Turn 10 into $100k

What I consistently find when analyzing hygiene departments is that one huge area of opportunity is undiagnosed and untreated perio in existing patients. Most practices are pretty good at getting new patients into some level of perio care but then there are no systems for keeping them in maintenance or identifying when they need to go back through active therapy.

When doing the analysis, I make very conservative projections for growth because I want them to be attainable. One of those projections is the amount of revenue that could be generated if just 10% of your existing patients were enrolled in even site-specific perio care. I have a formula to determine this and I’ll share that with you. But first, let’s do the ‘gap analyses’.

One exercise I do with clients and audiences is to ask the hygienists, “What percentage of the adult patients you see for prophies on a daily basis have 4mm bleeding pockets?”. What I usually hear is somewhere between 40 and 60%. I’ve asked this of hundreds of dental professionals and I always get the same answer. This is a huge indicator that something is not working with their perio program (assuming one exists).

So I challenge you to do the same. Ask the question. Then compare that number to your perio percentage. If 40% of patients have some active disease and your perio percentage is 12%-there’s your opportunity. If you’re already at 40-50% perio…Bravo!! Keep up the good work.

So I promised to show you how to create an additional $100k with just 10% of your patients.

Here you go:

2 hygiene practice with 1600 patients in recare

SRP fee = $200

Perio Maint fee = $90

10% = 160 patients X 2 quads site-specific SRP X $200/quad = $64,000

160 patients X 4 perio maint (every 3 mths) X $90/perio maint = $57,600

And there you have $121,600 in additional hygiene revenue by diagnosing disease that needs attention and delivering high-quality care. And we haven’t even accounted for your use of advanced diagnostic tests, local antibiotics, home care products or other adjuncts.

And I bet more than 10% need treatment so just double that and you’ve created one quarter of a million dollars!

I’d be happy to help you uncover your hygiene department’s profit potential. Email Gretchen@InspiredHygiene.com and she’ll get you started today!

Stay Inspired,
Rachel

How to Finally Get Things Done

No one likes marking things off a ‘To-Do’ list better than me! That’s how I see what I’ve accomplished and create my work plan for the coming days, weeks and months.

The same is true for a dental practice. Here’s what I see happening a lot. You have a great team meeting with lots of new ideas and solutions. Everyone leaves excited and fired up, ready to take on the tasks. And then a week later, you’re right back where you started. No action has been taken on any of your ideas. It’s no one’s ‘fault’, it’s just what happens when there’s no accountability or time frame around the task.

Here’s how you avoid that…

Never end a team meeting without an Action and Accountability List!

1-Purchase a poster-size 3M Post It flip chart to use during all your meetings.

2-At the end of your meeting, create a list that looks like this:

What
Create a Doc-Hyg exam checklist
Order new ultrasonic tips

Who
Rachel
Diane

By When
May 5
May 7

3-Be very specific with the task and give yourself a reasonable deadline. Post this huge sticky note in your team lounge so you can see if every day and review it during your morning huddle.

4-Get a verbal ‘ok’ from the person accountable that they will follow through on the task.

5-Agree as a team that you all have permission to gentle ‘nudge’ each other if you haven’t followed through on your commitment.

6-Doctor and Office Manager, your team needs you to hold them accountable. If a task hasn’t been completed by the agreed upon date, ask what support that person needs to get it done.

7-Celebrate your success as you see the results of your ACTION!

What have you done for them lately?

They come in like clock-work, rarely missing an appointment and just being great patients. And yet it’s easy to take them for granted. You count on your base of solid patients to keep your practice running and busy. So what have you done for them lately?

Internal marketing isn’t just about asking for referrals. It’s also about really loving your patients and showing them how much you appreciate them.If you wonder why their friends aren’t coming to see you too, I’ll ask you one question: Have you given them a reason to? Have you given your patients an experience that they can’t help but talk to their friends about?

I know you’re great at what you do! So what could you do to really make them feel special. Maybe you give flowers to the ladies or bake chocolate chip cookies in the office. That’s great! Keep it up!

