12.23.16 Issue #772 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 

How to Grow Production in the New Year
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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You and your team members understand how important it is to meet daily production goals, yet for some reason it didn’t happen that often in 2016 – and it wasn’t from lack of trying. The entire team worked hard throughout the year, but somehow you still fell short. This not only hurts team morale, it keeps you from achieving true success and profitability.

Unfortunately this scenario plays out in many practices. Dentists and their teams struggle to increase production and revenues, no matter how many hours they spend at the practice each day.

If lackluster production kept you from meeting your true potential in 2016, now might be the time to make some changes. Follow these tips to get out of your rut and grow production numbers in 2017 and beyond.

Offer New Services
Updating equipment and adding new treatment options to your list of services is a great way to give production a boost. Not only will this attract new patients to your practice, it will give current patients more reasons to schedule treatment. Another benefit? Learning about the latest advances in the industry and offering them in your practice will help renew your passion for dentistry as well as improve efficiencies.

Educate Your Patients
The truth is, educated patients are more likely to accept treatment, which is why it’s so important to educate your patients every chance you get. Make sure they understand the value of dentistry as well as the services you provide. Educate them about their condition and the possible consequences of not going forward with treatment. Talk with them on their level and use intraoral cameras, radiographs and videos to illustrate what’s going on in their mouths and what they can expect during the recommended procedure. Trust me, this will go a long way in getting more patients to accept treatment and increasing your production numbers.

Make Patients Feel Connected to the Practice
Taking the time to educate patients will help build these connections, but it’s also important to develop a rapport. Ask patients about their oral health goals, their jobs and their families. Provide them with exceptional customer service that begins from the moment they call the practice to schedule an appointment until they walk out the door once that appointment is over. Show that you care about them as people and aren’t just worried about selling treatment. When they feel a connection, patients will stay loyal to your practice and trust your recommendations, which of course makes them more likely to say yes to treatment.

 Consider Hiring a Treatment Coordinator
This is one of the best ways to increase case acceptance, and thus production, in your practice. Instead of you rushing through presentations chairside, this team member should go over treatment with every patient for as long as necessary, and then follow-up with a phone call to get them on the schedule. For best results, your Treatment Coordinator should be trained in sales and able to address patient concerns as well as perceived barriers to care.

Improve Clinical Efficiencies
If you’re experiencing clinical inefficiencies then it’s likely leading to slow treatment room turnaround, which hurts your production numbers. What’s the fix? Before you start a procedure, make sure everything you need is in the room. Delegate more tasks to your dental assistant, as your state allows. I also suggest you challenge yourself to cut procedure times by 10 minutes, without compromising on the quality of care you provide. Making this small adjustment will do wonders for your production per hour.

Focus on Recall
If your production numbers are down, chances are patient retention is suffering as well. That’s why I suggest you focus on recall. Tapping into the recall system is one of the easiest ways to improve patient retention and increase production.

So how do you revamp your recall system? You can start by hiring a Patient Coordinator who’s tasked with reaching out to and scheduling a certain number of past due patients every day. This vital team member should have access to up-to-date patient information to help ensure these phone calls lead to appointments.

I’ve found many practices still send out generic postcards to recall patients. Sorry, but that simply isn’t enough. Neither is relying on pre-appointing, an outdated system that can lead to broken appointments and no-shows, causing you and your team members stress while also cutting into practice production. If you want to grow production, I suggest you stop ignoring recall and start calling past due patients. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

If production wasn’t where you wanted it to be in 2016, now’s the time to look ahead and make the necessary changes for a successful 2017. Follow these tips and you’ll see your production numbers and your bottom line start to grow. Need more guidance? Feel free to contact me and we’ll work together to achieve true success and profitability in the New Year.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Interested in having McKenzie Management Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How to Know if You Need a Consultant
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Case Study #301

The doctor’s concerns: Even though this doctor owned what seemed like the perfect practice and was knowledgeable about many key statistics, he still wasn’t happy. He thought he could accomplish more and wanted to know how a consulting company like McKenzie Management could help.

When he came to us, this doctor was tracking everything he could possibly think of, from number of days worked to production and collection totals to how many hygiene patients were seen each day.

Here’s a look at some of the practice numbers:

- Net collections were at 98.5% of net production
- Production adjustments were less than 5%
- There were established goals for the doctor and hygienists
- The practice had no outstanding insurance claims over 60 days
- The practice completed 30+ comprehensive exams per month (new patients)

Pretty good, right? Yes, but the doctor knew he could do even better. He also recognized a few areas that needed improvement. These were his main areas of concern:

- The percent of periodontal procedures were not within industry standards
- The practice was not growing at the rate he felt it should be based on the number of new patients he saw each month
- The number of hygiene days had remained the same for 5 years

Yes, this is a good practice, but the doctor wanted to make it exceptional. Here’s what we did to address the deficient areas to really make this practice shine.

Improving Periodontal Production
To do this at any practice, the doctor and hygienists have to be on the same page from a diagnostic standpoint. For example, does the practice recommend scaling and root planing with 4 mm and bleeding or 5 mm and bleeding? Is bone loss used as a guideline as well? How does the practice diagnose isolated periodontal pockets versus a full quadrant and how are those isolated areas billed? We encouraged the doctor to answer these questions and then established guidelines for both him and his hygienists. This helped improve diagnosis and treatment planning for periodontal therapy in the practice, thus increasing production.

Marketing is also key to improving periodontal production. The practice began handing out educational brochures about periodontal disease and the oral-systemic link at the front desk as well as sending out e-newsletters to reach patients at home. The doctor and team took every opportunity to educate and market to patients, which helped spur an increase in production.

He also started asking patients to fill out questionnaires before their appointments. This gave him the opportunity to learn about any symptoms patients were having, opening the door to discuss periodontal disease and treatment chairside. 

Stalled Practice Growth
For this doctor, practice growth meant increasing his active patient base, with active patients being those the practice had seen in the past 12 months in hygiene who were scheduled or due to be scheduled in the next 12 months.

Why does that timeframe matter? Let me explain. Let’s say you saw a patient who needed emergency treatment seven months ago. This patient wasn’t interested in a comprehensive exam; he just wanted out of pain and had no intention of ever coming back. Or maybe you saw a hygiene patient 14 months ago. This patient didn’t reschedule, or did reschedule but ended up cancelling. The result? She isn’t in the recall system for the next 12 months.

The point is, these patients aren’t contributing to the growth of the hygiene department, which is exactly where growth must take place. This doctor hadn’t added another day of hygiene in the last year, yet was continuing to see 25-30 comprehensive exams each month, a tell-tale sign his system was broken, and he had no idea.

Moving Forward
The team at McKenzie Management worked with this doctor to put systems in place to monitor increases in the active patient base. He is now scheduled to bring on two additional hygiene days as past due patients are put on the schedule. There’s also a system in place to improve follow-up to help prevent patients from falling through the cracks and becoming inactive.

Although his practice was relatively healthy, this doctor knew something wasn’t quite right – he just had no idea how to fix it. That’s where McKenzie Management came in. We worked with him to put the correct systems in place to make the practice even more profitable, and we can do the same for you. Just give us a call and we’ll get started.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you implement proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com

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