Dental Office Hygiene Monitors Improve Hygiene Numbers
Dental office hygiene monitors and tracking improve hygiene numbers. Just by the mere fact that you are tracking numbers brings improvement. Don’t believe me? Let’s take the 90 day test together. Download your own copy of my Dental Office Hygiene Monitor and use it faithfully for the next 90 days. Complete one monitor for each hygienist.
A hygiene coordinator or dental front office team member can track these numbers. The person who records these numbers should also be the person who handles the hygiene reactivation system. Be sure to record the numbers daily whenever possible. It’s a whole lot of work to go back to it later to fill in. It’s not as complicated or time consuming as it might seem. I know at first glance it looks like one more thing to do. And it is. However, this one more thing will help to bring awareness to some very important data.
Tracking Perio $ VS Routine $
Everything I read points to a “healthy” dental hygiene department of 30% perio. That’s why this number is tracked. You want to know what percentage of your hygiene production is perio related. Of course, this wouldn’t be true in a pediatric dental office. So be sure to keep your patient demographics in mind.
Run a report at the end of each month showing the total amount charged for perio codes that month. All dental software is a little different. And, you might need a little time to figure this out. But be sure to include all of the periodontal codes billed that month. You don’t want to leave any out.
Then run a report for routine procedures. Routine procedures are any other hygiene codes. This would include sealants, fluoride, prophys, x-rays, etc. Anything else that is billed out in that hygiene chair that isn’t perio goes here.
Dental Office Hygiene Monitors Include Collections
Dental office hygiene monitors separate collections from the production monitors. I use a separate accounts receivables monitor to bring all of these numbers together. But, for the hygiene monitor, you want just the collections for hygiene. (And on my production monitor, I track just the dentist’s collection that month).
Record adjustments for hygiene each month. It’s so helpful to know just what the hygiene adjustments are. At a glance, the dentist and practice manager can see if anything odd stands out. If the adjustments seem too high or too low, take a closer look. And always compare the monitors against actual reports. The reports that are run to get these numbers need to be attached to the monitors.
Then add any refunds too. Who ever is doing the adjustments in the patients’ ledgers must be careful to adjust well. They will want to apply the adjustment against the correct provider number. If the refund is going against a hygiene charge, it should reflect that. There should be no question when a refund was sent, which provider that affected.
Tracking Daily Appointments
Open appointments are appointments that were unfilled. Meaning a hygiene appointment was open due to a reschedule. It could be an appointment that was open at the start of the business day. Or it could be an appointment that became available during the day. As long as it was not filled that day, it counts as an open appointment. Do not count failed appointments in this category.
Failed appointment times are the appointments that a patient just never showed for. There is a patient in this appointment time. The office expected the patient to show for their appointment. With or without a good reason, the patient failed. Even if the patient called later and explained or apologized it counts.
Filled appointments are just that. Open time that the dental front office was able to fill that day count here. Each day this is tracked. This is a great motivator! It’s a proud moment to be able to fill this up with positive numbers and to see a big fat “0” in the “open appts” category.
Dental Office Hygiene Monitors Track Hygiene Reactivation
The total unscheduled hygiene patients number comes from another report. You may find this in a Practice Analysis or Practice Advisor report. Again, it will depend on your software system. This number is so critical. If you haven’t ever tracked this, please start. You may have more patients than you realize that are slipping away. It’s most often the case.
Due Now & Unscheduled
Look at how many unscheduled patients are due this month. Print a continuing care report for the month at the beginning of the month that you can make notes on. You can even write notes on it that say “scheduled” or “left message”. Whatever action you took to schedule your patient. Then attach this report to the monitor at the end of the month.
Over 30 Days & Unscheduled
Unscheduled hygiene patients over 30 days are included too. We don’t want to leave anyone out! This report is run on the second Thursday of each month in my world. It’s not run again at the end of the month. Keep the continuing care report that was run when it was worked. Hopefully, you made notes on this report that can also be attached to the hygiene monitor too.
Over 60 Days & Unscheduled
Next, the unscheduled hygiene patients over 60 days are added. The 3rd Thursday of the month is when this continuing care report happens. If there are patients you are still trying to reach here, continue to make notes. You may also find new names here. As some patients may have cancelled an appointment and not rescheduled at the time. Yes, we attach this report too!
Over 90 Days & Unscheduled
Finally, we come to the over 90 days due and unscheduled hygiene patients. This is most likely where you will find your highest numbers. But, don’t panic. This report is run the last Thursday of the month. This is where you will inactivate patients you haven’t seen in 18 months. Clear their continuing care, employer and insurance information before inactivating. You will be able to tell at a quick glance on your report if there is anyone new here. You’ll also be able to see who hasn’t been in for 18 months at a glance.
Track With Dental Office Hygiene Monitors Each Month
It’s fun to watch numbers improve each month. It’s fun to see what happens. As you notice problem areas with your monthly numbers, you want to fix them. The practice develops plans and strategies to schedule more unscheduled hygiene patients. The open appointment numbers drop and the filled appointment numbers rise. Have fun!