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

Secret Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

May 25, 2017

Dental Practice Management

The Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success

The success of a dental practice depends upon doctor “OWNING” their business, taking the lead, building up their team and then implementing all the systems, info, etc., provided to them  by the dental practice management consultant.

Dental Practice Solutions can only deliver the ingredients for your dental practice to use. It is up to you to implement and use the knowledge we provide. This is how it all comes together to create HUGE SUCCESS!

I am “Over the Moon” excited to receive this message when I awoke this morning.

This is the message I received from our client:

“Looks like we will do over $45k this week.

We have smashed target for the month of May, thanks to the hygienist packages.”

     ~Dr. Rachel Hall, Evolve Dental Healing

Secret Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success:

“Hygienist Packages” refers to our proprietary system for dental hygienists (also the doctor, treatment and financial coordinator) to present patients to increase case acceptance and payment of hygiene services.

If you would like to see how this can work for your dental practice please contact our strategy coach Vanessa Garman for a complimentary strategy session. Vanessa can put together a plan and discuss how this will work for you:

Call her to schedule this time: 949-351-8741 or Email to Schedule: vanessa@dentalpracticesolutions.com

#ourclientsrock #dentistryrocks

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL, RDH, BS

Debbie is the CEO and Founder of Dental Practice Solutions. She is a former dental hygiene program director for a hygiene school in Portland, Oregon as well as a former clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California.

She also co-taught the Practice Management Course at USC for the senior dental students.

Through her wealth of knowledge and development of curriculum Debbie and her team at Dental Practice Solutions serves dentists throughout the world.  Debbie not only consults with offices globally but she speaks at most of the

national dental conferences as well as writes for many of the dental journals.

Contact our strategic planning coach to create your next level of success just like Dr. Rachel Hall has done. Email Vanessa

Website: www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

 

 

Master Your Success Game Plan: Your Team and Your Dental Coach Included

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 20, 2017

Rachel Hall Number 1

For the last 14 months I have had the great pleasure to work with the team at Evolve Dental healing; the office of Dr. Rachel Hall.

Dr. Rachel Hall hired Dental Practice Solutions to create systems for her hygiene department.

We had a few hurdles in the beginning because in order to soar, it is important to have the right team players on board. It took a lot of time to find the right fit to lead the hygiene department at Evolve Dental Healing.

They say “Timing is everything” and finally one month ago a new graduate applied for the position and the rest is history!

Starting 2017, Dr. Rachel decided to “Go Big!” The downside, so “I” thought, (lol) was that her year did not begin until January 11th. Dr. Rachel took an extended holiday. One would think that it is not good to begin the year in their business a week into a new year.

But……………not Dr. Rachel! Remember, I mentioned her goal for 2017, was to “Go Big!” This is exactly what happened once the year at Evolve Dental Healing began on January 11, 2017. Doesn’t matter that the office lost about 8 days in January 2017.

Let me share with you how they have mastered their success game plan. You can learn from this situation and master your own success game plan.

Here are a few steps to include in your success game plan:

The Number 1 Fact here is: MINDSET.

Dr. Rachel put her mind in success mode.

Number 2: She created a 90 Day Success Game Plan.

Let me explain that we outlined 6 goals for the practice to achieve and not only doctor but with her team by her side they accomplished these goals in 45 days NOT 90!

Number 3. Team Work

Rachel Hall Commitments

Number 4. Collaboration

You must collaborate with colleagues, study clubs and experts. AKA: A Dental Practice Management Consultant.

Two weeks ago I spent three days with the team continuing with their success plan. On day three I not only worked with the entire team to commit to the next level but in the afternoon I had time to work hands-on with the new graduate-hygienist.

Working hands-on with Elise, the new grad hygienist, proved extremely helpful to her and the future success of the practice.

The diagram below shows you were they are as of April 1, 2017.

I just spoke to Elise and the front office team before writing this. I was told that they had to add two extra days of hygiene this month because Elise and doctor are diagnosing a lot of perio therapy. I was told that 100% of the patients in the last two weeks have accepted treatment for perio therapy.

Below is a chart showing you where they were in 2016 and where they are as of April 1, 2017.

