
in dental practices. But, they aren’t magic. A computer system
will never be an effective replacement for a skilled and motivated
I welcome any and all readers to email
me with specific questions, problems, requests and challenges.
Who knows? Maybe your inquiry will lead to a new Tips For Today
article! Don’t worry, your inquiry will remain anonymous unless
you want credit for the question.
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
you DON’T do anything to improve your
history is bound
to repeat itself.
Find out how you can make the
most of your practice...GO
Secret To Getting Your Hygiene Patients To Say “YES”
- Part II
Dr. Allan Monack
Hygiene Clinical Director
things in life are certain, but when it comes to today’s patient
you can just about count on the fact that he or she wants to keep
their teeth. They don’t want dentures soaking in
the cup on the nightstand like their parents had. Patients who know
and understand what they need to do to keep their teeth are far
more likely to take the necessary steps to ensure good oral health.
In part one, we talked about explaining both the importance of periodontal
probing as well as the diagnostic process to patients. In addition,
take time to ask a few probing questions, to establish the
patient as an active and involved partner in treatment
Engage them in conversation about their oral
health goals. This is going to give you invaluable insight into
the patient’s perceptions, fears, expectations, concerns,
and, most importantly, potential objections to periodontal treatment.
Ask several broad questions and listen to what your patient
is and is not telling you. For example, “How do
you feel about keeping your natural teeth?” “How would
you feel about taking steps to maintain healthy gums to ensure
that you keep your teeth?”
the patient to do most of the talking. Follow the 80-20 rule,
listen 80% of the time.
The information you gather tells you what is going to motivate that
patient emotionally. The patient will not proceed with treatment
if they do not have an emotional attachment to the benefits.
The periodontal treatment will help to ensure that I keep my
natural teeth. It will also help to prevent other medical problems,
such as heart disease. My smile will look and be healthier.
All of those are emotional motivators.
the exam is the basis for the clinical diagnosis, the question/answer
period is the basis for the “emotional diagnosis,”
which is what drives the patient to pursue the best dentistry you
have to offer. However, it can also prevent them from following
through on recommended treatment.
explaining the periodontal treatment, remember your audience. The
more technical and clinical the presentation, the more likely the
patient is going to feel intimidated and uncertain about proceeding.
Present the findings in terms the patient can understand.
into detail about the therapy, what the patient’s responsibilities
will be to increase the success of treatment,
and what is necessary to monitor and maintain their oral health.
list the benefits and tie in the emotional motivators at every
the patient to ask questions.
Listen to the patient’s comments and address any concerns.
The patient is going to see the diagnostic probing
procedure, hear the measurements being recorded,
and notice any bleeding that occurs. The patient
will not be able to deny whose mouth it is. The patient will have
discovered any problems at the same time the hygienist does. In
listening carefully to your patient you can determine any resistance
If the patient does understand the problem as well as the recommended
solution but still does not accept treatment identify what is keeping
them from proceeding? It is likely to be one or a combination of
the three typical barriers to treatment acceptance – fear
of pain, money, and time. Obviously, if the patient comes
into the office in pain, they recognize that there is a problem
that needs to be corrected, and they are usually eager to proceed.
Unfortunately, periodontal disease isn’t painful until it
is too late to treat conservatively.
do you convince someone they have periodontal disease when there
is no discomfort, pus or swelling? Through the co-diagnosis process
I have explained. How do you get patients to accept treatment when
their insurance will not pay the entire bill? Through patient
financing programs that benefit both the practice and the
patient, such as CareCredit.
How do you encourage patients to commit to multiple visits when
busy lifestyles threaten to interfere with successful scaling and
root planing therapy? By offering appointments at convenient
times and confirming appointments. The most important step
you can take to help the patient overcome the barriers is to understand
them and develop treatment acceptance strategies to eliminate or
reduce the barriers.
more comfortable you are with this type of sequential communication
the greater your treatment acceptance. Patients
are confident in their decision to say “yes” when they
see your confidence in your work. You now have the secret to getting
your patients to say yes!
you would like more information on improving your hygiene department
contact Dr. Monack at email@example.com
YOU LIKE TO IMPROVE YOUR HYGIENE DEPARTMENT?
Clinical Practice Enrichment Program
is designed to improve Hygiene Clinical Skills and develop
and implement a step-by-step Interceptive Periodontal
Therapy Program that will immediately bring greater
productivity, with enhanced patient care. For more information...GO
To Hire The Best Dental Employee
Dentist's Guide to Effective Interviewing
a Job Description
Advertising-Sample Ads Included
Reviewing the Resumes
The Application- ReadyTo Use
Questions for Business, Assistants, Hygienists
Testing Applicants and Tests Provided
25 - 27
We have a lot of patients on our overdue recall list. What advice
do you have in overcoming reasons of why the patient doesn’t
want to return.
The most common objection will be the patient wanting to control
the situation by saying, “Not now, I will call you
back.” When this occurs, the patient has just put
themselves in charge of the recall system. If the procrastination
is a result of something else that is happening at the moment, then
take the responsibility to call them back such as, in three weeks.
If the patient still insists on calling
back, then inform them that there is no place within your “system”
to retain their records under a “will call back status”
and instead of inactivating them from the system, would it be okay
if they were called back in two or three months? Hopefully, the
reason for not scheduling will be overcome in a time period of months.
However, if the patient says “no”, then inactivate all
records. They get aggravated with you when they’ve told you,
“don’t call me” and then someone in your office
calls back. A confirmation letter of the telephone conversation
should be sent. “We sincerely care about your dental health
and want you to know that your records will be kept in safekeeping
till you decide the time is right to return to our office.”
Consider enclosing an educational brochure that explains the importance
of receiving a professional oral health examination.
US TRAIN YOUR
Center for Dental Career Development
Business Education for Dental Professionals
737 Pearl Street,
La Jolla, CA 92037
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