Welcome

to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

The Dental Office CEO: 5 Tips to a Sustainable and Profitable Dental Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

August 30, 2013

 

Dental Practice Profits

THE DENTAL CEO

As a DentalPractice Management Consultant I discover inefficiencies in the dental practice and turn them around into sustainable and profitable systems that benefit your patients and provide motivation and enthusiasm for the entire team. There are many ways to create an efficient dental practice that consistently increases profits. There are over one hundred ways the CEO of a dental practice can unknowingly create failure for their dental practice.

In this article I list five ways to create a top performing and profitable dental practice.

1.      Leadership (TOP PRIORITY!)

Dentists had a dream of becoming a dentist and living a great life. Few, had a desire to become a dentist because they wanted to be a business owner.

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant most of the dentists we have worked with wanted to come in at the time of the 1st patient appointment and they leave before the last patient has left the office. Our dental business philosophy creates leaders in the practice owner. We educate and support the dentist – The CEO of their business to lead their team and create other leaders within their team to carry out the day-to-day tasks for improved patient care and consistent strategies to increase practice growth and profits.

2.   Make Timely Decisions

As the CEO of your business, there will always be challenging situations that only you can create solutions. Of course you can enroll your team members to strategize but some of the decisions you will need to make are when to terminate an employee, when to add another treatment room and how you will deal with conflict. You will set the tone and office culture through your decision making process. How timely you can make these decisions will also create your own economy. What is your process to solve challenging situations? How do you stop a challenge from becoming a problem?

3.      Create a Strategic Plan with Attainable Goals

If you don’t have a plan, you have planned to fail. I am writing this during the last half of 2013 and now is the best time to plan for your team annual strategy session. This is a time to review your office systems; what has worked this year, what is not working and what systems need to be created. At your team strategy session talk about production, collections, insurance issues and goals that are attainable for the next year. How many days do you need to work in 2014 to accomplish these goals? Bring a calendar and plan your perfect schedule for 2014.

Clearly communicate to your dental team what they need to do to accomplish the goals. Clearly define how they will do what needs to be done. Every team member’s contribution to accomplish the goals is crucial.

Always define the why you are doing what you do and the why these goals need to be accomplished.

4. Define Your Philosophy of Care

Does every team member understand the philosophy of patient care for your dental practice?

When I recently led a workshop I talked about philosophy of care for the periodontal patient. I realized a few hours into the workshop that the dentists, hygienists and assistants in the course, did not understand how to develop a philosophy of care. They had never addressed their office philosophy of care for the various types of services they offered.

In the afternoon of that workshop we took a step back and began to set up their very own philosophy of care. It was enlightening for all and a lot of fun to work through this process.

How do you create a philosophy of patient care?

Answer: Reverse engineer the patient care your provide. Write down each of the services you provide and what type of patient will receive this service.

  • For example you will write down “Philosophy of Care for the Periodontal Patient” (Or you will insert the correct patient type, i.e. Implant Patient or Care for the Patient at High Risk for Caries, etc.)

Step 1 is to write down the ultimate goal for providing this service to your patient

Step 2 is to write down the steps to accomplish your end goal

Step 3 is to research your products, technologies involved in the services necessary to provide patient care

Step 4 is to research the appropriate fees and insurance billing. (UCR/ insurance contract, etc.)

Step 5 is to discuss as a team patient barriers to accepting your care

Step 6 is CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES!

5. Be Open to Others Ideas and Feedback

Great leaders are open to the ideas of others. Be open to receiving feedback from the team and especially your patients. Encourage your team and patients to speak openly about any topic –let their voice be heard.

Listening to the feedback of others is a great way to find that missing piece of the puzzle. Always be open to making the best decisions based on your business goals, the benefits to your patients and team members.

CONCLUSION

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant these are only a few of the ways I have found to create a consistently sustainable and profitable team. These are only a few suggestions to gain raving fans and a team that is motivated and enthusiastic about coming to the office and working as a cohesive team.

