How to Set Your Hygienist up to Reach Peak Productivity
You can’t run a practice alone. That’s why you need to find the best team members you can get to support your vision and help you build the practice of your dreams. Every team member plays an important role.
If your front office member isn’t delivering WOW customer service, you won’t get as many appointments scheduled. If your dental assistant isn’t going above and beyond to give patients a WOW experience, they won’t become raving patients. When any team member falls short, your practice won’t be as amazing as it can be.
One team member that directly impacts the growth of your practice is your hygienist. Hygiene is one of the most important factors in the profitability of your practice—30% of your revenue will come from hygiene. That’s why you need to do these things to set your hygienist up to reach peak productivity.
Make sure the hygiene schedule is productive.
Oftentimes, your scheduler will block out a whole hour for your hygienist to treat a patient. And, oftentimes, your hygienist will finish treating them before the hour is up. You don’t want there to be periods in between appointments. It's an unproductive day if they spend portions of it sitting around, bored, and twiddling their thumbs. It doesn't matter if they're only doing that for thirty minutes or ten minutes. That unoccupied time is going to add up to a lot of lost revenue.
So, make sure there are no gaps in time. Make sure your hygienist is getting as many patients in their chair as they can with the time allotted. Getting more patients in their chairs means better productivity. Better productivity means better profitability. Better productivity and better profitability mean better practice growth.
However, don’t overwork your hygienist. You don’t want them overwhelmed and laboring until they get so stressed they up and quit.
Train your hygienist to explain a patient’s needs to you before you evaluate them.
Train your hygienist to share a patient’s medical history with you and explain their needs immediately when you come in to check on them. That way, you aren’t coming in and poking around the patient’s mouth for a few minutes to determine what treatment they need. You can speed things up by having your hygienist explain the issue at hand so you can direct your time and focus toward it right away and save time.
Teach your hygienist the right communication skills.
It can get monotonous for your hygienist to constantly do the same thing every day. But there's a way to boost the treatment experience for both your hygienist and their patient. It's all about learning the right communication skills.
Teach your hygienist to use the right words when discussing treatment. Encourage them to converse with the patient in a natural way rather than speak dentalese. Show them how to make the patient feel like a VIP. This will lead to a connection between your hygienist and patient that will spice things up. It'll make the time more enjoyable for them both. That smooth relationship will result in increased case acceptance from patients and increased engagement from your hygienist.
Allocate a bigger budget for optimal dental-hygiene instruments.
You want integrity in your dental tools if you want to provide the care your patients deserve and make your job easier. Part of that is sharpening your instruments on a regular basis and keeping good care of them so they can last longer. But you can’t use your dental instruments until they’re rusty.
Put yourself in the shoes of the patient: would you want to be treated with dull, old instruments? Now put yourself in the shoes of your hygienist. Would you want to have to use dull, old instruments to treat a patient? It’s like giving someone a butter knife to cut a steak! It’s a great way to get carpal tunnel, that’s for sure. Make it easier for your hygienist to treat patients efficiently by giving them optimal dental-hygiene instruments.
Have everyone on your team use scorecards.
Every dentist has a vision they share with their team and, if they don’t, they should develop one. But if your team members aren’t measuring anything, how do you know where you’re going? That’s why every team member, especially your hygienist, needs to be using scorecards.
Is your hygienist helping your practice reach peak profitability?
If your hygienist isn’t doing these things, then money could be flying out your back door. You can make your practice a whole lot more productive just by making these simple adjustments.
If you want more help with getting practice to be as productive as it can be, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.