I recently read a wonderful book called “Referral of a Lifetime” by Tim Timpleton. I highly recommend it and you better believe I’m using his strategies to take care of my clients. In the book, Tim outlines a specific plan for staying in touch with those you love to do business with so they are always reminded of whom to recommend when a friend asks “Who’s your dentist?”.

Here a few tips to get you started:

1-Set your intention- if your intention in this process is to genuinely show your patients how much you care, that will come through loud and clear. If you come at it just to get more patients and make more money, that will come across too. And it won’t feel ‘right’. Set your intention to be sincere and the referrals will follow. That’s just how it works. You must set a loving intention and not be tied to the outcome. Try it, I promise it works.

2-Have a plan- make a list of your best 100-200 patients and begin to focus on giving them a simple greeting card, box of cookies or flowers each month. Set a budget for the gifts, cards and postage. This will help you select the gifts and the number of patients you wish to focus on.

Set up a system (there’s a guide for this in Tim’s book) and stick to it. Plan ahead 12 months for the gifts you’re going to send and put someone on your team in charge. Make them your ‘Ambassador of Appreciation’ so they are accountable for making sure the gifts are sent and the system implemented. Hygienists are great at this because they often have close relationships with patients.

3-Work your plan-Every morning during your huddle, make a note of those patients who are on your ‘100 Best Patients’ list or anyone you want to add to your list. Even if you have a small budget to start with, each hygienist can do something special for one patient and it will make an impact. You might start by choosing one patient on your schedule and give them a gift of a complementary whitening touch-up kit, Sonicare head, homecare kit or fluoride treatment, for example. And let the patient know this is ‘Just Because’.

4-Track it-Just like you track your other marketing efforts, run a report every month and see who has referred new patients. Send them a thank you gift immediately.Create a spreadsheet to track which gives you’ve sent to whom and the resulting referrals. It might take 6-8 months but you WILL see a strong return on your investment. And remember, you’re not just investing money, you’re investing in relationships.

Productivity…It’s Not About Money

Productivity, profitability, production, sometimes it seems that dentistry is all about the numbers. Let’s face it, you’re in business to deliver outstanding care to your patients AND make a living, right? I tell the teams I work with all the time, the numbers are a tangible way to track how well we are taking care of our patients. We have to track the numbers so we know where we are doing well, where we can improve and how to set goals for growth.

But you know what I’ve learned recently? Productivity isn’t about money. When we do what’s right for our patients, when we are laser focused on delivering the best care possible, the money will follow. So, we’ve determined that productivity is about :

  • Relationship
  • Efficiency
  • Focus

Relationship- There’s a difference between relationship and rapport. Rapport is when we know and like someone. Relationship can be defined as an agreed upon course of action between two individuals. When you and your patient agree to move forward with treatment, you’ve cemented your relationship. From that point forward you build on that patient-doctor relationship by caring about the patient, being sincerely interested in their life and being committed to delivering the very best care for them. You can also draw on that relationship by asking your patients to hold fast to their commitments to you and your team: being on time for their appointments, trusting your recommendations and referring their friends and family. When this type of relationship occurs, it supports your productivity.

Efficiency- Be prepared! Having everything you need for that patient BEFORE they walk in the door will keep you efficient. Documenting treatment and personal notes in the chart will help you continue to build that relationship. Creating and then implementing clear treatment protocols will help you and your team make quick, consistent treatment decisions. Delegating certain tasks to your highly skilled assistant makes you more efficient.

Focus- Defined as a clear vision, focus is what drives your team and keeps you productive. If you’re focused on building relationships instead of just diagnosing treatment, your case acceptance will go up. If you are focused on educating patients using your intra-oral or digital camera rather than just talking them to death, you’ll be more productive. Setting time aside for team meetings will help you stay focused by dealing with all the petty distractions rather than letting them build up and take you off course.

Action Steps for Productivity

  • Find what you have in common with your patients- make a connection
  • Determine what specific tasks you can delegate to your team
  • Be sure your team is trained to perform those tasks at a high level
  • Delegate with confidence
  • Focus on what you want to achieve TODAY
  • Clear up any “office clutter” with regular team meetings

Define your focus and goals at those meetings