Down the Barrier
The Hygiene Heist
Hygiene profitability is a multi-step process, but you
can make significant inroads if you focus on one thing: Recall.
If you do nothing else to improve your hygiene department
at least shore up your Recall and Retention efforts. It is
strategy Numero Uno in boosting your practice revenues and,
most importantly, it automatically improves service to patients.
– This practice misfit needs direction and guidance.
It doesn’t take care of itself, and it also happens
to be your primary feeding tube. You close this off and you’re
starving your practice. This isn’t news. I’ve
been saying for years that you have to manage recall –
or else! In 95% of the practices we work with, hygiene alone
is losing $35,000-$150,000 annually. This says nothing of
the thousands of dollars in additional dentistry that also
disappears. A successful recall system helps patients to secure
the dental care they need in a timely fashion – one
of the primary responsibilities of your practice.
the job of patient coordinator to one person – NOT the
hygienist. The coordinator is professionally trained
to make calls. They are given uninterrupted time to carry
out their responsibilities and this is their mission:
- Make a specific
number of patient phone calls each day in a specific amount
- Schedule a
specific number of appointments.
- Ensure that
a specific number of patients complete treatment.
- Schedule to
ensure the hygienist achieves a specific daily or monthly
- Manage a specific
number of unscheduled time units in the hygiene schedule
patient coordinator should be able to manage a patient base
of 500 to 1000 on an average of 15 hours per week at an hourly
rate of about $12-$15. It doesn’t take much
to figure out that reactivating a few inactive patients pays
for the position quickly. Monitor patient retention. Each
month, divide the number of patients due to be recalled for
prophies that month by the number of prophies performed. The
highest patient retention we've seen is 95%. See if you can
beat that record for 2003!
VP of Professional Relations
for McKenzie Management
series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return
on investment in technology at its highest level.
If you missed any of the previous issues
and Internet Service Providers: What’s
right for your children might not be “cutting
edge” for your business.
Utilize internal email, communicate with your patients
via email through your practice management system, monitor
your web site, utilize professional services (existing
or soon to be available), interact with peers and suppliers
on DentalTown, and who knows what else in the future?
switching your dial up AOL account to a new ISP (internet
service provider) at the office. Your family may enjoy
AOL at home but it has less value in the office.
get cable TV at the office, sign up for broadband
(cable modem) internet access. Or, if you don’t
have cable TV, call your local phone company and inquire
about a DSL hookup. Those of you who practice in a
residential area (home/practice) will enjoy better
travel extensively for continuing education and with
family, you might keep a limited AOL account handy.
AOL is good for having lots of local access numbers.
I personally use Earthlink for remote dial-up ISP
install yourself (it’s really inexpensive and
simple), or have your network technician install what’s
called a firewall. Think carefully about which computers
in the office should have internet access. I would
vote for your (dentist) personal office for sure.
I would also include my business administrator’s
computer. Once on-line eligibility and adjudication
becomes the norm, I would certainly consider the remaining
the first or next time another dentist asks you to
download a set of digital x-rays or images (over your
dialup) so you can collaborate on a case.
do I make sure we don’t download or receive a
and anti-virus software will watch over everything
on the way in. Don’t let a fear of getting a
virus stop you from enjoying and leveraging the benefits
of information and services available on the internet.
Seek professional advice from an installer/integrator
if you do not know how to do it yourself.
do I make sure my staff isn’t sitting there surfing
the net all day?
your installer. It’s very simple to monitor
each workstation’s internet activity. You can
limit activity and deny activity as well.
do I limit personal emails from coming to my staff?
Give them a folder in Outlook to keep their personal
emails in. Would you rather them use your telephone
for personal communication? Imagine, they’ll
think you’re a real gem when you cut back the
time they spend on personal communication by 90%!
Limit downloading and visiting off color web sites.
There are literally dozens of internet content limiting
packages available for free. Ask your technology integrator
why should I consider this?
- I don’t
know anyone who has a cable modem or DSL and has said,
“nah, I like my dial up better”. (speed,
efficiency, enjoyment are the obvious top three reasons)
- You can
free up the telephone line you use for dialup service
and roll it into another telephone line for patients
to use. Your patients will appreciate it!
- You can
begin to communicate with patients, labs, referring
doctors, collaborative dentists, dental forums (http://www.DentalTown.com)
on a larger scale. Imagine your team getting answers
to some of their questions from DentalTown. That’s
less they have to bug the dentist!
team can feel more connected to home or spouse without
the overhead of calling home or the spouse’s
work all the time.
- In the
very near future (if not already), you will be using
collaborative meeting software (with small groups),
web meeting software (with large groups), or collaborative
video streaming software. Most (if not all) of these
“meeting” type services use MicroSoft’s
Internet Explorer as their default browser. Some have
special settings and downloads if you want to use
AOL to view them through. In short, MicroSoft is winning
the business browser war and AOL is winning the home
browser war. Don’t fight it. Just use each for
their intended purpose and you’ll be happier
and more productive.
This time next year, you’ll be watching a new
dental procedure being performed in Sweden that you
believe could be the optimum treatment for a patient
you saw that morning! Or perhaps you will finally
attend a quarterly web conference call from a company
with whom you have invested. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll
find time to download some relaxing music to a set
of MP3 players – one for each patient in the
office. The possibilities are literally limitless.
Year Practice Resolutions 2003
Increase Production by 42%?
2. Set job descriptions for staff with performance measurements?
3. Reduce the accounts receivable by 15%?
4. Get a full one hour for lunch?
5. Bring on an associate dentist in the first quarter?
6. Increase perio treatment in the hygiene department by 28%?
7. Equip another operatory first quarter?
8. Increase fees 3% the first of March and October?
9. Teach dental assistants how to make temporary crowns?
10. Have 2 hour monthly meetings with system measurements?
will yours be?
out NOW how you can make your 2003
resolutions … REALITY!!!!
Pack Hygiene Special!!!!!
How To Have A Successful Recall System- Book
Telephone Effectiveness to Improve Patient Retention-Audio
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The Book and Audio Tapes - $75. SAVE
before 1/31/03 and receive as an added bonus…
Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD
Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion
I moved my chairside assistant to the front desk to be our financial
coordinator after firing the previous one.
I didn't know how to train her and she was quickly becoming
overwhelmed. Knowing that this could no longer go on I decided to
send her to The
Center for Dental Career Development. Sally McKenzie and her
team showed my financial coordinator how to not only do every aspect
of her job but also coordinate her management
duties with the Dentrix Dental System™. I now have
security in knowing that my financial systems are functioning to
the best of their ability and the process even uncovered $110,000
in lost revenues! Bottomline…I made
money on my decision!"
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
Center for Dental Career Development is compatible with the following
computer management systems: Dentrix™, Softdent™,
Your Skills NOW!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037
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Center for Dental Career Development
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