Areas of Improvement Beginning of Consultation Process: 2016    April 1,     2017
Perio Percentage 8% 50%
Days of hygiene 4/week Added 2 days/month
Hygiene Openings 2 daily April 2017 No Openings
New Patients Average 17 Average 27
Office Production Average $93,870 Average $125,252

I feel blessed  to work with this awesome team! I feel honored to do the kind of work I get to do in fact, because I love what I do so much, it is not a J O B but such a pleasure! It’s truly a pleasure to do what I get to do! And…I never have to work a day in my life because I enjoy this so much.

Do you have a success game plan? Do You?! 

Contact our office to schedule a time to discuss your dental success game plan: mail://vanessa@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call: 949-351-8741.

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

  ABOUT DEBBIE

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Check out the Free 3-Part Hygiene Department Training: http://www.dentalhygiene.solutions

 

 

The Dental Hygienists’ Role in Patients’ Treatment Plan

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 6, 2017

Hygienists Role in Treatment Planning

Hygienists Role in Treatment Planning

                                                                                   Video & Blog Explains Hygienists’ Role

During the hygiene appointment, it is valuable for the hygienist to discuss what they see in the patient’s mouth.

The blog today is about a topic we are asked about often and it will support the Dental Hygienist’s role in patients’ treatment plan.

Time Management Formula

Time Management Formula

In Diagram A you will see our Time Management Formula which outlines where the hygienist should be during the hygiene appointment. This time management formula helps hygienist to find time to discuss what is seen in the patient’s.

The first part of every hygiene appointment will be the data collection. This will include not only the review of medical history but the perio exam, oral cancer exam, radiographs when necessary, a smile evaluation, visual exam, intra-oral photos.

After you collect all the important patient information you will sit the patient upright and knee-to-knee-eye-to-eye to now create a partnership with your patient to show them what you see. Now you are in the Treatment Planning phase of the hygiene patient appointment.

Please note: this time management formula is only a suggestion of time and if you have less than sixty minutes of time with your patient you will adjust the time formula so it meets your schedule. This is an example of time for the sixty minute hygiene appointment.

During this time with your patient you will show them what you see on their perio chart, radiographs and/or intra-oral photos. Let your patients be a part of what you see. Ask them to show you what they see after you show them. Say words like “bleeding, infection, large black area is tooth decay moving very close to the nerve which can cause you a toothache.”

Your patient is possibly hearing this information for the 1st time and all these words are new to their oral condition. It can feel overwhelming for your patient to hear all this information, so break it down into words you believe they will understand.

This means that you will not say words like “Periodontal Treatment” but instead you will say “Gum Treatment.” You do not want to say, “Deep Cleaning” because when a patient has gum disease (AKA: Periodontal Disease) this is not treated with a cleaning but with a special “gum treatment” or “gum therapy.” It also down-plays what is actually happening in their mouth. A periodontal patient is not going to get a cleaning.

Once the doctor enters to do the exam it is the hygienists’ role to connect them with the patient and guide them through what has occurred during the appointment.

The connection is an update your patient; a personal aspect of their life. This is rapport building. It doesn’t need to take but a minute for doctor to be reconnected with a routine patient.

With the hygienist’s guidance, when talking with doctor in front of the patient and doctor, the patient will hear the same words used to describe the patient’s oral condition.

Then when dismissing the patient, the hygienist will again explain to the front desk what was completed, what the patient needs to schedule for (if not scheduled in hygiene room) and the valuable “reason the patient will return.”

Now your patient has heard this topic of discussion, these words which describe their oral condition, at least 3 times and they are beginning to be more familiar plus have a deeper understanding of what is happening in their mouth. They are now understanding why it is important to return sooner than later.

This system is part of what we teach our clients (Our doctors and their team) which is helping to “close the back door.” This is what helps keep our client schedules full and productivity high.

  • Do you know what percentage of your treatment plans come from the hygienist showing the patient hat is happening in their mouth?
  • Do you know the specific words to use that will add a lot of value for your patients to schedule, pay and return to your office?

This is what we spend a lot of time working on with our clients.

Let us know how we can support your team and get you to that next level of success.

Contact Vanessa our VP of Client Relations to discover what your true potential is for 2017. Email: mail://vanessa@dentalpracticesolutions.com or O: 949-351-8741

We also have live CE Events that may help support your team to get to the next level.

