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Need More Hygienists?? Maybe Not So Much....

Updated: Mar 12




One of the biggest success strategies for a dental practice is a dynamic dental hygiene team. However, recruiting to fill the critical position of dental hygienists can be challenging. Often the dental professional will want to add another dental hygienist to their team when:

 

1.     Patients are not being seen when they want due to their dental hygienist’s availability.

2.     Production needs to increase due to higher dental industry costs.

 

What if there was another way to solve appointment availability, and dental costs without the challenge of recruiting another dental hygienist?

 

There is another way. And all it will cost you is to change – change from booking standard one-hour dental hygiene appointments to booking according to your patient’s dental hygiene needs.

The pay-off?

 

Enhanced patient care, more available time for new patients, and increased production.

 

Let’s do the math. We’ve put together an example dental practice to illustrate.

 

 Dental Clinic Hygiene Statistics

 

Total Number of Active Dental Hygiene Patients: 2000

 

Their standard dental hygiene intervals are:

3 months

4 months

6 months

9 months

12 months

 

Their % of patients base according in each interval:

3 month          35%

4 month          20%

6 month          10%

9 month          25%

12 month        10%

 

The # of patients for each interval:

3 month          700

4 month          400

6 month          200

9 month          500

12 month        200

 

The # of appointments required per year based on # of patients and intervals:

3 month           700 x 4 = 2800

4 month           400 x 3 = 1200

6 month           200 x 2 = 400

9 month           500 x 8/12 = 750

12 month         200 x 1 = 200

 

When Dental Clinic assigns every patient the standard one-hour appointment, they need 5,350 hours.

 

On average their three full-time dental hygienists work 1,536 per year (32 hrs a week, 2 weeks vacation, and 9 statuary holidays).

 

They require 5,350 hrs to service their patients and 3.5 dental hygienists. To meet the hours necessary, they need to hire a part time hygienist. Or do they?

 

If we take all the same information but modify the length of time spots, to reflect their patient service requirements, the requirement for 3.5 hygienist changes.

 

Let’s do the math.

 

5350 appointments based on intervals & # of patients:

 

Intervals

# of patients

Time

Total Hours

3 month

2800

50 minutes

2333

4 month

1200

50 minutes

1000

6 month

400

50 minutes

333

*9 month

750

70 minutes

875

*12 month

200

80 minutes

27

 

 

 

4568

*includes recall, radiographs, polish, fluoride

 

 

That simple move from one-hour appointments to appointments based on patient requirements results in an additional 782 hrs, and Dental Clinic no longer needs to hire a part-time dental hygienist.

 

But wait, there is more.


What happens when Dental Clinic removes the 3 months intervals?

 

When we move 3 month interval patients to 4 month interval:

 

Intervals

% of patients

Number of Patients x Visits per/yr

Total Hours

4 mos

35%

700 pts  x 3

2100

6 mos

30%

600 pts x 2

1200

9 mos

25%

500 pts x 18/12

750

12 mos

100%

200 pts x 1

200

 

 

 

4,250

                                 

When we move 4 month interval patients to 6 month interval:

 

Intervals

# of Patients

Hrs @ 60 min

Adjusted Time

Total Adj Hours

3 mos

 

 

x

 

4 mos

2100

2100

50 min

1750

6 mos

1200

1200

50  min

1000

9 mos

750

750

70 min

875

12 mos

200

200

80 min

267

TOTAL

 

4250

 

3874

 

 

So, what did we do here?

 

We simply took our patients with 3 month intervals and moved them to 4 months.

 

Then we moved our 4 month interval patients to 6 month interval.

 

Have we compromised care?

 

Absolutely not.


Compromising care is when we don’t see our patients at all (or can’t fit them into our schedule).

 

What we have done is managed their care.

 

More importantly, we have created space where no space existed, so we can manage to see all our patients needing care and opened space for to see more patients.

 

In summary, this Dental Clinic thought they required 5350 hours to manage their 2000 active dental hygiene patients. Through effective time management, they reduced the necessary hours to 3,874 to service their patients and created time to see more patients.


How can you accomplish this?


 

Do you have the metrics to know how to schedule effectively, solve appointment unavailability, and increase production? 


You do now with RNA 180 that optimizes your schedule without a lot of your time, so you can focus on what is most important – delivering quality patient care.







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