We are entering into the last quarter of this year – 2013- plan to end with more success than ever before. You have about 90 days to plan your end of 2013 and create.

I would like to hear from you. Do you feel “heard” at your dental office? Does your office have a plan? How are things going this year in your office?

ABOUT DEBBIE

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene department that works enthusiastically, creating a high performance teams, improving patients’ total health and consistent profits to the dental practice.

She is an author for journals such as Dentistry Today, HygieneTown and RDH. Debbie speaks internationally about systems and services in the dental hygiene department to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine, improving the total health of patients’, utilizing the most recent science to prevent disease and consistently increase profits.In 1984 she graduated from USC in Los Angeles in with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the instructors, purchased all the equipment, worked with project managers on the building of the school while managing a 2 million dollar budget.

Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world and is considered a leader in creating consistent profits to a dental practice through services and systems in the dental hygiene department. You can read more about her new 30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program to get a taste of what she has to offer. This is only a small sample of the value her programs bring to a dental practice!

 

 

 

 

Dental Patients Enroll in Preventive Therapy: How To Create Healthy Patients and Healthy Practice Profits

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

August 20, 2013

Preventive Care

 

Dentists want healthy profits in their dental practice as well as provide exceptional dental care. Dental Hygienists want to create health for their patients and contribute to the dental practice.

And our patients, they want to save money and spend less time in the dental office. How can we create a positive result for patients and the dental practice today?

How can  we enroll dental patients in Preventive Therapy? With the current research we now have tools to provide optimal health for our patients and in return, our dental practice will have health profits. Read on for tips from one of Dentistry Today’s Top Dental Practice Management Consultants.

The Dental Patient and Our Challenge as Dental Professionals

As a dental practice management consultant, our team at DPS assesses the dental practice’s current patient records.

What we always discover is that for many years patients have presented to their dental hygiene appointment with 4m,5mm and even 6mm (or deeper) pocket depths. Last week in an office the dental practice we assessed had patients with not only periodontal pocket depths in excess of 6mm’s but many patients had generalized BOP with furcation involvement, furcation involvement and mobility.

The dentist – The CEO of the dental practice, believes since his/her patients have been accustomed to this process of care, there is no need to “upset the apple cart.” –No need to make any changes to what the patient was used to coming into the dental hygiene appointment to have completed—“only a cleaning.”

The reality is, while there are many patients who may exist as a patient in your dental practice with greater than 3mm pocket depths, do they have generalized bleeding? Is the this BOP or only when they brush their teeth? Are they a chronic tobacco user? What are their risk factors for disease? (Oral and systemic disease)

Dental Patients Enroll in Preventive Therapy

When a patient seated in your treatment room is scheduled for a prophy and you discover bleeding on probing, pocket depths over 4mms and this patient has risk factors that are associated with oral and systemic disease, what is your treatment plan for this patient?

Do you believe that you have an obligation to complete “what the treatment your patient thinks they came in for?” Do you follow the plan on your schedule for the day? OR do you assess for risk and disease, then speak with your patient (co-diagnosis) about what you both (You – -the dental professional and the patient) see in their oral cavity?

Think to yourself:

  • “What is my purpose for treating a patient?”
  •  “What is my legal and ethical obligation to a dental patient I treat?”
  • “How will my patient feel when a few years from now this tooth with mobility falls out of their mouth and I never mentioned periodontal therapy?”
  • “How will it feel to our dental team to hear our patient died from systemic complications because of compromised oral health?”

AND

  • Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time for patient care?
  • Are you always running on a treadmill?
  • Are profits down in your dental hygiene department?
  • Are less than 20% of your adult patients only enrolled in Prophy appointments?

Yes, these are all legitimate questions and unfortunately they have all occurred—recently with a dental patient in the office of one of our clients. It happens all the time.

Creating the Paradigm Shift in Your Dental Practice

First, let’s look at the most recent ADA Periodontal Disease Classifications:

Type I Gingivitis: No loss of attachment. Bleeding on probing (BOP) may be present.

