Your Practice’s New Rallying Cry

A number of weeks ago I spoke about developing a Rallying Cry with your team and I suggested that everything in the office should be around the Rallying Cry of Safety. You should have that down to a comfortable science now and it should be routine at this point. It is time to bring your team together and develop a new Rallying Cry, my suggestion this time is Growth, take your old goals, rethink them and take this opportunity to reset them to where you would really like them to be. Always remember when setting your goals to make them specific, measurable, time sensitive and provide your team with the tools necessary.

Firstly, look at the pre Covid metrics in your hygiene department. Were you measuring your open time at approximately 10% (not including any compressed time)? What are your numbers looking like now and where do you want them to go to? 

If your open time numbers are now running between 16% to 25% you will want to look at a few different areas. You will want to ensure that at least 70% (goal is 80%) of your patients have returned to the practice since your office closed. If you have less than that number, then I would suggest, either you or your office manager sitting down with your administrators and have them show you their lists and notes from patients. If there is still a feeling of being uncomfortable in the dental office, then I would suggest some updated patient education being provided to your patients through a number of different channels. This would include information about periodontal health, IPAC information and even your patients speaking directly with the hygienist. It can be delivered verbally, via email and through social media. Addressing care in the dental office using only positive verbiage and not leading into their fears will help nervous patients feel more secure. 

Is your hygiene billing (scaling, polish, fluoride and root planing NO xrays or exams) when there was a patient in the chair between $180 and $210 per hour? Hygienists are likely doing the work to bill the patient for these types of fees but due to habit or billing patients by insurance they will fall below this level. You will want to ensure that all of your hygienists are billing uniformly as well, in many offices I will find that hygienists bill differently from one another in the offices for their services.

Secondly, you will want to ensure that treatment being diagnosed is being booked by patients the first time you diagnose it. There are many offices that end up diagnosing and educating patients about their treatment sometimes two, three and four times before it is accepted. You should expect that 90% of all basic restorative treatment that you diagnose will be booked immediately by a patient. You should also expect that 75% of all major restorative treatment will be accepted within two months of the first diagnosis. These numbers should be measured accurately and not go by your gut feeling. If your numbers are falling below these goals you can look at patient connection, patient education, and payment options to see if they are being delivered in a way that may be putting up obstacles for patient decisions.

There are many other areas of Growth that you can look at if you truly want to put the effort into your goals. Tweaking your current systems take consistency and commitment as well as the attitude that change needs to occur by everyone involved.

I welcome any questions or comments you may have to discuss your Rallying Cry of Growth. 

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