Hidden Obstacles

Have you ever experienced this? You’re trying to implement a new product, procedure or service and for some reason, it just won’t stick. It works fine for a little while but then you go back to your same old ways. Chances are there are some hidden obstacles that you haven’t yet identified. There are lots of things that stand in our way of success but I’m going to reveal the most common obstacles that I see, in both my own clinical practice and with my clients.

The 5 Most Common Barriers Are:

#1 Your Schedule Is Out of Balance

#2 There Are No Systems

#3 There Is No Accountability

#4 No Training Is Taking Place

#5 You’re Holding Onto Old Information and Beliefs

Obstacle #1 Your Schedule Is Out of Balance

I recently gave a tele-class to our High Performance Hygiene Mastermind (link) members on this very topic. Whether your schedule is wide open or jam packed, each situation presents its own set of challenges.

If your schedule is wide open then every hour of open time cuts into your production per hour. Even if you’re doing everything you can with the patients you have, it may be difficult to reach your hourly production goal. Over a long period of time, this chips away at team morale and motivation. And too much of your admin team’s time may be spent moving patients around to make the schedule look full or trying to recover from a day that’s fallen apart.

If this is your challenge, find the true reason for the open time. Here are a few items to analyze:

  • How many patients do we have that are NOT in recare? This is your reactivation pool.
  • Begin an aggressive reactivation program
  • Begin an internal marketing campaign
  • Work with a marketing specialist to analyze the success of your current external marketing systems and track where your high quality new patients are coming from
  • What percentage of the open time is unscheduled vs. cancellations or no-shows? Is your confirmation process working?
  • Determine if the number of hygiene hours match the demand for patient care

If your schedule is jam packed, you have a challenge of abundance. A good problem to have but it too can be very frustrating. When you have more patients than you can handle, appointment times tend to get shortened which results in less treatment enrolled and fewer adjunct services. Also, when there are no appointments reserved for perio therapy, often it just doesn’t happen. We realize that if it’s going to be 2-3 months before we can get a patient back for perio treatment, maybe we should just scale really well today and check them next time. And so a cycle of “perio prophies” begins but that’s an article in and of itself. Again, with this situation you may be very busy but you may not have the time to deliver the very best treatment and hygiene may not be reaching their production goals.

If you find yourself in this situation here are some solutions:

  • Add more hygiene hours
  • If you’re already at maximum capacity, look for creative ways to utilize your current facility
  • It may be time to consider assisted hygiene with a highly skilled dental assistant
  • You may want to utilize Power Hygiene days
  • Take a good look at the quality of each patient and their commitment to your practice. Perhaps you decide not to pre-appoint those patients that have a habit of cancelling at the last minute or not showing up-be sure you’re tracking this on each patient

Take time to sketch ou your ideal hygiene day including the procedures and production you’d like to see. It’s exciting to see what’s possible when you get your schedule into balance.

If you’d like to listen to the recording of last month’s Mastermind mind call on this topic, you can get more details about the Mastermind and register for your free 2-month trial membership at www.hygienemastermind.com. There are several resources on hygiene supply and demand and scheduling that are at your finger tips when you’re a Mastermind member. I hope you’ll join us.

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