the Hygiene Schedule/Production ‘Crash and Burn’
Have you ever found yourself holding
your breath as you watched the waiter at your favorite restaurant
emerge from the kitchen with a string of plates precariously balanced
- one carefully placed entrée after another lined up in succession
from the tips of his fingers to the edge of his shoulder? You’re
famished and you know that one slight shift and CRASH! Disaster
strikes and you’ll be sitting for another 30 + minutes swirling
your Chardonnay as you wait for “Take Two!” on your
dinner. Fortunately, such a
rarely happens. But many dental practice scheduling staff can relate
to the delicate balance of that waiter’s
job. It often feels as though managing the schedule is all about
keeping the plates steady and avoiding catastrophe. No easy task
when you consider on one hand patients are stacked from here to
eternity, and many of those who want an appointment now
can’t secure a “reservation” until the
next blue moon. On the other hand, there are more than a few days
every month when the entire schedule shatters. No-shows here, cancellations
there and all those perfectly positioned patient appointments crash
like a stack of fine china making a seriously big mess of your month’s
how do you keep the “plates” balanced? Consider the
experienced waiter. He consistently follows a system, a proven method
or strategy that virtually guarantees that the Lenox will seldom
hit the laminate. The same holds true for maintaining the balanced
and profitable schedule. The system is the safety net.
look at what your hygiene department is serving up. Hygiene should
account for 33% of your total practice production. If the hygienists
receive guaranteed salaries regardless of their production, the
expectation must be that they produce three times their salaries.
To determine how much the hygienist is producing, divide the hygiene
salary for the past year by her production. If production is falling
short, take a careful look at the schedule. The hygienist
must be scheduled to produce at 3x her daily wage. Achieving
that requires you allot the right number of hygiene days - enough
to keep patients happy and not having to wait an inordinate amount
of time for an appointment, yet not so many that the schedule is
riddled with holes and hygiene salaries tip above 33% benchmark.
you’re figuring the percentage that hygiene contributes to
your total production, take a look at fee schedules as well. If
the hygienist is paid $25 per hour and the cost for the prophy,
not including the dentist’s exam, is $50, the hygienist is
making 50 cents on the dollar. In addition, one-third of
hygiene production should be in interceptive periodontal therapy.
Require the hygienist to measure the total number of dollars produced
through interceptive perio and divide it by their total production.
Review hygiene production each month during the team’s monthly
Next week, the perfect 5-step recipe for the well-balanced
you have any questions or comments, please email Sally McKenzie
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
SEEN YOUR YEAR END NUMBERS ...
PANIC TO PROFIT - TURNING PANIC TO PROFIT
PANIC TO PROFIT - TURNING PANIC TO PROFIT
An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause
VP Professional Relations
Last week, [see
article], we discussed what steps to take when the phone rings.
This week, I will continue breaking down the technology responsibilities
by job description. Two weeks ago, we started with the front desk
coordinator position. Many of you have multiple business personnel
at the front desk. I will break out the responsibilities into separate
coordinator positions. Understand that these coordinator
responsibilities are “general” in nature. Each dental
office is different. You should consider the following data responsibilities
as “bare minimum”.
Financial Coordinator – Part 1
Your financial coordinator should be responsible for the following….
The collection of accurate patient/account data before patient
is seen. This would normally be the welcoming person at the front
desk. This responsibility may be ultimately shared with the scheduling
coordinator (see column two weeks from now) but
the person with the most to gain by having complete accurate information
is definitely the financial coordinator.
presentation of financial options before treatment
Proper execution of insurance processing plays a big role here
(see #4). Proper communication of the “scope” of financial
options is also very important. The ability to professionally
present 3rd party financing like CareCredit
has a direct impact on improved treatment plan acceptance. Your
financial coordinator is responsible for entering pertinent notes
into your practice management software regarding any promises
made by the office or the patient during the treatment plan presentation.
The collection of payment across the counter
at time of service.
If you do not participate or accept assignment of insurance, your
collection rate should be at or near 98% across the counter (at
time of service). If you do participate or accept assignment,
a full 45% of your revenues should be collected across the counter
at the time of servie. Add three payment codes to your system.
They are “OC Cash, “OC Credit Card”, and “OC
Personal Check”. At the end of the month, tally the totals
of these three codes and divide the sum by the total revenues
for the month. The result will be your over the counter collections
The proper execution of insurance processing
Your financial coordinator is responsible for keeping your insurance
tables complete and accurate when insurance payments are posted.
The EOB (explanation of benefits) is attached to the check. This
is the perfect time to make your insurance tables (some systems
call this the “bluebook”) perfectly accurate. Assuming
you submit electronically (there’s no reason why you shouldn’t),
daily submission of claims is a minimum requirement. Any remaining
patient balance or credit (after insurance payment is received)
is immediately handled. There is no reason to wait.
We’re not done yet! More to come……
Next week, the financial coordinator position will be continued.
Once financial coordinator is complete, we will discuss the scheduling
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call
or send an email.
you have any questions or comments, please email Mark Dilatush at
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
The Cold Shoulder
Giving Dentists And Their Staff Different Perspectives On Day To
holidays and welcome back for another new year of surprises tribulations
and opportunities to grow.
