Increase hygienist production using Dentrix

3D Bar Graph MeetingA constant challenge in any dental practice is figuring out how to increase the hygienist production. Whether you have one hygienist or an entire team, keeping schedules full and then optimizing them to make sure our well-paid hygienists are making the most of their time is a battle we fight every day.

Dentrix has several reports to help you increase hygienist production.

Production Summary Report

This report shows you how many times your hygienist charged out each procedure – and it shows the associated collection. Run this report for each hygienist at year end – and then compare from year to year – are the number of adult prophies increasing? are you seeing more child prophies than last year? If you’ve added fluoride varnish into your repertoire, then take a look at how this has increased.

Unfilled Hours

Found in the Daily Huddle Report, take a look at how many open hours you ended up with from your hygienists schedule. Setting up systems to fill last minute openings – and establishing logical consequences for patients that no show or cancel last minute both help to reduce unfilled hours for your hygienist team.

Focus on specifics to increase hygiene production

One of the great things about Dentrix is that you can select a procedure code and use the office manager to run a report that will help you to improve. For example, let’s say you’re encouraging your hygienists to offer desensitizing in your practice. A code review turns up D9910 as the one to use for desensitizing a tooth, full mouth, etc. From the Dentrix Office Manager, you can easily search for patients charged out for this code for the last year. Then, you can pull charts and in the next dental hygienist meeting, you can review successes and share what works well. Perhaps you’ll discover that one of your hygienists is charging out 80% of the desensitizing. She has figured out what works. When you have specific patient charts to review, now the other hygienists are interested to learn how they can offer this service to their patients.

When you use Dentrix to run reports and use numbers to make decisions, now you’re practicing statistical management. Instead of just telling your hygienists to be more productive – you’re helping them specifically look at their performance for a specific procedure and you’re giving them a measure. If the entire team charged out only 10 densensizing codes last year – then you can set a goal for each hygienist to charge out one a month. The conversation is now focused on the logistics of how to ask patients about sensitive teeth (is this question on your health history?), having a protocol in place for patients that say yes they have this problem, and a plan for scheduling to make sure the next patient is still seated on time.

Statistical management to increase hygienist production is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog:

One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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