How to make your hygiene department profitable [VIDEO]

October 2, 2013
Jameson Management
Jameson Management

Issue 10

More than one doctor has come to Jameson Management and said, "I know that I need a hygiene department, but I am frustrated because it seems to be costing me more than it is making me. The costs are so high-salaries, equipment, supplies.” Let's look at six specific ways to make the hygiene department excellent:

More than one doctor has come to Jameson Management and said, "I know that I need a hygiene department, but I am frustrated because it seems to be costing me more than it is making me. The costs are so high-salaries, equipment, supplies.”

Let's look at six specific ways to make the hygiene department excellent:

1. Set production goals for the hygienist. They should be producing at least three times their salary. Pre-block their schedule for approximately half of their production goals in primary appointments.

2. Integrate a comprehensive non-surgical periodontal therapy program into your practice. Many practices are providing non-surgical therapy for their patients and are calling those procedures adult prophylaxis.

Know that a patient who has technically been diagnosed as having periodontal disease is not healthy, they are in a diseased state. The treatment for this patient is entirely different than for the patient who is healthy and is coming in for a preventive appointment.

3. Define and implement a job responsibility of a hygiene retention coordinator. Their primary responsibility could include schedule or confirming hygiene appointments, sending out notices to patients who are pass due for an appointment and fill voids in hygiene schedule.

4. Hire a hygiene assistant. In most areas of the country, there is a shortage of available hygienists. So, as our profession moves to a mode of more comprehensive hygienic care, we find that the personnel to support that effort are in short supply.  

5. Schedule each patient according to his or her individual needs. Do not schedule generically, be sure to individualize. Let the hygienist determine how much time she needs with each patient.  

6. Make it possible for the hygienist to use an intra-oral camera on most every patient so they can further educate patients about the benefits of the dental services that you are offering.