See our events page: www.events.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

About Debbie

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is an international dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating highly profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 12 yrs.  No Cost Hygiene Dept Training Video Series. Grab it here Now. REGISTER FOR TRAINING

Case Acceptance: Reason to Return

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 22, 2017

Case Acceptance

Case Acceptance

CLICK LINK TO WATCH VIDEO

What factors help you decide to buy a certain car?

What criteria helped you decide to buy your last washer and dryer?

And why do you buy your groceries where you do?

Think about this and when you last provided a diagnosis for dental implants or even something as simple as tooth whitening?

How did you present treatment diagnosed to your patient?

Did you tell your patient how cool it is that you can easily screw in the implant or did you explain about the high-tech NASA Technology and these Implants are made of titanium and should last the rest of your life if cared for properly?
Did you tell them the implants are inexpensive?

I highly doubt it!

Your patients are making their decision on the expected result and how this will benefit them.

So, they are not buying a washing machine based on how well it is designed but how well it works to clean their clothes, how it functions and it is possibly all that plus the cost to buy it.

Your patients reason to pay, schedule and return for treatment and routine appointments is the same as why the shop at a specific grocery store and why they decided to buy their car, etc.

Here are some tips to Keep Your Schedule Full:

  1. Create a partnership with your patient
    • Help your patient to own their oral condition
    • Show your patients what you see
  • Show your patients what their oral condition is
  • Show your patient what their condition can look like when they choose your care
  • Show them any treatment you have completed in their mouth

“Remember when you had that open space and food was getting trapped there? Look how beautiful it is now? And you don’t have that terrible feeling of food stuck between your teeth anymore, do you? We can do the same thing in your mouth over here.”

  1. We suggest to our clients (Dentists and their team) that if a treatment plan is X dollars or more (Typically $2,000) the patient will return for a special consultation with the office treatment coordinator.
  • This is a separate appointment with someone in your office who can review the value and benefits of why the patient needs to schedule this appointment and keep in mind what is specifically valuable to the patient
    • This is someone on your team who is comfortable talking about dental treatment. They are
    • Someone who is not afraid to talk about how much something costs – ex: comfortable talking about money
  1. Always remember to show-off your beautiful dentistry
  • Take before and after photos
    • Place these photos on the walls of your office
    • Place a photo album of your patients before and after photos on a coffee table in your reception area
    • Be sure your team is comfortable bragging—complimenting doctors amazing clinical skills and the patients’ outcome!
    • Create Your Own “Wall-of-Fame!”

When working with our clients and inside our member-site called “Hygiene Empowerment, we teach you more about Case Acceptance and how you can keep your back door closed!

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is an international dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating highly profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 12 yrs.

Dental Practice Systems Create Wealth

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 5, 2017

Dental Patient Services System

Dental Patient Services System


There are hundreds of dental stories inside the dental jungle.

Dr. Frank Frederickson is the Guide taking dentists through the dental jungle and offering sage advice.

Dr. Carly Carlson is a young, new dental practice owner and she is fired up, ready to rock and roll in her new dental office. Dr. Carlson’s first question to Dr. Frederickson is about growing her retirement account so that she can one day, have a good retirement. Dr. Carlson specifically asks, “How can I maximize my new dental practice so that one day I can have enough money to retire?”

Dental Practice Systemscreate wealth.

Dr. Carlson had not heard of having an 8:00 a.m. start-the-day right goal in addition to a daily goal. She did not understand the value of holding a team meeting so that everyone on the team can “close any gaps”and “be on the same page.”

Dr.Frederickson advised Dr. Carlson that this system is something that needs to be done on Monday. To have the right goals at the start-of-the day is really not too difficult and it would not take a lot of planning. You need to communicate your goal to everyone and make it happen with a lot of effort and desire.

Dr. Frederickson knows a lot about systems that create success for the dental practice and he explained to Dr. Carlson that it’s never too late to create and then start running systems.

It’s All About the Patient Care Systems

Systems create wealth. Ask Henry Ford about his production system. Ask Bill Gates about his operating system. Ask Julia Child about her recipe system. Ask Richard Branson about his entrepreneur system. All will say that their secret to creating wealth was that they created and then followed a system.