Type II Early Periodontitis: Pocket depth or attachment loss: 3-4mms, BOP may be present, localized areas of gingival recession, possible Grade I furcation involvement.

Type III Moderate Periodontitis: Pocket depths or attachment loss of 4-6mms, BOP, Grade II or II furcation involvement, Class II or III mobility.

Type IV Advanced Periodontitis: Pocket depths or attachment loss > 6mms, BOP, Grade II or III involvement, Class II or III mobility.

Type V: Refractory and Juvenile Periodontitis: Periodontitis not responding to conventional therapy or which recurs soon after treatment, Juvenile forms of periodontitis.

When you read the above definitions, how would you classify the patient in your treatment room?

  • Doctor is concerned about overhead and getting paid for the patient appointment.
  • The hygienist is concerned with the patient’s happiness, doesn’t want to scare the patient but wants to get her/his patients teeth cleaned.

How can everyone be happy with the end result of this patient appointment?

What is the best treatment plan for your patient?

What will provide profits to the patient and a satisfied patient who returns to your office?

Today’s dentistry is about total health not just treating a tooth or cleaning teeth. This is also how we can add consistent profits to the dental practice. If you build trusting relationships with your patients, (Trust begins with the 1st phone call a patient makes to your office.) they are most likely to view your diagnosis as the Gospel Truth and say “YES” to any treatment plan you present to them.

Communication with Your Dental Patient

Telling your patient the hard facts about what you see (Not what you found. The vernacular is another topic of discussion!) is usually not a fun topic of conversation. On the flip side, how will your patient feel when they lose a tooth and you (The dental expert) never told them this was about to happen to them?!

Solutions to the Not-so-fun-topic of Conversation

  • Before you pick up a probe hand your patient a mirror to view their mouth along side of you.
  • Ask you patient before you begin your perio exam, to listen when you call out the numbers. Ask your patient to remember the highest and lowest number you will call out. (Important that you have another auxiliary present to write down the numbers recorded during a perio exam. This not only involves patients in the process but saves valuable time that can be used for education, communication, treatment planning and doctor exam time, etc.)
  • Sit your patient upright after the periodontal exam to discuss what you (Patient and hygienist) see in the patient’s oral cavity.
  • Involve your patient in the treatment planning process by asking open-ended questions and setting realistic goals
  • Use visuals (brochures, diagrams, photos, intra-oral camera, etc.)
  • Be enthusiastic about their outcome, providing hope for total health

How Do Your Involve Your Patient In the Treatment Planning Process?

Your dental patients will enroll in perio therapy when you understand how to build trusting patient relationships. They are a patient in your office because they really do want to be healthy.

How many times have you spoken to someone who said they don’t want to live a longer – healthy life?

We have the research at our fingertips. Thousands of research articles about the oral-health/systemic-health link. It is our ethical, legal responsibility to understand the specific ways in which we can deliver the message of total health.

Insurance is only a benefit – -it is not the solution to a health patient and practice!

Understanding how to deliver your message to treat patients at the highest level may take some work to become more successful but in the end – — wouldn’t you agree that it is worth the time to get to these results?

Healthy Patient’s = Health Dental Practice Profits

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

ME not too high jpegDebbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions, and has successfully designed efficient dental hygiene departments that result in high performance dental teams for over 13 years. Her focus is providing optimal patient health while consistently increasing profits for the dental practice.

Debbie is an accomplished author who speaks internationally about her signature systems and services for the dental hygiene department. She utilizes the most recent science and research to prevent disease while increasing the teams’ enthusiasm and guiding the dental team to consistently increase profits.

In 1984 she graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC in Los Angeles, CA. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students at USC. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the teachers, purchased equipment and managed a 2 million dollar budget.

Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world implementing her signature dental hygiene systems and is considered one of the Top Leaders in Consulting for Dentistry Today. She can be reached at: www.dentalpracticesolutions.comsupport@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call: 888-816-1511.

