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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

Create a Successful and a Very Profitable Dental Hygiene Department: Part 1

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 10, 2014

profits 50 dollar bills

images (10)Recently, in a dental hygiene Facebook group a question was asked: “Does your hygiene department have a system for treating periodontal patients?”

Most people responded with a post that said “YES” and the woman who started this topic of conversation asked what their system included.

At this point no one responded. They all said “Yes” but it seems that no one was going to say what their specific system was. OR – – do they know what the system expected by doctor is AND does everyone on the team know and follow the vision of the doctor for his or her dental practice?

What does it take to create a clinically successful, productive, and profitable hygiene system within a dental practice?

During the twenty first century, research and technology in periodontics has created numerous, positive changes in the responsibilities of hygienists and the scope of technology available for practicing dental hygienists. These changes have created a big opportunity to achieve ideal preventive care for all of your patients.

Success and profitability for every dental practice means you will merge clinical excellence with solid business strategies.

Healthy profits should not only pertain to the dental hygiene department but we need to understand how this one department can support profits and sustain success for the entire dental practice. The dental hygiene department is only one component of success for a financially sustainable dental practice.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will discuss the goals, and roadblocks that you need to look at in order to make the department hygiene department productive and profitable. Also make note that while the hygiene department is more productive this does not mean “work more hours” or “work harder.” It simply means that you have created strategies and systems to work smarter and BE successful in all areas of your dental practice.

This week’s blog will discuss two important components to a healthy and profitable dental hygiene department.

Understanding and embracing these aspects of business in a dental practice will create a successful and a very profitable dental hygiene department

1: YOUR VISION

Today’s world, with the valuable science and research about oral health and its relationship to total health, creates an important reason to educate patients about WHY oral health and the purpose for routine preventive dental appointments.

Most dental practices have the words “excellence” or “optimal”, etc., as part of their vision and mission for the dental practice.

As healthcare providers and with this profound level of current research; understand that creating a successful dental practice will mean that you in the business of creating healthy and longer lives. A successful dental hygiene department requires a philosophy that includes the mouth-body connection that helps patients maintain and “keep their teeth for a lifetime.”

Embracing this thought process will create a successful and profitable dental hygiene department!

To begin building, restructuring or updating your dental hygiene department systems, both doctor and team must develop their own vision of what the ideal hygiene department should look like. Meet together as a team and have each team member give honest answers about what they believe are important for success. Ask for everyone’s input. Ask team members to come prepare with their thoughts. Now you can discuss as a team.

Your vision will include the purpose of the dental hygiene department and what the dental hygiene team hopes to accomplish for the patients, the practice, and themselves. Purpose is what leads people. Establishing your clearly defined purpose with guidelines will give your team the opportunity to set standards and to perform on principles not desire.

To begin creating your vision and your purpose for the hygiene department, consider developing and following the following essentials: goals of your dental practice, patient outcomes for periodontal therapy and healthy patients as well, thoroughly understand American Association of Periodontology (AAP. perio.org) guidelines for the treatment of periodontal disease, maintenance of disease remission, when to refer to the periodontist, use of adjunctive therapies, and thoroughly understand oral-systemic relationships.

2. CREATE A TEAM APPROACH

Lack of team is the main reason for low production in the dental hygiene department. A strong dental hygiene department will take a team approach to the preventive/periodontal philosophy of the practice. Everyone must be on the same page. To create a successful team approach every team member must have a clear understanding of their individual role as it relates to supporting and maintaining optimal patient oral health.

When you serve your patients to the best of your abilities, you will also serve the dental practice and the team at its highest level. The entire team must embrace the vision of the practice and the philosophy of care for all patients. When there is not a team approach patients will not completely understand the value of your services; especially the value of periodontal therapy which will create a healthier and longer life.

If you wish to have a productive and profitable hygiene department that will create success for your dental practice indefinitely, you must be dedicated to leadership, education and not think this process is “hit or miss.”

CREATING A PROFITABLE HYGIENE DEPARTMENT

If you will take a stand and focus on optimal care for your patients you will have a profitable dental practice.

The public is bombarded with media advertisements about health and beautiful smiles. With all the media attention to have the perfect body and smile, dentistry has never been in a better place to treat patients with smile enhancements and most importantly, create a healthy body.

People buy what they want not what they need. If you can speak to all patients at their level, understand what their hot buttons are and what is valuable to them, you will hear more patients say “YES!” to your care, schedule and pay for treatment. They will also continue returning to your dental office no matter who their insurance company tells them they need to see!