Patient Care Systems are a significant part of a $10,000 A Day Dentist’s strategic plan. They include carefully outlined the steps for every procedure performed in the practice. Each system is known and understood by the entire team. There is no creating-it on-the-fly, no winging-it, and no last-minute-planning in a “well-oiled machine” practice.

Examples of a Patient Care System would include:

1. The Dental Emergency Appointment
2. The New Patient Experience
3. The Ultimate Hygiene Patient Experience
4. The VIP Consult (which is a free second opinion consultation)
5. CMO Exam – the craniomandibular orthopedic workup.
6. The Smile Analysis – the Cosmetic Evaluation
7. Periodontal Evaluation: Oral/Systemic Health Connection and Treatment Protocol
8. Dental Implant Exam and Diagnosis Appointment with the cone beam CT scan
9. Full Mouth Reconstruction Pre-planning Appointment
10. Invisalign® Exam and Impression Appointment

Every procedure has a system and every appointment follows a system. Imagine a scenario in which you have a system to diagnose a problem and then you will treatment plan the solution. Next, imagine the business assistants activating a system to get the patient into that treatment and then the clinical assistants implementing a system to actually do that work. All of this is completed without additional time consuming input from you; the dentist.

Now imagine that being done for every procedure, every patient, and every day.

Would the stress in the office be lower, production higher and profits magnified? The answer is always, yes!

Having Patient Care Systems in place all across the practice are like everyone on the team having their own Swiss Army Knife ready to handle anything, anytime, anywhere. Our Team Training combined with the Solstice 5M Mastermind groups examine many systems in-depth within their individual practices. This consistently results in increased production within the practice.

Planning for a good retirement includes examining how you can maximize productivity in your dental practice and making wise decisions to implement the changes. It’s the same when creating Patient Care Systems that are necessary to increase value in your practice.

Dr. Carlson is off to a great start with her new practice. It’s never too late for you as a dental practice owner to travel into the dental jungle and follow your guide.

How are you doing? Are you lost in the dental jungle? Do you believe that a guide will help you create efficient systems to increase your profits in 2017?

Please comment below how you are doing in your dental practice. Which of the above systems do you have in place? How are these systems working for you?

These systems are your key to building wealth.

You may want to ask about our Mastermind Training which begins on Friday January 20, 2017.

Schedule a Call with Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS and Dr. Bill Williams

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental hygiene consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Efficient Scheduling For a Successful Dental Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 20, 2016

Efficient Dental Appointment Schedule

Efficient Dental Appointment Schedule

TIME IS THE MOST valuable commodity in any business. Equipment and supplies can always be restocked, but lost time is not as easily replaced.

There are countless ways time slips away in a busy dental practice—from late and cancelled appointments to being unable to efficiently move between treatment rooms, the list goes on and on.

So how do you make the most of your time while dealing with the usual hiccups throughout the day? We have a few tips to help you out because let’s face it; your schedule is the core of every successful dental practice.

Keep reading for tips on efficiently scheduling appointments in your dental practice.

Maximize Your Practice Potential with These Scheduling Tips

Some of the most common scheduling mistakes we see are no plan to add new patients to your schedule when you are running a successful new patient marketing campaign.

Another mistake we see is when a practice does run an overdue hygiene patient campaign to get patients to return to your office, many of these patients need perio therapy and there are no openings in the hygiene schedule for months out. These hygiene patients end up waiting months before they can begin their perio therapy.

What you must do to have a productive schedule is:

  • Know your production goals and then schedule to goal
  • Utilize blocked scheduling to accomplish your goals
    • Crown/bridge procedures
    • Seat appointments
    • CEREC procedures
    • New Patients
  • Time your procedures for each section of the appointment
    • Anesthetic
    • Hygienist time
    • Assistant time
    • Doctor time
  • Hygienists are a key member of the team who must schedule all future routine hygiene appointments
  • When patients call to change an appointment offer a solution to help them keep their appointment

Successful schedules allow your practice to avoid unexpected surprises. Maintaining a predictable flow in your schedule means consistent productivity.

Time Is an Invaluable Asset

We know managing a successful practice isn’t an easy task. That’s why we’re here. If you have questions about improving the efficiency of your day-to-day operations, let us know! We can provide you with proven time-management and scheduling strategies that not only improve your team’s workflow, but will add to your bottom line as well.

Efficient Scheduling

Efficient Scheduling

Do you have any scheduling strategies that have worked in your office? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from you.

