McKenzie Management, Inc.
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June 10, 2002
For a FREE a Analysis of Your Practice by Sally
This issue is sponsored in part
- A full service, in-office dental management
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McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #15
Expert Advice You Can
"...But Sally, everyone knows
that you need another business assistant for every $30 thousand
in production..." Yeah, right. Everyone also knows that
ideal patient retention is supposedly 85%. It's
"expert" advice like that that can bankrupt your
practice, or, at least, keep you financially strapped. Let's
start with the rule of $30K. Determining if you need another
business assistant isn't based exclusively on the amount of
Look at the number of patients and the time
it takes to handle each at the front desk. An eight-hour business
day is 480 minutes. Figure that it takes10 minutes per patient.
No more than half of a business assistant's day, 240 minutes,
should be consumed with patient processing. The other half should
be available for non-patient tasks. If you are seeing 35 patients
per day, your business assistant doesn't have time to accomplish
other essential responsibilities. If you are seeing 15 patients
per day, your business assistant shouldn't have any trouble
managing the duties of the front desk. If she does, you have
another problem to deal with.
So, you say your patient retention is a
healthy 85%. And that's really good because the advice guru told
you it was. I urge you to duck when that sweeping generalization
is coming at you. Rather, do a little simple math to determine
what your ideal patient retention is:
- Look at the last six
months and calculate the monthly average of recall patients
- Calculate the monthly average of comprehensive exams
for the same period.
- Take 50% of the answer in number 2.
- Divide the answer in number 3 by the answer in number 1.
- Subtract the answer of 4 from 100%.
That is your ideal patient retention.
Sally's Recommended Actions:
- Base your decision to hire more business
staff on numbers, not on the flustered demeanor of a seemingly
overworked business assistant. If the numbers show that one
employee should be able to handle the job, she either needs
training, is not suited for the position, or the systems she
works on are time and motion inefficient.
- Throw out the false sense of security
that 85% patient retention is acceptable.
- Follow the steps above to determine what
your patient retention should be.
- If your office is falling short, look at
your recall system. Is it the practice orphan that no one
wants to bother with? Designate someone to be responsible for
your recall system. That person should be trained in telephone
sales and have at least 10-15 hours of uninterrupted time each
week to contact patients.
Check out my book "How
to Have a Successful Recall System" for a proven
strategy to ensure practice recall success- click
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- All Rights Reserved.