What should your hygiene department numbers look like?

The hygiene department should bring in 30% of the total production. YES! Shocking? This is true!

Look at typical numbers our clients see after utilizing our services:

A Day in the Life of a Dental Practice Solutions Hygiene Department

4 Prophylaxis Appointments (4 X $95)                                         $  95

2 Scale and root planing Appointments (2 X $265)                    $265

Arestin® (6 Sites X $40/site)                                                          $240

2 Periodontal Maintenance (2 X $110)                                         $220

6 Fluoride Varnish Treatments (6 X $30)                                    $180

4 Identifi® Oral Cancer Screenings (4 X $60)                             $240

4 Patients X-rays (4 X $65)                                                             $260

 Production Total:                                                                           $1,500

The fees used in this example are not a guide for you to use in your dental practice but are used only to show an example of what a typical dental hygiene day can look like for your dental practice.

CONCLUSION

The success of your dental hygiene department needs to include a vision that the entire team supports. Total team approach is required for your dental practice to be successful and sustain profits for the life of your dental practice.

Profitability in all successful dental hygiene departments is directly proportional to the billable services provided. This success will also include scheduling to goal, as well as elimination of cancellations and no-shows. Next week in Part 2 of this blog, I will discuss how to eliminate no-shows and cancellations as well as establish the correct hygiene department compensation.

Next time someone asks if there is a system for their dental hygiene department they can refer to this article for creating a successful dental hygiene department. Implementing all of these components is the easiest way to create success and get the entire team on the same page.

Does you dental practice have an established philosophy of care for perio patients?

Do you have a schedule that is strategically set up to accomplish your goals?

Let us know about your dental practice in the comment section below. If there is a topic you want to know more about please do share.

ABOUT Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke is founder of Dental Practice Solutions, a global consulting and coaching business known as the leader in creating highly profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments.

Debbie uses a specific innovative and strategic methodology to not only increase hygiene department production but works with the entire team to sustain true profitability for the life of a dental practice.

For 10 yrs. she has been known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Practice Management Consultants.

Debbie speaks about dental hygiene department profitability and the services which create a profitable and sustainable dental practice.

Grab her 7 Day no-cost hygiene department profit program. Each day, for seven days, you will receive tips to increase your dental hygiene department production without working harder but like a well-oiled machine.

Click here get your no-charge 7 Day Hygiene Department Program

 

 

 

 

Create a Successful and a Very Profitable Dental Hygiene Department: Part 1

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Recently, in a dental hygiene Facebook group a question was asked: “Does your hygiene department have a system for treating periodontal patients?”

Most people responded with a post that said “YES” and the woman who started this topic of conversation asked what their system included.

At this point no one responded. They all said “Yes” but it seems that no one was going to say what their specific system was. OR – – do they know what the system expected by doctor is AND does everyone on the team know and follow the vision of the doctor for his or her dental practice?

What does it take to create a clinically successful, productive, and profitable hygiene system within a dental practice?

During the twenty first century, research and technology in periodontics has created numerous, positive changes in the responsibilities of hygienists and the scope of technology available for practicing dental hygienists. These changes have created a big opportunity to achieve ideal preventive care for all of your patients.

Success and profitability for every dental practice means you will merge clinical excellence with solid business strategies.

Healthy profits should not only pertain to the dental hygiene department but we need to understand how this one department can support profits and sustain success for the entire dental practice. The dental hygiene department is only one component of success for a financially sustainable dental practice.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will discuss the goals, and roadblocks that you need to look at in order to make the department hygiene department productive and profitable. Also make note that while the hygiene department is more productive this does not mean “work more hours” or “work harder.” It simply means that you have created strategies and systems to work smarter and BE successful in all areas of your dental practice.

This week’s blog will discuss two important components to a healthy and profitable dental hygiene department.

Understanding and embracing these aspects of business in a dental practice will create a successful and a very profitable dental hygiene department

1: YOUR VISION

Today’s world, with the valuable science and research about oral health and its relationship to total health, creates an important reason to educate patients about WHY oral health and the purpose for routine preventive dental appointments.

Most dental practices have the words “excellence” or “optimal”, etc., as part of their vision and mission for the dental practice.

As healthcare providers and with this profound level of current research; understand that creating a successful dental practice will mean that you in the business of creating healthy and longer lives. A successful dental hygiene department requires a philosophy that includes the mouth-body connection that helps patients maintain and “keep their teeth for a lifetime.”

