This article, written by Dr. Agatha Bis, Founder of UPB Dental Academy is the third in a five-part series on how to protect your dental practice from a slowing economy. Stay tuned for additional posts in the series, published daily.
Protecting Your Practice In a Market Turndown Key #3 – Optimize Your Hygiene Appointment
As the stock markets continue to tumble sparked by fears of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and turmoil in the crude oil markets, no one can truly predict where this crisis could be headed. I recall the last two major stock market crises which resulted in a 34% drop in stock prices in 2000, and the 2007-2008 recession when the markets plummeted by 49%. In 2008, dental practices experienced nearly a 50% drop in their revenue and it took about 4 years to recover. In this blog series, I will discuss the five things I learned from the past two recessions to help me protect my dental practice and thrive even in the toughest times.
Key #3 Optimize Your Hygiene Appointment
One of the best ways to evaluate a dental practice when it comes to value and strength, as well as predict its long-term success is to look at the hygiene schedule and the way patients are being seen, scheduled, and maintained. You can always tell a practice is strong and will grow over time when the patients are scheduling the recommended periodontal therapy, keeping their appointments, and seen on suggested intervals and not months out, where value is lost and production diminished. If your patients are coming in for their periodontal therapy as you recommended, and you are able to get them in on time, without delaying or pushing this out longer than a week or two, your practice is among the top performers. If not, then you are missing out on the biggest and most important aspect of creating a strong practice that will survive and flourish in any environment. The best way to protect your practice, especially in these uncertain times, is to make sure your hygiene department is strong, your patients are scheduled and maintained based on your recommendations, and treatment is not delayed. If your hygiene schedule is strong, your practice is strong.
One of the key elements that came out of building my Strategic Plan was optimizing hygiene. When we went to work on the systems that were involved in the hygiene appointment, improved them, made them consistent from hygienist to hygienist, and raised the bar when it comes to client experience and treatment delivery, our practice soared. In the toughest times around 2008 and 2009, my hygiene schedule became full, our patients were raving about the service they were receiving and sending us their friends and family. New patients flowed in because people heard that we delivered an incredible experience and wanted more from their dental appointment than what they previously had. Nobody wanted a “cleaning” but they all wanted what we had created – the ultimate, most thorough, unique, client-centred experience that they heard about from their friends.
The Ultimate Hygiene Program
As our numbers grew, and we improved the systems even more, we had built out our ultimate hygiene experience, later known as the Ultimate Hygiene Program course page at UPB Dental Academy. We created 5 ways to optimize each appointment, then created a way of elevating value, which became a key system to implement into every hygiene visit to elevate what we do and what we deliver so that our patients became raving fans, and ended up dramatically increasing case acceptance as well as value and respect for the services that we provide.
If you want to protect your practice in any environment and grow and become known for something greater than a “cleaning”, then check out our Ultimate Hygiene Program and an intro video to this program on our YouTube channel to learn more about this and go to work on your business, even in these difficult times.
Check here tomorrow for the next article in this series of 5 Key Elements to Protecting Your Dental Practice In a Market Turndown.