What is Your 2017 Success Plan?

Check out our January Success Live Events!

Dental Continuing Education

Dental Conference: January 2017, 6 CEU’s + More.

 

Live Event: 2017 Jumpstart: Hygiene Department Success by the Numbers

January 6, 2017 Portland, Oregon

6 CE Credits, Breakfast, Buffet Lunch, Reception Following the Event

REGISTER HERE: CLICK THIS LINK

January 13, 2017 Los Alamitos, California

6 CE Credits, Breakfast, Buffet Lunch, Reception Following the Event

REGISTER HERE: CLICK THIS LINK

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie  is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Important Points to Understand and Increase Your Net Production

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 20, 2012

Most Dentists today tell me their primary concern is to increase New Patient numbers. Do you know how much it costs you to market and then capture a new patient? What is the cost to you if you can reactivate a current patient of record?

Many dental offices are eager to spend money on external marketing efforts to capture new patients when in fact they are cutting back on dollars spent on building patient loyalty and getting patients back to the office. What makes you think that a new patient will be better than a patient you have not seen in the past year?

If you have limited dollars in your practice today, the best way to spend any money to raise patient numbers is spend any money available on your existing patient base. How much does it cost you to lose an employee? This is the same when you lose a patient of record. A lot of time and money is lost!

 Benefits of Retaining Patients

 Increasing your patient retention numbers will boost your profits and minimize other costs such as marketing for new patients.

Not only does retaining your current patients boost your profits just by having then visit the hygienist on a regular basis but imagine the dollars the current patients will spend when you offer various services such as:

  • Oral Cancer Screening technology/tests
  • CAMBRA (Caries Management by Risk Assessment)
  • Non-surgical periodontal services, adjuncts, lasers, etc.
  • Same-day services (Such as Whitening, fluoride, night guards, etc.)
  • Home-care products
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Implants
  • Six-month Smiles, Invisalign
  • Etc.

Your long term patients most likely have a great rapport with you and the team. Their trust factor is high. They are most likely to accept your treatment recommendations.

Do you know the average money spent from your current patients per visit? The longer the history for the patient of record the more comfortable they will be spending money in your office.

Statistics tell us that in dentistry we have a 70% chance that our patients will accept treatment but only 20-25% of patients schedule an appointment to complete treatment and pay for this.

The average dental practice loses 10-15% of their patient base annually due to patients moving, dying or just because they changed insurance providers. This means that if you have an active patient base of 1500 patients you will lose 150-180 patients annually. During this current economic climate case acceptance in general is low and with many practices gaining less than 20 New Patients per month, your revenue is very low!

The company New Patients, Inc. did a study in 2003 and found that the lifetime value of a patient is $1,502.27. When you adjust the rate of inflation you have a lifetime value of at least $2,000.00, as of 2011.

You can estimate the loss of value with the inactive patients by multiplying the total number of inactive patients by $2,000.00 –the current lifetime value of your patient.

Imagine that if you lose just 150 patients in 2012, your lost revenues will equal $300,000.00. Now that can hurt!

But let’s get to the bottom of this challenge and create solutions.

1. Count the active patients in the practice
    a. This is the # of patients who have been to the office in the past 12 months
    b. Not a surprise when you see this # is different that the number of patients in your database
    c. Review these numbers each month at the team meeting and
    d. Create systems to grow your patient post

2. Survey your patients
    a. Ask patients about their recent visit
    b. Did you meet their expectations?
        i. Did they enjoy their experience?
       ii. Did they have to wait?
      iii. Do they feel comfortable referring their friends and family?
      iv. Do they have frustrations? Any challenges?
       v. Are there services they wish to have but you did not offer?
    c. You can use www.surveymonkey and email to those patients who informed you that it is ok to contact them by email.
    d. Offer a gift, something of value from your office, in return for their response
    e. Once you have 75-100 responses discuss these at your next team meeting
        i. Any frustrated patients or needs you have not met, be sure to correct these and let the patients know you have addressed their frustration or need

3. Create a WOW experience. One like no other office in your area!
Many patients will come to your office because of your fees but there will be many who come to your office because of the team, their personal relationship and the specific culture of your dental office.