Embracing this thought process will create a successful and profitable dental hygiene department!

To begin building, restructuring or updating your dental hygiene department systems, both doctor and team must develop their own vision of what the ideal hygiene department should look like. Meet together as a team and have each team member give honest answers about what they believe are important for success. Ask for everyone’s input. Ask team members to come prepare with their thoughts. Now you can discuss as a team.

Your vision will include the purpose of the dental hygiene department and what the dental hygiene team hopes to accomplish for the patients, the practice, and themselves. Purpose is what leads people. Establishing your clearly defined purpose with guidelines will give your team the opportunity to set standards and to perform on principles not desire.

To begin creating your vision and your purpose for the hygiene department, consider developing and following the following essentials: goals of your dental practice, patient outcomes for periodontal therapy and healthy patients as well, thoroughly understand American Association of Periodontology (AAP. perio.org) guidelines for the treatment of periodontal disease, maintenance of disease remission, when to refer to the periodontist, use of adjunctive therapies, and thoroughly understand oral-systemic relationships.

2. CREATE A TEAM APPROACH

Lack of team is the main reason for low production in the dental hygiene department. A strong dental hygiene department will take a team approach to the preventive/periodontal philosophy of the practice. Everyone must be on the same page. To create a successful team approach every team member must have a clear understanding of their individual role as it relates to supporting and maintaining optimal patient oral health.

When you serve your patients to the best of your abilities, you will also serve the dental practice and the team at its highest level. The entire team must embrace the vision of the practice and the philosophy of care for all patients. When there is not a team approach patients will not completely understand the value of your services; especially the value of periodontal therapy which will create a healthier and longer life.

If you wish to have a productive and profitable hygiene department that will create success for your dental practice indefinitely, you must be dedicated to leadership, education and not think this process is “hit or miss.”

CREATING A PROFITABLE HYGIENE DEPARTMENT

If you will take a stand and focus on optimal care for your patients you will have a profitable dental practice.

The public is bombarded with media advertisements about health and beautiful smiles. With all the media attention to have the perfect body and smile, dentistry has never been in a better place to treat patients with smile enhancements and most importantly, create a healthy body.

People buy what they want not what they need. If you can speak to all patients at their level, understand what their hot buttons are and what is valuable to them, you will hear more patients say “YES!” to your care, schedule and pay for treatment. They will also continue returning to your dental office no matter who their insurance company tells them they need to see!

What should your hygiene department numbers look like?

The hygiene department should bring in 30% of the total production. YES! Shocking? This is true!

Look at typical numbers our clients see after utilizing our services:

A Day in the Life of a Dental Practice Solutions Hygiene Department

4 Prophylaxis Appointments (4 X $95)                                         $  95

2 Scale and root planing Appointments (2 X $265)                    $265

Arestin® (6 Sites X $40/site)                                                          $240

2 Periodontal Maintenance (2 X $110)                                         $220

6 Fluoride Varnish Treatments (6 X $30)                                    $180

4 Identifi® Oral Cancer Screenings (4 X $60)                             $240

4 Patients X-rays (4 X $65)                                                             $260

 Production Total:                                                                           $1,500

The fees used in this example are not a guide for you to use in your dental practice but are used only to show an example of what a typical dental hygiene day can look like for your dental practice.

CONCLUSION

The success of your dental hygiene department needs to include a vision that the entire team supports. Total team approach is required for your dental practice to be successful and sustain profits for the life of your dental practice.

Profitability in all successful dental hygiene departments is directly proportional to the billable services provided. This success will also include scheduling to goal, as well as elimination of cancellations and no-shows. Next week in Part 2 of this blog, I will discuss how to eliminate no-shows and cancellations as well as establish the correct hygiene department compensation.

Next time someone asks if there is a system for their dental hygiene department they can refer to this article for creating a successful dental hygiene department. Implementing all of these components is the easiest way to create success and get the entire team on the same page.

Does you dental practice have an established philosophy of care for perio patients?

Do you have a schedule that is strategically set up to accomplish your goals?

Let us know about your dental practice in the comment section below. If there is a topic you want to know more about please do share.

DENTAL PATIENT CASE ACCEPTANCE: Why Patients Will Say “Yes!”

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 4, 2014

Each person on your team plays an integral part for why patients will say “YES!” schedule and pay for treatment in your dental office.

When the entire team can elegantly communicate with patients about necessary treatment, and the value it will add to their life,  it now becomes much easier for patients to say “YES” to your care.