 

 

 

Treatment Planning Creates Your Own Economy

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

August 13, 2013

Treatment Planning Creates Your Own Economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In today’s world of dentistry there seems to be a focus on what to present to patients and how to present it to patients. As a Dental Practice Management Consultant I am consistently asked “Debbie, how can I get more patients to…?” Today I will write about treatment planning and how to create your own economy.

Here is a small list to explain why dentists call to speak to me:

Dentists ask me about treatment planning and improving case acceptance.

  • Dentists ask how they can get an increase production numbers without working more
  • Dentists ask me how to get overdue hygiene patients back on the schedule
  • Dentists ask me now to get more patients to say YES to treatment plans
  • And so many more questions to keep their dental practice alive in today’s challenging economy!

Recently I posted this quote on Facebook. Not sure where I found it:

“Those who believe they can move mountains DO! Those who believe they can’t cannot. Belief triggers the power to do so. PERIOD.”

It is what I believe and what has come true in my life. PERIOD!
I hear dentists say “This economy…” My response to this is “Create your own economy.”

Treatment Planning Creates Your Own Economy

Let me preface this by telling you a story I recently heard about in the media.
This is a story about Oprah Winfrey. Many of you may not know who Oprah Winfrey is so let me explain briefly. Oprah Winfrey is s an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is also African American. Last year she made 77 Million! (USD) YES! That much!

What does Oprah Winfrey have to do with treatment planning? Well…she was recently in the media because she attended Tina Turners wedding in Zurich, Switzerland. While she was in Switzerland she walked into a shop where a beautiful handbag caught her eye.

The handbag just happens to cost $40,000. When Oprah asked to see the handbag the clerk in the store told her “I am sorry but that handbag is too expensive for you.”

One more time she tried to ask the lady to see the handbag “No, really I just want to see that one.” The shop keeper told her “I don’t want to hurt your feelings” Oprah kindly and very politely told the shop keeper “You’re right, I can’t afford it.” Then she walked out of the shop.

So how does this relate to treatment planning? You may be asking “Why are you talking about this woman Oprah Winfrey?!”

My reason is because so many offices prior to working with me and/or my team, only talked to their patients about treatment they “thought” their patients could “afford”.

You may have read my story about this before. This is a fact: Many years ago I worked for a dentist (As a dental assistant) who looked out the window of one of the treatment rooms and he would check out what type of car the new patient arrived in. Then he would prepare what type of treatment plan he could present according to what type of car they were driving. Would he discuss a $200 (USD) treatment plan? Or would he present a $20,000 (USD) treatment plan? Well, I can tell you that most patients only heard about the $200 treatment plan.

This Oprah Winfrey story reminded me of this situation. AND today, I still hear dentists say “It is the economy that doesn’t allow me to present comprehensive care to my patients.”

I need to ask you:

  • Is it fair for you to pre-determine what type of care you will offer your patients?
  • Is it fair to base your treatment plan on what you “think” they can afford or what their response may possibly be?”
  • Can you honestly pre-determine what answer your patient will give you before you show them what is happening in their mouth?
  • What would your patients think if you didn’t tell them the truth about their disease or oral condition that may affect their health and enhance their appearance?
  • Is it fair to your patient to “look the other way” when you see disease, BOP, a missing tooth, etc?

Tell Them the Truth

Have you ever thought of NOT telling a patient about a necessary implant or veneer because you knew their insurance would not pay for it? What if you thought your patient could not afford the treatment you know needs to be completed – would you neglect telling them what they really need?

Maybe you told your patient you could do a 4 or 5 surface restoration instead of a crown thinking, “I know their insurance won’t pay for this so blah, blah, blah..”

Would you present the realy picture for a perfect smile and improved health if you knew it was your mother, your wife, your husband..? Why would you offer your patient something less?

I do hear these stories all the time!

  • How do you decide on a treatment plan?
  • Do you think that “This economic crisis is so bad I will only diagnose for single tooth dentistry?”

I know some of you will answer “YES” to this question. You believe that due to this economy you must go easy on your patients.

