Does your hygienist motivate patients to accept treatment?

Let’s say you have 2 hygienists working for you. They each work part time, same number of hours each week. They both clean teeth equally well and generally can provide the same services to patients.

Now, let’s say that one of them regularly talks with patients about improving their level of dental health. She asks patients with missing teeth how they feel about the gap. She refers to specialists (hopefully that you have in-house). She gets a secretary to find out the insurance benefits so patients can get the treatment they want. Meanwhile, the other hygienist doesn’t do any of this. She talks with patients about the latest sports and community happenings. She runs on time and does a good job cleaning teeth.

How do you know which is which?

When you’re short on patients, do you reduce hours evenly for both hygienists?

What financial impact do you think this will have?

If you’re not measuring to find out which of your hygienists is motivating your patients to accomplish treatment, then you could be making a big mistake by managing hygienists as if they were all the same.

Talk with your hygienists about creating a tracking system to find out who is motivating patients to get treatment in your practice. To introduce this idea, you could tell your hygienists that you want to make sure you are properly thanking (and supporting) your hygienists for motivating patients, so ask them how they could track this. You could start by simply having them write down the patient’s names & treatment scheduled. You may find you have a star hygienist on your hands – and you never knew! Once you see how successful your hygienists are at motivating patients to improve their level of health, you could establish a goal and a bonus. You could start asking them what they need to be more effective (intraoral camera, anyone?) and recognizing their achievements in the morning huddle. 

Encouraging, tracking and appreciating/bonusing your hygienists to motivate patients to schedule treatment is a powerful internal marketing method dental practices can use to fill schedules and improve production.

For more ideas to improve the business-side of your dental practice:

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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