As Dental Practice Management Consultants, our clients have great success because the dental teams understand exactly how to elegantly speak to their patients, show empathy, actively listen and then  are able to explain the outstanding value to the patients for accepting care.

Why will patients Say Yes to Case Acceptance?

The #1 reason patients why patients will say “YES!” to your care and continue returning to your dental office is trust.

In Steven Covey’s book, “The Speed of Trust,” he makes the case that when trust is low, the cost of business goes up, and the speed of business decreases.

If you ask most people why they choose a certain company to do business with they will say that it is because of a relationship they have with a person there or a past experience. I think of Nordstrom and why I love to shop there. They have good quality but why most people go there is because of the way they treat their customers. “Customer is King?”

Trust is not just a matter of quality but equally skills, competency and your knowledge.

In Covey’s book he points out that just because he trusts his babysitter to watch his kids but he would not trust her to run his business. She lacks competency to trust her with matters of his business.

How can you improve trust?

  1. Trust occurs the minute a patient places their first phone call to your office
  2. Trust occurs when they go to your website for the 1st time
  3. Trust occurs when a patient 1st steps foot in your office as a new patient
  4. Trust occurs with a dental patient even before you seat a patient of record in your dental chair

What Maybe Holding Back Patient Trust

  • Do you take patients back late for an appointment?
  • Do you smile when you answer a phone call? AND do you put a patient on hold before asking IF you can maybe call them back in a few minutes. Remember, we are all in a hurry these days so putting a patient on hold may not be convenient for them and a call back at a convenient time may work better for your patient

The list of trust building positive patient case accept are creating raving fans for patients which comes from oustanding customer service and a solid relationship you consistently build with your raving fans!

Do you have holes in your schedule?

Many dental practices, who call us to inquire about our services, call because business is slow and especially during the holiday’s business can die.

For this reason trust must be high with your patients for them to continue choosing your dental office over another office closer to their home, work or one that is on their insurance plan.

Trust must begin with a personal worthiness of character and competency. In an effort to extend and receive trust in your day-to day responsibilities, we can have a significant impact not only on our success but also on the speed at which we achieve it.

Doctors are reaching out today to improve their methods of patients saying “YES!” to their care. It is something I hear about every week.

What may close holes in your schedule and create sustainable profits:

  • Do you know the dollar amount of outstanding treatment plans sitting in your patient charts?
  • What is your plan to enroll them into treatment and will they pay for their treatment?

In Conclusion

For you to turn this case acceptance challenge into a successful outcome every player on your team most embrace the vision of your dental practice.

It takes only 15 seconds (MAX!) for people to judge your office especially, when they make their first call to your office. This means that your team who answers the phone must read persons’ personality and temperament quickly when patients call the office.

This has been a year of abundance for clients of Dental Practice Solutions. All of our clients have reactivated over 50% of their patients whom they may not have seen since the economic decline (Some offices reactivated patients from three to four years ago). Many of our clients are able to reactivate this 50% patient population back into hygiene appointments because of a specific system that we have in place. It is innovative and very strategically implemented.

Profitability will come when you can reactivate your overdue dental hygiene patients and then enroll them into necessary treatment.

These are only a few tips to get your patients to say “YES!” to your care.

Would you like to learn more about specific areas in your dental practice with the greatest promise the best outcome in 2015?

Schedule your no-charge Discovery Session with Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS or one of the executive team members at Dental Practice Solutions. This is a $500 Value and if you have DENTRIX it will take the click of a button to find out your current key metrics (We use DentaMetrix to measure your dental practice KPI’s) and what areas you need to focus on for the best success in 2015. Schedule your Discovery Session now by clicking on this link or you can email or office at: dentalpracticesolutions@gmail.com

You don’t need to have DENTRIX to schedule your session however, we will ask a few specific questions to find out your practice metrics and then we can easily create a plan for powerful areas of your practice and where the focus for success needs to be.

Let us know how your case acceptance and scheduling patients care is coming along by commenting below.

DENTAL PATIENT CASE ACCEPTANCE: Why Patients Will Say “Yes!”

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

 

Dental Patient gives thumbs up

Each person on your team plays an integral part for why patients will say “YES!” schedule and pay for treatment in your dental office.

When the entire team can elegantly communicate with patients about necessary treatment, and the value it will add to their life,  it now becomes much easier for patients to say “YES” to your care.

As Dental Practice Management Consultants, our clients have great success because the dental teams understand exactly how to elegantly speak to their patients, show empathy, actively listen and then  are able to explain the outstanding value to the patients for accepting care.