We do have an ethical obligation to tell our patients the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

That shop keeper didn’t believe Oprah Winfrey could afford a $40,000 handbag because of her appearance.

We must provide our patients with options. As healthcare providers we have a legal and ethical obligation. Please…leave the final decision up to tyour patient.

Let them decide what they can or can’t afford.

Most long-term patients establish great trust in their dentist. This is why your patients will say “YES” to your care. This is why you must tell them what really exits in their oral cavity.

Your patients are depending on you to tell them what they really need. They deserve to hear all their options.

When they buy a car I promise you they want to know if the sun roof is included and they will decide for themself if they want to Sirus Audio System included. And many will pay extra for it!

What Can We Learn From Oprah Winfrey?

You see, this was not the first time a shop keeper turned Oprah Winfrey away. The first person many years ago flat out told her they would not sell to her because her skin was black.

In Switzerland, most people have never heard of Oprah Winfrey and the shop keeper, who told her she didn’t want to hurt her feelings but she couldn’t afford that handbag, obviously didn’t know who Oprah was!

And how do you think that shop keeper feels now knowing that the billionaire woman was refused service in her shop? There has been an official apology as well as the Swiss government apologizing.

And how many of your patients have you neglected to tell exactly what type of dentistry they needed?

Did you tell them their options for that missing tooth? Did you allow your patient to decide which is best for their pocketbook?

  • Build trust with your new dental patients — at their first appointment

 “Customer is king”

  • Treat every patient the same (provide a specific level of care for all patients of record.

  “Every patient deserves to know what is going on inside their mouth and the various options that can create health and even a more beautiful smile”

  • Allow all patients to know the types of dental treatment options you can offer patients
  • Allow patients to know and truly understand that you care about their well-being

 ” People don’t care how much you know but they do want to know how much you care”

  • Tell patients what you see in their mouth

“Many patients believe the dentist will FIND something. Change this into a conversation of “co-diagnosis”. This means that your patient participates looking with you. (use a hand mirror or intra-oral camera) Show patients what you see and tell them “This is what we see in this area on your lower right area.” (Identify where you are looking in their mouth – especially when using an intra-oral camera)

  • Provide patients with options to create health and a longer life (And many want to look more beautiful as they age)

                       “Most people do want to live a longer and healthier life!”

People Buy What They Want

  • I can tell you that people really do buy what they want.
  • If you present a benefit for placing an implant over a removable appliance or doing nothing, at least you have left the choice up to your patient.
  • If you position yourself, speak with a certain (Caring, etc.) tone and in a manner that you know are comfortable with your patient, they are more likely to trust you and believe that you have their best interest in mind.
  • When people know how much you care and when they trust that you have their best interest in mind, the decision to say “YES” and accept your treatment plan becomes so much easier for everyone.

Recently, I spent some time in Palm Desert, California. It is summer time and the snow birds (The retired people) have returned to their other home. This beautiful desert location was still filled with a lot of people. They temperatures were triple digits. (Temperature in Fahrenheit) There were so many families in the desert vacationing with their families. These families didn’t drive in old beat up cars but nice, big, expensive cars. The families were in the restaurants’ and shops.

I also noticed that the car dealerships were plentiful. I saw dealerships for such automobiles like: Bentley, Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, etc., etc.

There were dental offices on every corner. And the dental offices I visited were very upscale.

In Conclusion

I know for sure that people are spending money. I spoke to a retired lady I know today about this. She constantly tells me she needs to watch her money. But when I asked her if she would stop spending the thousands of dollars each year on her face creams she quickly told me “Absolutely not!”

I know that if you understand how to effectively communicate with your patients and if you know when to be quiet and listen, if you understand how to build trust with your patients – You will have many more patients say “YES” to your care.

I am interested to hear how you create a treatment plan in today’s world. I want to know what type of economy you are creating for yourself.

How do you create your own economy? What are you doing during the dental patient appointment to build trust? How do you explain all the options to your patients? How do you know you don’t have an “Oprah Winfrey” sitting in your dental chair?