Each patient is different. Their needs vary and so do their personalities. Make sure that everyone on the team is able to effectively communicate with the various personality types. You can go here to update your skills and assessment of personality types: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

Treat your patients with honesty. If you say you will call them back, call them back at the time promised. If the fees change explain why and show them where this was projected to change. Be sincere in everything you do, say and stand for.

This is how you will continue to keep their trust and remain credible.

When you know your patients expectations and over deliver you will have them at WOW and create raving fans!

Meet with you team and discuss one thing that you can do now to create more fans and WOW them even more.

4. Communicate
    a. Your website is a great place to communicate with current and New Patients
    b. Does your website have an area to submit questions?
    c. Do you use social media to keep patients up-to-date with happenings in your office?
    d. How will you communicate special offers to your patients?
        i. And/or New Services?
    e. Email patients and/or post on social media about courses you and the team are completing
    f. Post and communicate about any changes in the office
        i. New employees
       ii. New equipment, chairs, services, etc
      iii. Tell them interesting health facts
    g. Find various communication methods to keep patients in the loop between their dental appointments
        i. Social media
       ii.Newsletters
      iii. Email
      iv. Educate, educate, educate
       v. Etc.

5. Reactivation tips
    a. Call patients who cancel an appointment and don’t reschedule within the next 48 hrs
        i. Ask when they cancel and don’t reschedule if you can call them to reschedule at X date at Y time
       ii.Make a point to call and reschedule at this scheduled time!
    b. Plan to have a reactivation system in place and use this every 3 months to send post cards, various letters at specific times, etc.
        i. Just like collections: the longer the person owes money, the less likely you will receive payment
          * Same thing with reactivating patients – don’t delay the process!
       ii. Run reports to reactivate overdue patients every month and send the various letters approximately every 90 days
      iii. Add the date of last appointment
      iv. Make the letter directly from the doctor showing concern
       v. Follow up with a  live phone call from the team when there is no response to the letter
          * Goal of call is to schedule the patient

The key factor to the success of every dental practice is reactivating patients. If your patients can experience a sense of loyalty you will experience higher profits and practice growth. You need to implement a strong reactivation system to prevent the loss of 10% or higher in your patient base.

Reactivation of patients can be complex but in the long run this will cost you less money than finding a new patient to replace a lost patient. Imgaine if you can cut back to losing 50 patients this year vs. 150 patients. This is worth it’s weight in gold!

 

Your Comprehensive Treatment Plan Part II: “Get Them to Say YES!”

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 13, 2012

In part I of Your Comprehensive Treatment Plan we discussed the necessary fact that you need to build trust in your patients and understand their needs. It is also very important to understand their personality style before presenting treatment.

Case presentation is complex and involves numerous steps to get patients to say “YES”. These steps are:

  1. Coordination of the New Patient exam
  2. Communication to their patient of their needs
  3. Present the big picture
  4. Offer flexible financing

Continue reading

Your Comprehensive Treatment Plan: Patient Case Acceptance

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 6, 2012

Every dental practice wants their patients to accept comprehensive treatment. Research states that at most, 25% of patients in a dental practice accept their treatment plan, and schedule an appointment.

What are some of the factors that will affect their decision? How can you change your current treatment plan case acceptance to be at 70% or higher?

Many factors play into your patients decision to accept and schedule treatment in your office. One of the most important factors that will get your patients to say “Yes” to case acceptance and schedule the appointment(s) is trust.

When patients feel good about your office, when the know they can entrust the care of their health to your dental office, it is because they trust you and now they are more likely to schedule for necessary treatment. You will find these are the patients who return for their appointments year after year, they are the people who trust you and the entire team. Your patients want to know and feel, deep inside, that you really care about them! How can you show a new patient that you really care about them and not just their pocket book?

Once patients trust you, they feel a sense of commitment and they are the patients who return for their appointments, no matter what is happening in their economy. These are also the patients most likely to make payment in full.

“It’s Complicated”

Case acceptance is a complex issue and requires a team approach. All decision making involves the understanding of human behavior.

Let’s break down case acceptance into 4 steps:

1. Developing a foundation for trust to occur

2. Understand your patients’ needs and their personality type

3. Effective communication

•           Be able to explain the why, what, how, etc.

4. Offer flexible financial arrangements

This month we will only discuss steps 1 and 2.

