Is your practice stagnating? Is your production the same year after year despite your expenses increasing every year? If this is the scenario in your office, then it is time to make some changes in the systems in your office. We all know the famous quote from Albert Einstein that the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Change is always challenging but following through with change is rewarding both mentally and financially.
Let’s look at five areas that you can institute change that will improve your production:
- Is billing in your office consistent for all providers? Very often we get in a rut about which codes we use and how we use them. We almost always err on the side of the patient. Ensure that your team are using procedure codes to represent the time and outstanding care that is being delivered to your patients.
- Always strive for a balance of 40% hygiene production in your office (scaling, polish, root planing and fluoride codes only) and 60% doctor production. Achieving this balance will ensure that your numbers are in line with the road to success. Changes that may needed to achieve this balance might include, different systems in the hygiene department as well as administrator systems.
- Are your active patient numbers moving in a negative growth pattern? You will want to compare how many new patients you are seeing each month versus the number of patients who have been deactivated or even worse the number of patients who have not been in for more than a year. The patients who are not compliant with your hygiene program could very well be patients who are slipping out the back door without you realizing that they have started seeing another dentist. You can stop this from happening with the methods that you are contacting patients, not always using the same verbiage (“This is Dr. _____ office calling to book your hygiene appointment”) and educating your patients of the importance of their hygiene appointments. You want over 80% of your patients to be participating in your hygiene program.
- I can never say enough about treatment acceptance being formally measured. Your gut feeling does not count as a measurement tool. Your major restorative diagnosis should have 75% acceptance the first time you diagnose it. Every time that you diagnose the same treatment again and your team has to follow up again, it is costing you money. When diagnosing initially, take the time to educate your patients in a way that will lead them to accept, have payment plans in place as a payment method of customer service and have your team efficient with their initial follow up if an appointment isn’t booked before a patient leaves the office.
- Those pesky lists in your computer can be holding the key to your financial success. You may have thousands and thousands of dollars of billings hiding in your software. Ensure that your team is using the lists in a way that is efficient for your brand of software, make sure that all patients who don’t have an appointment booked already have a contact for their next hygiene appointment as well as any work that you have diagnosed that hasn’t been booked. Very often your team may not know how to use these lists as their software skills are only as good as the person who trained them.
Your practice should not be stagnating, you need repeatable growth month after month and year after year. I can guide you through these system changes so that from our first session onward you will be making more money. Clients are always astounded as to how quickly they see changes in their bottom line when working with me.