I would like to hear about your experience with treatment planning and how you deliver your message today. Do you discuss single tooth dentistry or comprehensive dental care options?

What you believe really is what you create. The words that come out of your mouth do become YOUR reality.

Tell me more about your world – your economy –  in the comment section below.

 About Debbie

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions, and has successfully designed efficient dental hygiene departments that result in high performance dental teams for over 13 years. Her focus is providing optimal patient health while consistently increasing profits for the dental practice.

Debbie is an accomplished author who speaks internationally about her signature systems and services for the dental hygiene department. She utilizes the most recent science and research to prevent disease while increasing the teams’ enthusiasm and guiding the dental team to consistently increase profits.

In 1984 she graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC in Los Angeles, CA. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students at USC. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the teachers, purchased equipment and managed a 2 million dollar budget.

Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world implementing her signature dental hygiene systems and is considered one of the Top Leaders in Consulting for Dentistry Today. She can be reached at: www.dentalpracticesolutions.com, support@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call: 888-816-1511.

Dental Practice Management Consultant Takes Team from Good to Great!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

August 6, 2013

factoria-dentistry-staff-home

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant I see various types of dental practices.

It is the sad truth but most of the dentists who contact my office are usually at a sink or swim stage and it can be a daunting task to even pick up the phone and talk,  let alone try to make a decision about hiring a dental practice management consultant.

(And this article will explain the ROI on hiring a consultant.– IF you read between the lines regarding their BIG results!)

It usually takes a dentist 3 months to make a decision to hire a new consultant and by this time the office numbers have plummeted to where doctor is not able to sleep at night.

Does this sound like you? Are you one of these dentists thinking that you must do something but you fear change or worse, you fear nothing will ever change no matter what you do!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein 

Maybe you have tried various new dental business systems or other practice management programs and nothing seems to work.

Let me put your mind at ease and begin to share a recent client of ours: (Read on and you can calculate for yourself the doctors ROI on hiring a Dental Practice Management Consultant)

In order to create consistent profitability for doctors desired outcome I needed to  research and  analyse their current numbers. I looked at their list of services, fees, production and collection numbers, P & L, etc., before we began to dive into the consulting process. We were able to set realistic goals after sitting down to research and strategize together.

Years ago, I learned that it is extremely important to identify the practices’ obstacles and road blocks, to reach where they want to be. Once I have the attention of doctor and the team I can place my full attention, together, with my passion, enthusiasm and keen insight, to dig into the necessary work that needs to be done. We create a step-by-step process to work smarter and not so hard. It really doesn’t not mean that working with a Dental Practice Management Consultant is stressful or creates more work. It is just the opposite.  Together; doctor, the entire team and I, roll up our sleeves and dig deep into the barriers that broke down the success of the office.

Big Results

The team at “Dr. XYZ” in Portland, Oregon, has shown big improvements in less than 5 months of hygiene department coaching. When I first met with doctor she showed me the hygiene schedules. Each hygienist (2 hygienists) had at least 2 openings each day. The office has seven days of hygiene patients each week. Originally these days were not booked with patients but just sitting open.

The entire team changed many of the words that they used with their patients. The front office scheduling coordinator no longer calls and asks patients to return a confirmation call. She is confirming patients appointments about 4 days in advance of their appointment. All patients are now aked if they prefer to be contacted via email, text message or phone call.

(Some of the words they changed were “Cleaning” as well as asking patients when THEY wanted to return vs. suggesting an appointment date and time. They took control of the schedule. AND they increased the percentage of pre-scheduled hygiene patients.)

Many of the patients now request an email to confirm their appointment. The email says something like this:

“Dear Mary,

I am writing to let you know that Doctor XYZ and Holly, (Most know HOLLY is their hygienist) are looking forward to seeing you for your preventive care appointment. Dr. XYZ will review your x-rays and complete a visual exam. Holly will also complete an oral cancer screening exam using our new technology called Vizilite with can detect any early signs of oral cancer. She will also evaluate the health of your gums for inflammation, disease, check any restorations, remove plaque, calculus and stains as necessary. We look forward to seeing you on Friday August 9th at 8 am.”