 

Step 1: Developing a Foundation for Trust to Occur

The first step to have patients accept your diagnosed/recommended treatment, and returning indefinitely for their appointments, is to gain trust. Trust is instinctive.

If patients have not established a trusting relationship they are not going to accept comprehensive treatment and they are less likely to become a long-term patient.

Building trust starts before patients even walk through the door of your office.  As you are reading this right now, millions of people are on the internet and hundreds of thousands are on the internet now, searching for a dentist.

When a patient lands on your website their mind begins the trust building factor. It continues when they first call your office and then as a patient in your office, your words and the manner in with you say your words build their ultimate trust or distrust.

The Important Trust Building Factors

When someone visits your website for the first time, they will want to easily find the information they came looking for. This may be a list of the services you provide, special programs you offer, insurance accepted, how they can schedule an appointment. Can a patient request an appointment through your website? Do you have photos of your beautiful cosmetic dentistry? Do you have photos of your team and a bio that talks about employee interests and their areas of expertise?

When a potential patient calls your office, will the person who answers your phone be friendly? Will they say their name? Imagine the first phone call as a phone call with your future spouse. If you don’t like the first conversation what are the chances you will be calling back to schedule a date?

People instinctively look for a specific comfort level when they are interacting with someone on the phone. The first person to speak with a caller must be courteous and reassuring. Understand the exact language and tone of the caller and mirror this during the phone conversations. This will put the caller at ease. Be able to give an answer to their questions whether it be financial or insurance driven.

How complicated is it to make an appointment in your office? Are people calling immediately put on hold? Can people visting your website make a request to schedule an appointment?

Many issues are important to discuss before a patient comes to your office but try to make the first call simple, succinct and one that is helpful to the patient. Try to not ask too many questions over the phone so you don’t complicate the process

What occurs during the patient’s first treatment appointment?

The first appointment when the patient is in your treatment room is when they will assess your “chair side manner,” your concern for their comfort, and how gentle you are during treatment.

Trust requires that the dentist and team keep their word. If the patient was quoted a fee, this fee can not change unless there is a change in the treatment plan and at this point, you will need to stop the procedure and explain the change. (The what and why, etc.) If your new patients and/or patients of record, expect to see a particular dentist or auxiliary, (RDH, etc.) they must be appointed with this dentist or auxiliary. If you tell a patient you will call them back within the hour, or the next day, they must receive this phone call.

Each time a patient visits your office for a scheduled appointment, they gain further confidence in your dental practice.

Step 2: Patient Priorities and Personality

The second step is to understand your patients’ needs, their priorities and their financial situation. To understand this means that you perceive what goes on inside their thought process. It will be helpful if you can identify the various personality traits of each individual patient and communicate effectively using these tools to help you understand the who, what and how, (etc.) they “see life”, through their own pair of glasses.

Depending upon the level of care and expense of the patients treatment plan, you may want to bring the patient back for a separate appointment to privately discuss in a consultant room or a private area. Always discuss treatment plans with patients, in a confidential area and without anyone feeling rushed or being interrupted.

A persons behavior patterns affect how they make a decision. Learning to understand these various personality types can result in positive communication, which results in building trust with the patient, retaining patients long-term and increased profits in your practice.

There are many different personality tests to evaluate personalities, how to respond and interact with each type. For this blog we will refer to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality inventory. (http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html) The MBTI uses factors such as introversion/extroversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judgment/perception to identify the various personality types. Every dental office needs a simple system that enables you to effectively communicate with your patients, as much as possible, to predict patient behaviors. The system that you choose to use must take into account not only patient behavior but also priorities and financial considerations.

The MBTI categorizes personalities into various types as mentioned above. You can take your own personality test and share with the entire team. It can make for a great team meeting and is a great resource to building a successful team. Here is where you can begin practicing how to get to know other people’s personality type and understand how they make decisions. Try it out within your team now! http://www.personalitypathways.com

When you can easily identify your patient’s personality type and learn how to communicate within their comfort level, you will turn objections into opportunities and create a huge TRUST factor with your patients! This is also a great way to build teamwork within your office! Try using this within the team.

At this point it is important to understand that having a specific methodology for case presentation is critical for your success and the best outcome of your patient(s).

When the entire team understands the process of getting your patients to “YES” for comprehensive treatment, you will begin building trust before a patient ever steps foot inside your office.