One of the guiding principles that I use to motivate my clients
and to help keep them on track in making life enhancing decisions
is by employing the following expression:
The purpose of life is to enjoy the day
Everyone has the option, every day when they wake up, to move their
life in a positive or life enhancing direction or negative and life
threatening direction. If you will listen to your feelings
at every moment of the day, you can tell, you can feel if you are
enjoying yourself or if you are not.
guiding principle is very pure in its intent and meaning, however,
I am well aware that there are those who will distort their own
self-image in order to avoid the truth regarding how they truly
feel each day. They must justify and maintain behavioral
habits developed over a lifetime, and it is for these people
that a statement such as ‘Enjoy the Day’ makes perfect
sense and yet they know deep down inside that they are not an example.
People who are not happy cannot enjoy the day. It is worthwhile
to recognize one of the reasons why they are not happy. We are all
the composite listing of all the decisions we have made over a lifetime
which have brought us to our present overriding feeling. The truth
is indisputable that if we started to lie to ourselves many
years ago, then we are continuing to lie to ourselves today
and therefore any honesty regarding our state of mind, whether we
are happy or sad, in all likelihood continues to perpetuate that
As we begin a new year, I would like to use this column to help
you see that perpetuating any denial of your true intent
or maintaining secrets which are not life enhancing, effectively
eliminates any chance for your happiness during the day. It is the
absence of this opportunity for happiness that is the saddest part
of waking up every day and going to work.
believe it is reasonable that the owner of the business looks forward
to every new day and the opportunity to meet new people, interact
with the staff, and make money for his or her family. I also believe
that it is reasonable that every staff member looks forward to every
new day and the opportunity to meet people, to interact with the
other staff members, and to make money for their family. From this
perspective, at the beginning of the day, everyone is on the same
this page, you can ask then, why doesn’t everyone stay on
the same page throughout the day? Old habits........... That’s
it........ Nothing but old habits. There are those
business owners who are ineffective at saying what they want and
they will not enjoy the day because their frustration sits inside
their heart and mind and festers like an infection. There are those
staff members who do not sincerely want to make the business work
by fulfilling their job descriptions. Yes, they come to work, but
they come to work with a hidden agenda. This agenda
causes them to be ineffective at saying what they want, and they
too will not enjoy the day, because this frustration sits inside
their heart and mind and festers like an infection.
order to enjoy the day, we all must successfully fulfill our
commitment to ourselves and to our colleagues. We fulfill
this commitment by following through on our job description as well
as initiating enough dialogue between each other so that everyone
expresses themselves clearly and effectively. Enjoying the
day is the product of honest communication that is not draped by
the shadows of fear and retribution.
The stories are endless of dentists who are afraid to speak up,
of office managers who will not delegate for fear of losing power,
and staff either complaining about why things aren’t better
or the staff attempting to fill the void of power left by a lack
of adequate management.
for this New Year, I wish for all of us to find meaning in our lives
by making every effort to enjoy the day. Say what's on your
mind without the fears of childhood. Express your ideas
for a better business system without a sense of embarrassment. And
finally, smile. If you would only smile and realize that your
smile is a very effective defense against other people
who want to ruin your day, you will discover an inner strength that
you did not know that you had.
in this new year, I am encouraging everyone to smile and to express
themselves with the understanding that the true intent of everyone
else's agenda will make itself apparent in time, but this demonstration
of true intent does not have to contaminate your ability to enjoy
your day. More about this next time...
would like to request your stories of Dentists and Staff members
who have upset your enjoyable day by what appeared to be deliberate
and uncalled for negativity. Send them to Coach@mckenziemgmt.com.
No incriminating information will be published.
Want your issues
answered? Ask the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missed Past Issues of Our e-Motivator Newsletter?
YEAR'S RESOLUTION FOR 2004
Production by 25%?
job descriptions for staff with performance measurements?
the accounts receivable by 15%?
a full one hour for lunch?
on an associate dentist in the first quarter?
perio treatment in the
hygiene department by 28%?
another operatory first quarter?
fees 3% the first of March and October?
dental assistants how to make temporary crowns?
2 hour monthly meetings with system measurements?
You Looking For More New Patients?
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These samples show you how to do it right, like marketing to
seniors, marketing on the internet, and why you must include
the right amount of facts and emotions into your marketing.
Management, Inc. has been named the WINNER
in the DentalTown Magazine and DentalTown.com
2003 Townie Choice Awards™
for Practice Management Consultants.
is an overwhelming honor to be singled out by literally
thousands of dental practices across the country as the
number one dental practice management firm,” said
Sally McKenzie, President, McKenzie Management. “We
know that dentists take great care in selecting only the
very best products and services, and to be among this
elite group is truly a testament to the commitment the
McKenzie Management team has demonstrated over the past
23 years to provide consistently superior consulting products
and services,” added Ms. McKenzie.
The McKenzie Management Team looks forward to continuing
to provide the very best consulting services so that dental
practices in turn can perform at their very best.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AND VOTES!
I have a suspicion that one of my team members is pilfering petty
cash of maybe $3 to $5 per week. Does you have any suggestions as
to how to set a trap to catch the culprit?
Have petty cash in the amount of $100 in different denominations.
Inform her that if a patient has a bill of $57 and hands her $60
she is NOT to give them $3.00 but make change for one of the $20
bills the patients gives her ( $10, $5, $1,1,1,1,1) so the patient
can now give her $57.00. If ANYONE takes money from petty cash for
example, paper towels, they have to bring back the receipt and change.
At the end of every week she has to balance the receipts with the
remaining cash and give you a petty cash report. You will write
a check for the total of the receipts to cash so she will be replenished
with the $100. She knows she is responsible, the petty cash is locked
up and only you and her have access to the money. If there the receipts
and/or cash do not total $100 at any time, she is at fault.
OUT OF YOUR
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