In good health,

Megan Ridgley
Scheduling Coordinator at Dr. XYZ

Here are the BOTTOM LINE Results the office has received from the Dental Practice Management Consulting Process:

  • The office of XYZ has decreased their cancellations and open holes in the hygiene schedule, down to no more than 1 each week.
  • The team began role-play exercises to more effectively communicate non-surgical perio treatment. We also worked together (role-play) on overcoming many of the barriers and obstacles for patients accepting aesthetic and restorative treatment.
  • The original percentage of adult  patients treated for periodontal disease went from 18 – 45% in the past five months.
  • The hygienists now have a 90% acceptance rate for using the Vizilite which has contributed to an increase in production.
  • The team learned how to assess and categorize patients for Caries Risk using the most recent CAMBRA protocols. (found in California Dental Journal 2011) This provided another $3,000 production to the practice without creating more patient time in the chair and didn’t increase the practice’s overhead. This is pure profit!
  • This increased hygiene production as well without adding more chair time or hiring more employees to work in the office.

One Team Challenge Existed

The one challenge they were still having at the end of July was keeping the hygienists on time so we were able to implement our “Down to a Science” strategy which seems to be helping with time management.

The Dental Practice Management Consulting Process

  • Each month I have at least one phone call with doctor to discuss the successes and challenges that may still exist. We are able to work together to create a systematic approach to solve these challenges as they occur.
  • Every sixty days myself or one of my team coaches is in their office for about 1 1/2 days of hands-on training, team meetings, role-playing and strategy sessions so discover solutions to any challenges.

The fact that the team has an expert there to guide them through a step-by-step process is a much easier way to create their next stage of success.
I have to add that the office administrator is great to work with and we spend a lot of time working together each week.

As of August 5, 2014 the office production numbers are at $628,000 with the hygiene department up by $65,000 and aesthetic/restorative case acceptance has increased by $110,000 this year so far.
The total production and collections is estimated to be up by approximately 30% from 2012.

More Big Team Results

The team has gained a new enthusiasm for working together. They told me that they feel like a family and have their friends (their patients) come to visit daily.

Recently, doctor had a pizza party after hours and each team member played a role in calling overdue hygiene patients. This was one more solutions we came up with through our research and strategy sessions together.

The team also receives a bonus when they achieve their new collection goals which appears to have limited team morale.

Would you like to be our next success story? There are so many options today. The one roadblock I see holding offices back is the attitude “It’s this economy that holds us back!” I want to say to you “Creaate your own economy!” People really are finding many ways to buy what they really want. Do your patients understand the wonderful menu of services you offer?

Does you team educate your patients about doctors extensive specialty courses he/she has completed?
Let your patients know about the research on oral health and it’s relationship to total health. I do believe most of your patients want to live a longer health status.

Let’s schedule a time to talk about your next level of success: support@dentalpracticesolutions.com or 888-816-1511
Maybe you want to take a test drive of what our team offers. Here is a simple and a simple step-by-step guide to get your started:
30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program

ABOUT DEBBIE

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Are you looking to improve profits in your dental hygiene department? Debbie has an innovative and successful way to educate you and your team to create the small tweaks mentioned in this blog. Debbie has been in the trenches of the dental office over 30 years. She is a former Dental Hygiene Program Director, an assistant professor from the University of Southern California and even co-taught the practice management course for the senior dental students at USC.

Check our her services section on the website to find one that meets your needs. Consider getting your team involved in her 12 week Case Acceptance Program. You won’t need to stop your day of work at the office or pay for a consultant to travel to your office. The program is at your fingertips 24/7  indefinitely.

Debbie speaks at most of the major dental conferences in the world. She is recognized for the past 8 years as “One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants.”

She will also be featured on the cover of Hygiene Today in September 2013. (Published alongside Dentistry Today)

Many of her clients span from not only the United States but Brazil, Australia, India and the UK, just to mention a few.