If your efforts are a desire to be helpful, reassuring, caring and understanding of your various patient personalities, and their mind-set. If you can eliminate their fears as well, your rate of success for comprehensive care will soar and your profits will take a LEAP– UP! Getting to “Yes” requires a commitment from the entire team which will benefit everyone!

Next week Part 2 will continue with this topic.

Do you want more of this? Be sure to check back in the next 30 days for the release of our 12 week program dedicated to CO-munnication to Increase Comprehensive Treatment.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to be the 1st to know when this is released!

Case Acceptance Life to Your Practice and Profits

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

September 29, 2012

Through many years of surveying dental practices we have learned that 20-25% of your patients schedule their necessary treatment. We also know that if dental professionals are educated in effective communication and learn how to talk about value and benefits to patients, their case acceptance rate will jump to 70%.

One huge factor that will affect case acceptance is trust from your patients. Where does this trust begin? You guessed it! It begins before a patient even walks into your dental office. Right now, as you are reading this, millions of people are also on the internet. This is how most people will find a dentist in today’s world. That being said, people will find your office via your website.

Your Social Edge

Yes, you know that most people spend hours on the internet each day and most people find their dentist via their website. Now I need to ask you: “What does your website say about you?” I also want to ask “Do you show off photos of your beautiful dentistry and do you have photos of your employees with a bio of everyone who works in the office?” Do you offer Invisalign® or Six Month Smiles®? Show off your expertise on your website and begin the relationship here.

Yes! Get personal. Be real! Let people learn as much as possible before they even pick up the phone to make their first inquiry about your office. This is where you begin to build trust!

Mindset

Is your mindset” Insurance” or is it “Fee-for-service”? Is your practice philosophy all about what is best for your patient? Whether you answered yes or no, how can you educate your patients about insurance dictation and insurance provdership? The delivery mechanism in your office can’t be driven by what the insurance company will pay. 80% of all dental offices only offer patients “what their insurance will pay.”

What you say to your patient in approximately 4 minutes will build patients trust. This begins in the hygiene treatment room.

We are the experts. We know that without optimal oral health the overall body can’t be 100% healthy.

Try sitting your patient upright in the chair and communicate the true value of preventive care. Share the science and research when asked for this. Patients usually find a way to live a healthy and longer life. They will also pay for exactly what they want. Tell them they can have a beautiful smile, live longer and be healthier and the majority of people will find a way to pay for this! Who doesn’t want to look their best PLUS live a longer life when they are healthy!

Hygiene Tips

  1. Hire a hygienist!

    Many dentists today are trying to save their way to prosperity by doing the soft tissue management and preventive services themselves. Build your hygiene department so you can free up your time for restorative procedures and explain treatment plans with your patients to increase case acceptance.

    When the dentist is free to spend valuable time providing cosmetic and restorative dentistry, the hygienist can focus on patient retention and continuing care. This helps to stop chasing after patients to schedule their hygiene appointments when you pre-schedule at least 98% of all hygiene appointments.

  2. FMX every 5 yrs. (at least) This is one more profit Center for your practice and patients need it
    1. Schedule more time either in the hygiene appointment of with your assistant
    2. Schedule time for a comprehensive exam –allowing time to diagnose more dentistry
  3. Repeat the findings before the patient leave the treatment room
    1. Use the intraoral camera
    2. Bring patients up to YOUR Level

         i. Don’t dumb it down

         ii. Educate your patients to be at your level

         iii. Show them the bleeding gums and tell them “This can cause irreversible damage to your gum and the bone that supports them.”

            1. “Gum recession and these areas of abfractions, in your mouth here (Show them on their intraoral photos) can decay so we recommend that each night you use a sodium fluoride and each hygiene appointment I will brush on a fluoride varnish.”

         iv. Open new doors, avenues for cosmetic and restorative dentistry to be provided

    Conclusion

    • It’s time to give patients what they really need not only what their insurance will pay for!
    • Always educate your patients regarding your services, your hygiene preventive services and products available in your office to prevent disease
    • Deepen your relationships with your current patients of record.

    Every one of us has the ability to be a leader. Lead your patients in the right direction to complete the necessary treatment. They are worth knowing what is the very best for them!

     

    Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.

    Stephen Covey, the 8th habit