Why will patients Say Yes to Case Acceptance?

The #1 reason patients why patients will say “YES!” to your care and continue returning to your dental office is trust.

In Steven Covey’s book, “The Speed of Trust,” he makes the case that when trust is low, the cost of business goes up, and the speed of business decreases.

If you ask most people why they choose a certain company to do business with they will say that it is because of a relationship they have with a person there or a past experience. I think of Nordstrom and why I love to shop there. They have good quality but why most people go there is because of the way they treat their customers. “Customer is King?”

Trust is not just a matter of quality but equally skills, competency and your knowledge.

In Covey’s book he points out that just because he trusts his babysitter to watch his kids but he would not trust her to run his business. She lacks competency to trust her with matters of his business.

How can you improve trust?

  1. Trust occurs the minute a patient places their first phone call to your office
  2. Trust occurs when they go to your website for the 1st time
  3. Trust occurs when a patient 1st steps foot in your office as a new patient
  4. Trust occurs with a dental patient even before you seat a patient of record in your dental chair

What Maybe Holding Back Patient Trust

  • Do you take patients back late for an appointment?
  • Do you smile when you answer a phone call? AND do you put a patient on hold before asking IF you can maybe call them back in a few minutes. Remember, we are all in a hurry these days so putting a patient on hold may not be convenient for them and a call back at a convenient time may work better for your patient

The list of trust building positive patient case accept are creating raving fans for patients which comes from oustanding customer service and a solid relationship you consistently build with your raving fans!

Do you have holes in your schedule?

Many dental practices, who call us to inquire about our services, call because business is slow and especially during the holiday’s business can die.

For this reason trust must be high with your patients for them to continue choosing your dental office over another office closer to their home, work or one that is on their insurance plan.

Trust must begin with a personal worthiness of character and competency. In an effort to extend and receive trust in your day-to day responsibilities, we can have a significant impact not only on our success but also on the speed at which we achieve it.

Doctors are reaching out today to improve their methods of patients saying “YES!” to their care. It is something I hear about every week.

What may close holes in your schedule and create sustainable profits:

  • Do you know the dollar amount of outstanding treatment plans sitting in your patient charts?
  • What is your plan to enroll them into treatment and will they pay for their treatment?

In Conclusion

For you to turn this case acceptance challenge into a successful outcome every player on your team most embrace the vision of your dental practice.

It takes only 15 seconds (MAX!) for people to judge your office especially, when they make their first call to your office. This means that your team who answers the phone must read persons’ personality and temperament quickly when patients call the office.

This has been a year of abundance for clients of Dental Practice Solutions. All of our clients have reactivated over 50% of their patients whom they may not have seen since the economic decline (Some offices reactivated patients from three to four years ago). Many of our clients are able to reactivate this 50% patient population back into hygiene appointments because of a specific system that we have in place. It is innovative and very strategically implemented.

Profitability will come when you can reactivate your overdue dental hygiene patients and then enroll them into necessary treatment.

These are only a few tips to get your patients to say “YES!” to your care.

Would you like to learn more about specific areas in your dental practice with the greatest promise the best outcome in 2015?

Schedule your no-charge Discovery Session with Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS or one of the executive team members at Dental Practice Solutions. This is a $500 Value and if you have DENTRIX it will take the click of a button to find out your current key metrics (We use DentaMetrix to measure your dental practice KPI’s) and what areas you need to focus on for the best success in 2015. Schedule your Discovery Session now by clicking on this link or you can email or office at: dentalpracticesolutions@gmail.com

You don’t need to have DENTRIX to schedule your session however, we will ask a few specific questions to find out your practice metrics and then we can easily create a plan for powerful areas of your practice and where the focus for success needs to be.

Let us know how your case acceptance and scheduling patients care is coming along by commenting below.

ME not too high jpegABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke is founder of Dental Practice Solutions, a global consulting and coaching business known as the leader in creating highly profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments.

Debbie uses a specific innovative and strategic methodology to not only increase hygiene department production but works with the entire team to sustain true profitability for the life of a dental practice.

For 10 yrs. she has been known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Practice Management Consultants.

Debbie speaks about dental hygiene department profitability and the services which create a profitable and sustainable dental practice.

Grab her 7 Day no-cost hygiene department profit program. Each day, for seven days, you will receive tips to increase your dental hygiene department production without working harder but like a well-oiled machine.

Click here get your no-charge 7 Day Hygiene Department Program