Dental Practice Hygiene Recovery Plan
Dental practice hygiene recovery is a key piece of our over all practice recovery today. And it’s necessary to first calculate the number of lost hygiene hours. Then, accept that is the number of hours we need to add back into our recovery plan. And to decide the time frame we wish to allow our practice and our team to accomplish this in. For some of us, this is a whole lot of hygiene hours to get back!
Lost hygiene hours happen from time to time. However, this is normally at a smaller scale than our experience right now. In the past, a hygienist may have needed time off for unexpected reasons. And perhaps finding a temporary hygienist to cover short notice was difficult. So, we may have added additional hygiene hours or days. Today, we need a big plan to avoid lost revenue as well as patient care. Because we certainly don’t want to just see it as just a total loss on either count.
Additional Hygiene Time
Of course, each dental practice must consider what’s best for their individual situation. And it may be necessary to add additional hours on days the practice is normally closed. This is a valuable consideration during times when there has been a significant loss of hygiene time. Maybe, consider a schedule of 5 or even 6 days a week for additional hygiene hours with alternating team members as possible.
Just hygiene days each week might be a possibility for the practice. The team can work together to help focus on additional days that are just hygiene appointments. Dental assistants can even help the hygienists with hygiene trays, set up and room turn over. Especially when temporary or substitute hygienists join the recovery days and process. And the dentists can focus on same day restorative care with good planning, templates, and prioritizing!
Dental Practice Hygiene Recovery Schedule Template
Dental practice hygiene recovery requires template planning. Think about just how the practice wants the hygiene schedule to be on extra hygiene days. Create a block schedule for active periodontal treatment as well as those with insurance coverage considerations. Especially for patients who may have missed their scheduled hygiene appointments. And consider those who also have restorative needs. Offer these patients a day to have their hygiene and restorative care on the same day while they are in the office.
Prioritize patients with greater restorative and hygiene needs first. And be sure to include new patients as well. Offer open appointments to patients based on their health and hygiene as well as restorative needs over those who truly have little dental needs first and foremost. Patients who receive dental hygiene appointments every 3 or 4 months because they have this insurance benefit but no true necessity can wait. Patients with discomfort, known complications and restorative needs receive first consideration.
Check Insurance Eligibility & Frequency
Let’s remember that insurance policies and eligibility may be different than our patients believe and know. And this is a trust opportunity for the practice. For when our patients trust our administrative team, our patients also trust the practice as a whole. We want to verify benefits and frequency limitations and communicate these considerations to our patients prior to treatment. Think of just how much our patients will appreciate our ability to add additional hygiene hours and help them understand their insurance benefits.
Explain and encourage patients to consider their insurance benefits and to be aware. But also encourage patients to accept they may have restorative or hygiene needs beyond their allowable benefits. And that we do not encourage them to limit treatment based on their benefits. Just to use their benefits as an added bonus and wisely. We want our patients to understand their dental and overall health are far more important than their insurance benefits outline. This is especially helpful to new patients. As well as those we want to grow trust and treatment acceptance with. But also be aware, that one mistake or miscommunication with a patient can cost us far more than we realize!
Dental Practice Hygiene Recovery Call Lists
Call lists for temporary and substitute hygienists are so helpful as we add more hygiene hours. And the hygiene coordinator or practice manager want to always be open and alert for additional applications and perspective temporary hygienists. We do well to keep ourselves connected to local temp agencies, dental hygiene schools, and even with our regularly scheduled hygiene team members who have connections to others. Stay in tune, stay in touch, and stay connected to all avenues of possibility as we reach out for part-time dental hygienists.
Patient communication and awareness help to create our patient call lists. The hygiene coordinator must be familiar with our patients’ treatment plans, medical history, contact numbers, and flexibility. We want to know our patients and to use our existing relationships to keep our day to day schedules just what we need them to be. It’s a great responsibility and challenge but also deeply rewarding. And we can only be successful with this endeavor if we know our patients well and their treatment and health needs.
Flexibility and Stability
Create practice stability with flexibility in the hygiene schedule. As we add more hours and new hygienists, allow space for new challenges. We, as established team members, carry greater responsibility. Yet, we can smile as we are realize we are a strong part of the solution. And our experience and expertise in the practice hold great value. It’s a time to provide the support and strength our team and patients need.
This too shall pass. We will recover from circumstances that cause loss in our hygiene hours. Especially when we work to overcome! And we can rebound and recover with planning and priorities. Bring the team together to discuss the best ways and days to add more hygiene hours. Communicate with patients and hygienists and create strong call lists. Let go of the things we can’t control. But take charge of opportunities that we can.