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Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS, believes dentistry is no longer just about fixing teeth. Dentistry is oral medÂicine. Her work helps dental professionals embrace the opportunities and understand the metrics that accurate insurance coding provides. The ADA recognized her expertise by inviting her to write a chapter in its CDT 2017 Companion book and again for its CDT 2018 Companion. She is the author of the DentalCodeology series of easy-to-read, bite-size books. Her latest book, "Teledentistry: Pathway to Pathology" was co-written with Cindy Purdy, RDH, BS. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Millennials are natural entrepreneurs and are not much satisfied with status quo. The Ebola crisis has brought to light the need for proper personal protective equipment and procedures. Yet there needs to be funds to pay for it. The cost of doing business needs to be more than a nebulous idea.
Millennials are natural entrepreneurs and are not much satisfied with status quo. The Ebola crisis has brought to light the need for proper personal protective equipment and procedures. Yet there needs to be funds to pay for it. The cost of doing business needs to be more than a nebulous idea. A Modern Millennial Hygienist (MMH) recognizes the consequences of their production numbers and wants to know.
In the traditional dental hygiene model, compensation is based on some vague per hour, per day or “going rate” idea. Practice management consultants say hygiene salary should be no more than 1/3 of production (though none say why this is an accurate figure). MMHs know it’s time to reevaluate the entire game and look at employment from an entrepreneurial point of view.
You have probably heard, “work smarter not harder.” What does that mean? No one ever says what working smarter really means. Most all of us work hard already even to the extent that you may find that you haven’t even taken a bathroom break for half or even the entire day. We are already smart though we can all get smarter. Perhaps what is needed is to be more deliberate and use measurable systems.
Track your numbers properly
Shirley created a numbers tracking tool for her Paper Persona book she offers to you at http://www.rdhpurpleguide.com/downloads. Why bother to track your numbers?
1. To have a way to truly see how you’re managing your time
2. To prove you’re practicing your beliefs rather that only what others expect from you
3. To show the value you bring to the patients and practice
4. To create an increased compensation plan
This tracking tool has one purpose: to help you to focus. You can see on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis if you’re meeting your goals. If you are thinking, “I can’t get the numbers,” we call that stinkin’ thinkin’. Be creative … you know what is being done in your chair. Which answers the next question: Should the dentist exam/evaluation and radiographs be counted in your production? Absolutely yes! If the care was performed in your chair, that means you couldn’t be performing other care. Besides, the hygienist generally performs the majority of both of these procedures. Don’t mix payment for procedures and politics with what your treatment room produced because you are in that room.
That fourth purpose of tracking your numbers is compensation. First, you need to decide what compensation means to you. Don’t start with everyone else’s definition, figure out your own. Dream big! There are no limitations in this part of the exercise except what you put on it. What’s the ROI (return on investment) you want for your work? So you decide $1 million. Is this possible? Why not? Yet compensation does not mean $$ only. Compensation may mean health benefits. It may mean having the practice pay for something like a personal item like loupes. It may be schedule flexibility. MMHs don’t just think in the traditional ways. When you track your numbers, you have the ammunition to make reasoned arguments. Oh, we don’t like that word “argument” because it means disharmony, disagreement and negative thinking, right? Not really. An argument is a logical, well-structured discussion of business facts and figures.
Dental hygiene is on a precipice of amazing opportunity. MMHs look ahead to see and help to create those changes. When an MMH learns to help direct the “sails” of change, he or she can also create “sales” for themselves. That is the way of the entrepreneur … and that is the way of the millennials.
Next time, we will be talking about the three reasons why an MMH does NOT perio chart.
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